Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Iowa Donor Network.
Near the Front
By the end of this weekend, the Black Hawks and their Friday and Saturday opponents will each have completed the first quarter of the United States Hockey League schedule. The Hawks, Sioux City Musketeers, and Chicago Steel are all among the best four teams in the United States Hockey League. Sioux City and Chicago have made notable turnarounds after missing the 2016 postseason. Waterloo and Sioux City are first and second respectively in the Western Conference; the Hawks won a previous matchup in mid-October, 2-1 during overtime. The Steel are the overall leaders and seeking their first playoff berth since 2008. Their last postseason contest was a 3-2 overtime loss to the Black Hawks on April 27th of that year. Waterloo hosts Sioux City on Friday and travels to Chicago on Saturday.
On Saturday, goaltender Robbie Beydoun notched his third shutout during eight appearances as a Waterloo Black Hawk. Just nine other Waterloo netminders during the club’s junior era have delivered three or more regular season shutouts in their Black Hawks careers. All members of the group have played for the Hawks during P.K. O’Handley’s tenure as head coach. The record for Black Hawks shutouts during one regular season was set by Kevin Regan with six in 2003/04.
A Matter of Time
The Black Hawks are seeking their first home power play goal during the 2016/17 season. Waterloo’s first 20 home tries have been denied. Conversely, the Hawks have tallied five power play goals in 33 attempts in away games. Results thus far are dramatically different than what Waterloo experienced during 2015/16: last year the Hawks converted over 22% of home power plays (4th in the league) but just 10.2% on the road (17th).
All at the Top
The Black Hawks and their weekend opponents are all represented among the USHL’s four best individual plus/minus performers. Waterloo defenseman Jake Ryczek and Chicago forward Jake Jaremko currently each stand at +14. The Hawks’ Nick Swaney is +13. Sioux City defenseman Matt Hellickson is +12. Jacob Wilson (Sioux City, +11), Walker Duehr (Chicago, +11), and Mikey Anderson (Waterloo, +10) are also in the top nine.
Waterloo twice edged the Youngstown Phantoms over the weekend. Shane Bowers and Nick Swaney each recorded a goal and an assist during a 5-3 Friday decision. No one scored during regulation nor overtime in Saturday’s rematch as Waterloo prevailed 1-0 in a shootout. Robbie Beydoun stopped 25 shots, then all five Phantoms shootout chances. Kevin Charyszyn had the lone shootout conversion.
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The Black Hawks celebrate Veteran’s Day with special jerseys presented by American Pattern. Tickets are available by calling the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or online by clicking here.