Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Party Town’s Coors Light Cold Zone.
Getting the Most from 2016
With December running out, the Black Hawks will get the most from what remains of 2016’s 366 days. Waterloo plays three times before the calendar flips to 2017. The Hawks return from their holiday break on Thursday to visit the Muskegon Lumberjacks; it is Waterloo’s only trip to western Michigan this winter. The following night, the team swings through Bloomington, Illinois, for a game against the Thunder. The weekend concludes on New Year’s Eve back home against the Madison Capitols. All three games during the sequence are against opponents from the United States Hockey League Eastern Conference. This will be the second time this season that Waterloo has faced both the Lumberjacks and Capitols during the same weekend. October 21st and 22nd respectively, the Hawks fell to Madison, 3-2, and Muskegon, 4-3 in a shootout.
Back from the North
Nick Swaney, Mikey Anderson, and Jake Ryczek all return to the Black Hawks lineup after representing the United States during the World Junior A Challenge in Alberta just prior to Christmas. The U.S. Junior Select squad departed Bonnyville with the event’s gold medal. Swaney became the fourth Black Hawk named to the tournament All-Star Team. Previous selections have returned with an immediate boost from the honor: in 2014, Tom Novak’s first game back included three assists. Vince Hinostroza was even more triumphant in 2012, scoring twice and assisting on another goal. Craig Smith found the net under the same circumstances in 2008. Swaney is currently tied for 12th in USHL scoring.
Days of Auld Lang Syne
This will be the 19th consecutive season in which the Black Hawks have played a New Year’s Eve home game. Last season, Waterloo edged the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 4-3 in a December 31st shootout. Since 1998, the Hawks have welcomed eight different opponents for the now-traditional matchup. Madison will be the ninth.
Ethan Johnson scored twice when the Black Hawks visited the Fargo Force on December 17th. Waterloo went on to win the game, 5-4 in overtime. The spurt gives the first-year forward three goals and six points this season. Only four other Black Hawks have tallied a multigoal game this season: Nick Swaney, Kevin Charyszyn, Yuki Miura, and Emil Ohrvall.
The Hawks are returning from Christmas break. Waterloo’s most recent games were December 16th through 18th (two against the Fargo Force, then concluding the weekend with a trip to Sioux Falls to meet the Stampede). Waterloo went 1-2-0 against the Force and Stampede.
Enjoy Black Hawks hockey from the Coors Light Cold Zone when the Hawks host the Madison Capitols on New Year’s Eve. GAME TIME IS 6:05 P.M. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or click here.