Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Party Town’s Coors Light Cold Zone.
Grant Highway Games
Before it was U.S. 20, the route across northern Iowa connecting Dubuque to Sioux City was known as The Grant Highway. This weekend, the Waterloo Black Hawks meet both of their Grant Highway rivals: the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Sioux City Musketeers. Each game represents the fifth of sixth contests this season between the Hawks and those two clubs. Both Dubuque and Sioux City are atop their respective conferences. Sioux City leads the USHL overall with 71 points; Dubuque currently runs tied with the Chicago Steel, leading the Eastern Conference with 67 points. Waterloo’s game in Dubuque Friday begins at 7:35. Saturday, the Hawks host the Musketeers at 7:05. Two weeks from now, the schedule will flip when Waterloo plays a Friday game in Sioux City on March 24th before returning home to host the Saints on March 25th.
50 and Over
The season is reaching its late stages. Friday represents the 50th of 60 Waterloo games on the schedule. Nearly the entire USHL will achieve that threshold this weekend. Only the U.S. National Team Development Program will be shy of 50 games by the conclusion of play on Sunday. The Green Bay Gamblers have already played 50 of their 2016/17 matchups.
Five Black Hawks players have recorded ten or more goals in 2016/17. For Nick Swaney and Shane Bowers, it is the second consecutive year both have been in double digits. Last winter, the Hawks had seven players who reached that mark. It is conceivable that Waterloo could have two more players join the club this weekend. Jackson Cates and Garrett Klee are each currently hovering at nine goals.
The Black Hawks were the most prolific USHL team when it came to overtime games from late October through the end of January. Over the last five weeks, Waterloo has only played beyond 60 minutes once: a 2-1 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers on February 14th. With 13 overtime games played, the Hawks are still tied for the most overtime contests in the league this winter. The Sioux City Musketeers and Youngstown Phantoms have also each played 13 overtime games in 2016/17.
Waterloo fell to the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18s 4-3 on Friday and 8-3 on Saturday in Plymouth, Michigan. The Hawks are now 12-11-2 in road games this year, two victories short of last season’s win total. Emil Ohrvall led Waterloo with three assists. Friday’s loss ended a span of 15 consecutive games in which the Hawks had claimed at least one standings point.
Enjoy Black Hawks hockey from the Coors Light Cold Zone. The next Black Hawks home game is Saturday, March 11th against the Sioux City Musketeers at 7:05 p.m. To order tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or click here.