Bailey Conger lifted the Waterloo Black Hawks to a 4-3 overtime decision at Young Arena in Game One of an opening round Clark Cup Playoff Series against the Fargo Force Friday.
At 4:51 of the game’s fourth period, Conger provided sudden victory when he stepped behind the opposing net and used his long reach to complete a wraparound. The puck slipped between the post and goalie Ryan Bischel’s right skate. The Fargo netminder suffered the loss after entering the game midway through the second period for injured starter Matt Murray.
Bischel stopped everything he faced for nearly a full period before the Hawks broke through with the first of three unanswered goals. Trailing 3-1 during a power play at 8:04 of the third, Grant Gabriele sent Mikey Anderson through the left circle with a pass that left him one-on-one against Bischel. The veteran defenseman moved close, and Anderson lifted his shot over Bischel’s left shoulder.
The Hawks’ game-tying goal found the same route to the net, although from a different origin. On another power play at 15:57, Ethan Spaxman fired a shot from the left point. Just outside the crease, it hit Kevin Charyszyn in the shoulder, deflecting over Bischel at his left, and bouncing once behind the helpless goalie, before hopping across the goal line.
Each team had scored late in the opening period. The Force struck first at 13:21 when Shane McMahan located a puck which had been shot wide. McMahan stepped behind the net and wrapped in a backhander. At 15:35, Waterloo answered thanks to a display of quick hands by Nick Swaney. Twirling in the right circle, Swaney lifted a shot over the glove of Murray.
The Force went ahead with the second period’s only goal at 13:02. Carson Musser jumped into a rush and fired a shot under the crossbar from just inside the right dot. Fargo came close to extending the lead farther in the late minutes of the second. Robbie Beydoun denied a Blake Lizotte breakaway with under five minutes to go. Then with just a minute and a half before intermission, Kevin O’Neil’s backhander couldn’t find its way into an apparently open side.
Fargo eventually added to their lead, stretching it to its largest margin five minutes into the third, when Mitchell Chaffee lifted the puck past Beydoun’s blocker from the slot.
Beydoun made 19 saves in the win. Bischel performed admirably in relief, stopping 27 of 30 shots after Murray left with a lower body injury at 8:22 of the second.
Game Two between the Hawks and Force is Saturday in Young Arena at 7:05 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a Black Hawks cheer stick, presented by Community Motors, and a Black Hawks playoff poster. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or visit waterlooblackhawks.com.
For more photos from the Black Hawks’ 2016/17 season, visit Stephanie Lyn Photography.
Fargo 1 1 1 0 – 3
Waterloo 1 0 2 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Fargo, McMahan 1 (Alftberg), 13:21. 2, Waterloo, Swaney 1 (Limoges, Gabriele), 15:35. Penalties-Anderson Wat (hooking), 9:04.
2nd Period-3, Fargo, Musser 1 (Adams, Alftberg), 13:02. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-4, Fargo, Chaffee 1 (Washe, O’Neil), 5:00. 5, Waterloo, Anderson 1 (Gabriele, Ohrvall), 8:04 (PP). 6, Waterloo, Charyszyn 1 (Spaxman, Conger), 15:57 (PP). Penalties-Adams Fgo (hooking), 2:05; Anderson Wat (hooking), 5:13; Washe Fgo (high sticking dbl minor), 6:29; Haiskanen Fgo (holding), 14:58; Conger Wat (interference), 19:20.
1st OT Period-7, Waterloo, Conger 1 (Ohrvall, Charyszyn), 4:51. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Fargo 8-5-5-4-22. Waterloo 12-13-16-3-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Fargo 0 / 3; Waterloo 2 / 3.
Goalies-Fargo, Murray (14 shots-13 saves); Bischel (30 shots-27 saves). Waterloo, Beydoun (22 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Jim White (22), Erik Krasnichuk (7).
Linesmen-John Tallieu (38), Kyle Bennett (52).