Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Party Town’s Coors Light Cold Zone.
Playoffs About to Begin
The Black Hawks and Fargo Force meet for Games One and Two of a first round Clark Cup Playoff series at Young Arena on Friday and Saturday. The best-of-five set will continue next Tuesday and Wednesday at Scheels Arena in Fargo. The two teams faced each other and split a pair of games in Waterloo last weekend; during the six-game season series, each team won on three occasions. The Hawks and Force have been prolific qualifiers for the Clark Cup Championship Series; since 2007, either Waterloo or Fargo has reached the final round on seven of ten occasions. However, the Hawks and Force have only squared off in a postseason series once: in 2013, the teams went a full five games before Fargo finally prevailed in overtime during the finale. Each side has a player who won the Clark Cup last season. Waterloo acquired Alex Limoges, and Fargo made a deal for Paul Washe, who earned championship rings last spring as members of the Tri-City Storm.
Waterloo finished the 2016/17 regular season as the highest-scoring team in the United States Hockey League. Averaging 3.5 goals per contest, the Hawks’ total of 210 was one of only two marks over 200 (the Dubuque Fighting Saints had 201). Waterloo and Fargo put more shots on net than any two teams in the league: the Hawks had 32.6 chances on frame per contest, while the Force had 32.2 looks on average.
The Black Hawks played nine playoff games last spring against the Lincoln Stars and Tri-City Storm. Six players on the current Waterloo roster played in each of the 2016 postseason contests. The group includes Nick Swaney (five goals, four assists) and Mikey Anderson (three goals, two assists), who together accounted for more than a quarter of the Hawks’ playoff goal total last year. Jake Ryczek, Shane Bowers, Garrett Wait, and Kevin Charyszyn were also fixtures in the Waterloo lineup.
So Long, Shootouts
Entering playoff hockey, shootouts are no longer used to break ties at the end of overtime. The Black Hawks earned a 2-2 record in 2016/17 contests settled by shootouts. Waterloo converted four of 14 shootout attempts, while opposing teams scored on three of 12 chances in those games.
Alex Limoges recorded a goal and three assists during a two-game split with Fargo. The Hawks celebrated a 6-2 victory last Friday, including a pair of goals from Nick Swaney. Saturday, Garrett Klee nudged Waterloo to a 1-0 lead in the first period, yet Fargo prevailed, 4-3. Both games were played at Young Arena; the Hawks finished their home schedule with a record of 24-4-2.
Enjoy Black Hawks hockey from the Coors Light Cold Zone. The next Black Hawks home game is Friday, April 14th against the Fargo Force at 7:05 p.m. To order tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or click here.