Waterloo Black Hawks Preview is presented by Party Town’s Coors Light Cold Zone.
Starting Again with Sioux City
The Black Hawks have advanced to a Western Conference Final series against the Sioux City Musketeers. The two longtime rivals meet after sweeping first round opponents. The Musketeers eliminated the Des Moines Buccaneers in three games, while Waterloo moved past the Fargo Force on the same terms. During the 2016/17 regular season, the Musketeers and Black Hawks were the only teams to win 40 games; Sioux City finished three points ahead of Waterloo in the regular season standings. The Musketeers are led by netminder Matiss Kivlenieks, who was named both the United States Hockey League Goaltender of the Year and Player of the Year. Games One and Two at Tyson Events Center will be Friday and Sunday.
Home Ice Success
Dating back to the regular season, the Musketeers have won 11 consecutive home games. Sioux City has not lost at Tyson Events Center since a 2-1 defeat by the Chicago Steel on February 10th. Over the course of 2016/17, the Muskies were 23-4-3 at home. Their playoff home wins against the Des Moines Buccaneers were by 4-1 and 5-0 scores. The Hawks won their only playoff road game versus the Fargo Force, 3-0 on April 18th. Road teams are collectively 3-11 during this season’s playoffs.
Bowers Begins Well
Forward Shane Bowers has opened postseason play with a league-best +5 plus/minus differential. He had a positive mark during each of Waterloo’s three wins against the Fargo Force. Bowers is also currently tied as the Hawks’ top point-producer (three) and goal-scorer (two). Skating in all nine games last season, Bowers recorded a pair of assists, both during the second round series against the Tri-City Storm.
Special Teams Emphasis
Power play and penalty kill units appear primed to make a big impact on the Waterloo/Sioux City series. During the first round of playoffs, Sioux City scored on three of nine power plays. The Hawks went 3-for-12. In penalty killing situations, the Musketeers denied all 12 Buccaneer opportunities, while Waterloo turned away nine Fargo attempts.
The Hawks closed out their opening round set against the Fargo Force with a 3-0 decision last Tuesday. Jackson Cates recorded the only goal during the first two periods; Shane Bowers built the lead and Bailey Conger added an empty net goal late. Conger’s goal was shorthanded, one of two USHL shorthanded goals during the postseason. Robbie Beydoun made 24 saves for the shutout. The game was the only one played in the league during the middle stages of last week, lifting the Hawks into the second round before any other club.
Tuesday, April 18th BLACK HAWKS 3, Fargo 0 Recap
Enjoy Black Hawks hockey from the Coors Light Cold Zone. The next Black Hawks home game is Friday, May 5th 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.