Black Hawks Beat Buccaneers, Tied Two Records
The Waterloo Black Hawks tied two club records for victories and extended their lead in the standings Sunday, with a 7-2 road decision against the Des Moines Buccaneers.
With Sunday’s win, the Hawks now have 39 this season, matching a franchise record first set in 2006/07, then equaled last season. It was also Waterloo’s 19th road win, tying a club-best established last spring. The Black Hawks have seven regular season games remaining; two are on the road.
Brandon Montour scored the first goal of the night 7:35 after the opening faceoff, speeding up right wing and around a defender before firing a shot to the top corner. Just over three minutes later, Lawton Courtnall stepped behind the Des Moines net and centered to Tyson McLellan, who scored from the doorstep. The Hawks added a third goal at 16:51 when Drew Melanson slipped in a rebound from the left wing circle. The Buccaneers spent their timeout and scored during the next shift; at 17:34, Patrick Grasso’s pass across the low slot connected with Brendan Shane, who – left unmarked – knocked the feed into an open side.
Des Moines drew within a goal in the second as Tanner Karty scored on a one-timer at 7:26.
Two power play goals before the second intermission allowed Waterloo to pull ahead again. Tim Lappin couldn’t be denied on the rebound of Tyler Sheehy’s shot at 14:34. Then during a subsequent two-man advantage, Mark Friedman sent a rocket into the net from the left dot, set up by Drew Melanson’s circle-to-circle pass.
A Des Moines power play went awry in the first two minutes of the final period, and the Hawks stretched the lead to four with a shorthanded goal. John Wiitala chased down a puck in the offensive zone, dodged goalie Billy Christopoulos diving out of the net for a poke check, and slipped a shot into the open goal at 1:31. Peter Krieger added a final marker at 12:55, knocking in a rebound chance from close range.
In Omaha Sunday, Team USA defeated the Lancers 5-3, so the Hawks’ lead in the United States Hockey League Western Conference is now six points. Waterloo is also now four points ahead of the Indiana Ice in the race for the Anderson Cup, presented annually to the circuit’s regular season champion. Indiana was idle Sunday.
Having returned safely from their productive trip to Des Moines, the Hawks will have the opportunity to stay at home next weekend. Waterloo hosts the Fargo Force on Friday and Saturday. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or visit waterlooblackhawks.com.