It's that time of the year for "March Madness", and there were some crazy finishes Friday and Saturday night, as Waterloo and Cedar Rapids battled to overtime both nights, with the visiting team coming out on top...


Townsquare Media - Shawn McKenna
Townsquare Media - Shawn McKenna

It was "Sock Toss" night, as socks were tossed on to the ice after the Black Hawks first goal, (donated to area homeless) and it was "Rock'em Sock'em" on the ice at the same time! (see photo - check out the video board)

A wild night in PartyTown concluded with a goal in the final second of overtime was the deciding tally in a 3-2 RoughRiders win against the Black Hawks at Young Arena on Saturday.

Less than a minute earlier, Waterloo had successfully killed a Cedar Rapids power play. The match-up was primed for a shootout when Jack Millar moved from behind his own net with ten seconds to go. Millar connected with Liam Walsh, who brought the puck into the Black Hawks’ zone. From the left circle, he flipped it across the front of the net, with Millar on the receiving end to redirect it across the goal line. The final fraction of a second elapsed as the visitors came off the bench in celebration.

Cedar Rapids had recorded the game’s first goal at the same end of the ice 39 seconds of the second period. Passing point-to-point during a power play, the puck came to Aidan McDonough in the left circle. He lifted a shot to the opposite top corner past a screened Evan Fear.

Joe Cassetti notched the equalizer at 7:12. Mason Palmer blasted a try toward the net from just inside the blue line. Cassetti tipped the attempt, and it squeezed between goalie Blake Pietila and the post to his right. Waterloo took the lead in the third at 3:30. Matej Blumel came through neutral territory, drifting to the top of the right circle and rifling a shot from there to the twine over Pietila’s right shoulder. The lead lasted until 12:34; a blocked shot found its way into the slot in Black Hawks territory, and Grant Silianoff triggered a quick wrister from between the circles, which leveled the game for the remainder of regulation.

A goalie, a forward, and most importantly, a puck ended up in the net 2:03 into overtime, giving the Black Hawks a 3-2 win against the RoughRiders Friday at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Emil Ohrvall won a defensive zone faceoff to Matej Blumel, and Blumel made his way up the ice, skating shoulder to shoulder with Cedar Rapids’ Jason Polin. The RoughRider forward cut down his Black Hawks counterpart, and a penalty was going to be called. However, Blumel and the puck went sliding into the net, taking Blake Pietila with across the goal line. The play was ruled to be a goal on the ice, and after a video review, the call stood.

It was a wild finish following a dramatic, game-tying score for Cedar Rapids near the end of regulation. With an extra attacker on the ice, Mitchell Miller’s shot from the right point deflected across the slot, right to Polin staring at an open net. Polin’s goal knotted the count with just 1:01 remaining. All of the other offense came in the first period. The RoughRiders had scored first 9:37 into the game. A Black Hawks breakout pass hit a leg and lay loose in the left circle. Liam Walsh pounced, stickhandling to the net before pushing his shot past Evan Fear’s right skate.

Waterloo scored twice in less than three minutes to seize the lead. Brock Paul’s first shot from above the right circle was blocked but came right back to him. His second try made it to the top of the crease, where Xander Lamppa tipped the puck, and it trickled past Pietila at 13:05. Another shot from the point led to the go-ahead goal. Brehdan Engum’s attempt was going wide, but Vladislav Firstov was coming out of the corner and was able to redirect the chance just inside the post.

The Black Hawks now have a Tuesday night match-up against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Waterloo and Sioux Falls have been dueling for second place in the Western Conference during the late weeks of the schedule. Fans in attendance who are age 21 and older can enjoy $2 Bud Light Tuesday. For tickets, call the Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 232-3444.

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