December 11, 2012 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Waterloo Black Hawks
Waterloo, Iowa-Stock cars and Santa Claus meet at Young Arena for the final Waterloo Black Hawks home game before Christmas on Saturday, December 22nd against the Sioux City Musketeers.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and former Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Michael Annett will bring his #43 Richard Petty Racing Ford Mustang to the rink. Hockey and racing fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car and meet Waterloo's fastest former skater for pictures and autographs.
During his fourth full season in Nationwide racing, Annett earned a career-best fifth place result in the standings. The 2012 schedule was remarkably consistent for the #43 team, with Annett finishing outside the top 20 in only four of 33 races. He was inside the top ten 17 times and celebrated a career-best third place finish in two different races, first at Daytona, then Dover International Speedways.
"I'm not a race car driver, but you have to have a level of internal compete," said Black Hawks head coach P.K. O'Handley. "That makes you successful behind the wheel. I thought he had that as a hockey player, and it certainly shows now."
Annett played for the Black Hawks in 2003/04 and 2004/05. He appeared in 100 career USHL regular season games, plus nine additional playoff contests. In the spring of 2004, Annett was in the lineup when Waterloo clinched the Clark Cup in Game Four versus the Tri-City Storm.
Another guest of honor expected for the matchup is a well-known figure who is always seen wearing Black Hawks colors. Santa Claus will warm up his sleigh for a trip to Party Town. Santa's appearance is presented by Slumberland Furniture on University Avenue in Waterloo.
Tickets are available for the contest from waterlooblackhawks.com or by calling (319) 291-7680. Game time is 7:05, with the gates opening an hour in advance. Weather permitting, Annett's car will be outside the rink for viewing earlier in the evening.