December 21, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Waterloo Black Hawks
Ending the Year, Beginning the Series
Between the end of the United States Hockey League's holiday break and the beginning of 2018, the Black Hawks will meet three opponents they have yet to face this season. On Thursday, December 28th, Waterloo visits the Omaha Lancers at Ralston Arena (7:05 p.m.). Omaha won eight consecutive games going into the off week, representing the longest winning streak in the USHL this season. Back home the following night, the Hawks host the Lincoln Stars (7:05 p.m.) led by first-year head coach and former Waterloo forward Cody Chupp. The sequence of three games in four days wraps up against the Des Moines Buccaneers on New Year's Eve (6:05 p.m.). Young Arena has been the site of a December 31st game each winter since 1998.
Back from the Holiday
Last December, Waterloo overcame a hectic post-Christmas week, claiming four of six possible standings points while playing three games in three days. Current Hawks Jackson Cates, Mason Palmer, Michael Ferrandino, and Garrett Wait each had assists during a 3-2 overtime win against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Battered the next evening - 8-2 by the Bloomington Thunder - Waterloo showed resiliency with a 6-2 New Year's Eve win against the Madison Capitols, including goals from Wait, Ben Copeland, and Garrett Klee.
Variety in the Clutch
Visiting the Fargo Force on Saturday, Bobby Trivigno broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal in the third period. The Hawks went on to a 4-1 decision with Trivigno's goal standing as the game-winner. The first-year forward became the ninth different Waterloo skater to record a winning goal this season. That count ties the Hawks with the Tri-City Storm and the National Team Development Program for the most different individuals to record a decisive score at this stage of the season.
The United States Junior Select Team won the silver medal last Saturday during the World Junior A Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia. The U.S. squad included center Jack Drury, head coach P.K. O'Handley, and trainer Todd Klein from the Black Hawks. The United States has medaled during all 11 appearances at the event. For Drury, it was the second time he has worn red, white, and blue in international competition during the latter half of 2017; in August, he was a member of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team which skated during the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Tournament in Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Black Hawks were upended 4-0 by the Fargo Force on Friday. Waterloo rallied to claim a 4-1 win during Saturday's rematch. Matej Tomek made 28 saves as four different Hawks scored.