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 Waterloo Black Hawks

Waterloo Black Hawks Schedule Announced

June 18, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Waterloo Black Hawks News Release

Waterloo, Iowa - The United States Hockey League's loudest venue comes up to full volume on September 28th when the Waterloo Black Hawks open the 30th season of action in Young Arena.

On Tuesday, the USHL revealed most of its 2024/25 schedule, including the 60 true home and road matchups for each team. Season-opening games during the annual USHL Fall Classic at the UPMC Lemieux Sport Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania will be announced at a later date.

The Black Hawks' return from the Fall Classic to host the Des Moines Buccaneers on Saturday, September 28th at 6:05 p.m. It will be the 249th regular season meeting between Waterloo and Des Moines since the Buccaneers entered the USHL in 1980. It will also mark a milestone season for a rink affectionately known as "Party Town."

"It's remarkable to realize that the Black Hawks have played at Young Arena for nearly as long as they played at McElroy Auditorium," said Black Hawks President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Greene, referring to the team's original home. "Hockey started there following a major renovation in 1962, but by the early 1990s, it was obvious that Waterloo needed a new rink. Now almost 30 years since Young Arena opened, the future is very bright for this facility. The Black Hawks have been a significant attraction bringing people to downtown Waterloo for three decades and we don't see any reason for that to change."

Young Arena staff have been making minor but noticeable upgrades this summer. The changes include a new kick plate around the interior of the dasherboards, plus new stanchions securing the glass. These improvements continue to keep the rink vibrant and follow an array of other enhancements, including Young Arena's video board, the Coors Light Cold Zone, Lincoln Savings Bank and SingleSpeed Luxury Suites, and Party Town Outfitters team store.

Black Hawks fans will have many early opportunities to see everything that is new in Party Town. The 2024/25 schedule puts the Hawks on home ice 12 times before Christmas. Cedar Valley fans will have a chance to make an immediate impact on the new season after rooting Waterloo to a 21-7-2 mark on home ice last winter.

Other notable facts about Tuesday's schedule announcement include:

- The September 28th game against Des Moines is the earliest regular season matchup at Young Arena since the 2015/16 home opener versus the Muskegon Lumberjacks. In that game on September 26, 2015, Waterloo fell 3-2 in a shootout. Coincidentally, Muskegon will be this season's second visiting opponent, making their only trip to Young Arena on Friday, October 11th.

- The Hawks will host all three of their Dupaco Cowbell Cup rivals before the end of October. Besides the home opener, Des Moines will return to Young Arena again on Friday, October 25th. One night later, Waterloo will meet the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for the first time during the new season. Then on Tuesday, October 29th the Dubuque Fighting Saints make their first appearance in 2024/25. Dubuque edged Waterloo by two points for the Dupaco Cowbell Cup last spring.

- Fans are encouraged to note several special start times on the 2024/25 home schedule. The Waterloo-Dubuque game on October 29th will begin at 6:05 p.m. The two teams will also meet for the opening faceoff at that same time on New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, the Black Hawks will host the Sioux City Musketeers at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday, December 8th and the Fargo Force at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday, December 29th. Saturday games are slated for 6:05 p.m., with other nights at 7:05 p.m. All times are subject to change.

- The eight weeks from November 15th to January 4th could have a dramatic impact on the entirety of the 2024/25 season. Between those two dates, 11 of 13 Hawks games will be at Young Arena. That includes the only scheduled visits by three Western Conference rivals: the Tri-City Storm, the Lincoln Stars, and the Fargo Force.

- Games on Friday, November 22nd and Saturday, November 23rd are a rematch of last spring's playoff series between Waterloo and Lincoln. The clubs have faced each other in each of the last three postseasons. Dating back to 2012, the Hawks and Stars have met for 20 head-to-head playoff games, Waterloo's highest total against any opponent during that span.

- Traditional home games on Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve highlight the 2024/25 schedule. Aside from the disrupted 2020/21 season, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids have met on Thanksgiving each November since 2000. For New Year's Eve, the Hawks will face Dubuque for the second straight year. Last December, Waterloo prevailed 6-2.

- The 2024/25 schedule includes 13 home Saturdays. Cedar Rapids will be on hand for three of those games. Dubuque is the only other opponent slated to visit on more than one Saturday.

- The Hawks will play a rare Valentine's Day home game on Friday, February 14th. That night, Des Moines will visit Waterloo for the fourth and final time on the schedule. The last time Waterloo played at home on the pseudo-holiday was in 2021, a 2-0 loss to Tri-City.

- In an even rarer occurrence, USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18s will visit on March 29th. While the Hawks have hosted the program's U17s more recently, the U18s have not been to Young Arena since mid-January of 2016. Waterloo and the NTDP split two games that weekend, with a Hawks' 4-3 victory secured thanks to an overtime goal by Nick Swaney. That was Waterloo's last win against the U18s until this past spring when the Hawks prevailed 7-4 on March 1st in Plymouth, Michigan.

- The regular season concludes during the weekend of April 11th and 12th with potentially crucial Western Conference matchups against the Sioux City Musketeers and Omaha Lancers respectively.

Season tickets for the 2024/25 campaign are on sale now from or by calling the Black Hawks at (319) 232-3444. Single-game tickets will go on sale in late summer.

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