Waterloo Black Hawks Weekly Preview
Eastbound and Up
The Hawks make their last scheduled trip to the Eastern Time Zone this season while visiting the Youngstown Phantoms on Friday and Saturday (both 6:05 p.m. Central). The games will mark Waterloo's first appearances at the Covelli Centre since December 18 and 19, 2015. That weekend, Niko Hildenbrand led the Hawks with two goals and two assists during a split result: Waterloo fell 5-4 in the first game but won the second, 4-3 in a shootout. Currently, the Phantoms are tied for second place in the USHL Eastern Conference with 43 points. Youngstown is led by Matthew Barry, who tops the league with 32 assists and whose 43 points tie for third in the USHL with Waterloo's Jackson Cates.
Producing on the Power Play
Last week, Jack Drury and Jackson Cates became the first two players in the USHL this season to record 20 power play points. Drury did it last Tuesday with a third period power play goal against the Chicago Steel. He added a power play assist Friday against the Green Bay Gamblers, then scored again Saturday versus the Chicago Steel. Cates had a hand in both of those scores; his assist Saturday was his 20th power play point. As a team, Waterloo's 38 power play goals tie for fourth in the league. Matthew Barry of the Youngstown Phantoms may be the next player to reach 20 power play points; he currently has 19.
At Home on the Road
A perfect weekend would make the Black Hawks the first USHL team with 15 road wins this season. Waterloo is currently 13-5-3 away from Young Arena. Currently, the Fargo Force lead the USHL with 14 road wins, but Fargo plays at home on Friday and Saturday. With nine away games remaining, the Hawks need just three victories in those contests to equal last season's traveling mark of 16-12-2. The best road win count in team history was amassed in 2013/14 when the team was 21-5-4.
Waiting for a Milestone
Garrett Wait is one regular season assist shy of having 50 during his Black Hawks career. He is seeking to become the 46th junior era Waterloo player to reach that threshold. Last season, Wait ranked third on the team with 28 successful setups. The Minnesota recruit has been scoring with regularity in 2017/18. His 14 goals surpass the 13 he recorded during his first two seasons combined.
Jackson Cates scored twice to nudge the Black Hawks past the Green Bay Gamblers, 2-1 in overtime on the road Friday. Goalie Jared Moe made 34 saves. Saturday, Jack Drury had two goals, and Waterloo pulled away from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for a 4-1 win at Young Arena.
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