Waterloo Black Hawks Weekly Preview
Long Lost Rivals
Weekend road games in Chicago and Green Bay harken back to bygone days when the Black Hawks were members of the USHL Eastern Division and met the Steel and Gamblers with regularity. From 2000/01 to 2008/09, Waterloo faced both opponents at least six times annually. Since 2013/14, the Hawks have not played more than three games in one season versus either foe. The Hawks' history with both teams extends into the postseason, too. The Steel (18 games) and Gamblers (15 games) are Waterloo's first- and third-most prolific playoff opponents during the USHL's junior era. Friday's game at Fox Valley Ice Arena is the first of three contests between Waterloo and Chicago this season; the tilt in Green Bay Saturday wraps up the 2018/19 series after the Gamblers edged Waterloo 5-4 in overtime on October 13th at Young Arena.
Ness Doing Nicely
Griffin Ness became the third Black Hawk to record a hat trick this season when he scored all three Waterloo goals during a 4-3 road loss in Dubuque on Saturday. Ness now has seven goals and five assists on the year. His goal count ranks second and his point total is third on the team. Ness has not been held without a point for consecutive games by opponents this season. His 21.2 percent accuracy mark gives him the highest shooting percentage of any Hawks player who has put at least six shots on net.
Someone Has to Score First
The Black Hawks, Steel, and Gamblers have all fallen behind 1-0 more often than they have scored the first goal of a game. Chicago has notched the initial goal just twice in 11 games. Both Waterloo and Green Bay have hit the net first five times in 13 tries. Through the USHL's first 100 games in 2018/19, the teams scoring first have earned 149 out of 200 possible standings points.
Bidding Goodbye to Brown County
Saturday's game will be the final USHL contest at Green Bay's Brown County Arena. The Gamblers have played at the Resch Center since 2002, but occasionally they take the ice at their former home, which will be torn down in 2019. The Black Hawks met the Green Bay Bobcats at Brown County Arena in Waterloo's inaugural season, 1962/63, and for nearly two decades which followed. When Green Bay returned to the USHL with the Gamblers in 1994/95, Waterloo was one of the visiting teams during that season's opening weekend. The Hawks' most recent contest in the building was a 4-3 loss, November 9, 2013.
Waterloo rallied for an impressive 6-5 overtime win versus the Sioux City Musketeers last Tuesday. The Hawks then split a home-and-home series with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, winning 6-1 and falling 4-3.
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