Waterloo Black Hawks Weekly Preview
Final Three Games
The 2020/21 schedule concludes with three Black Hawks home games at Young Arena. Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m., Waterloo hosts the Lincoln Stars in a game which had originally been planned for November 25th but was declared a "No Contest" at that time. The Hawks go into Tuesday's meeting with a 6-5 edge in standings points from the series. The Des Moines Buccaneers then come to Waterloo for games on Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (6:05 p.m.). The Bucs have won three of the first five meetings, including the most recent game between the teams, a 4-0 result on April 3rd. The Black Hawks and Buccaneers have been playing each other since 1980/81, but this will be just the fifth time they have met for a regular season finale.
Three of the USHL's four most penalized teams will be on ice at Young Arena this week. Lincoln leads the league at 24.4 minutes per game, followed by Des Moines at 18.5. Waterloo stands fourth at 17.5. The Black Hawks' ten previous games versus Lincoln and Des Moines have included higher-than-typical penalty minute totals. Subtracting the tilts with the Stars and Bucs, Waterloo averaged 15.3 PIMs during their other 40 games with the eight remaining USHL clubs they have faced in 2020/21.
Completing Junior Careers
Many Black Hawks players will advance to college hockey after this season. However, there are five members of the 2020/21 squad who know their time as junior players will be over after Saturday. Max Sasson, Owen Ozar, Kyler Kleven, Luke Bast, and Charlie Glockner were all born in 2000, making them too old to skate at the junior level in 2021/22. Among that group, Bast has played in more games as a Black Hawk (76) than the rest. Sasson has the post points for Waterloo (43), all this year after joining the Hawks from Cedar Rapids.
Flirting with .500
Waterloo enters this week with an 11-12-1 record at Young Arena. The Hawks seek two wins among their final three games to assure a .500 record on home ice. Waterloo has finished .500 or better at home each year since 2001/02, when the club was 11-20-0 during that portion of their schedule. Since the beginning of March, the Hawks' Young Arena mark is 4-4-0.
The Black Hawks were on the short end of two games during a trip to Fargo. Last Thursday, the Force scored in the final minute of the first period, then added two more goals early in the second to pull away to an eventual 4-2 win, despite Black Hawks tallies by Mason Reiners and Ryan O'Hara. Friday, Fargo scored the first five goals before a late power play tally by Dane Montgomery yielded a 5-1 decision.
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