Black Hawks Double Up Thunder
The Waterloo Black Hawks never trailed during their first visit to U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, topping the Thunder 4-2 Saturday (February 21, 2015) in the first ever meeting between the clubs.
The Black Hawks notched the only goal in the first period at 10:44. Larry Jungwirth made a touch-pass to John Wiitala at center, allowing the veteran to split defenders in stride and score one-handed while fending off a check. When it came to “fending off,” Cale Morris did that during the opening period, making 13 saves in the Waterloo net.
The Thunder had great chances to tie the game in the second period before they eventually did. At 8:31, a Bloomington goal by Matt Mendelson was washed out when it was ruled that the Thunder forward had played the puck with a high stick. Two minutes later, Morris stoned Ryan Galt on a penalty shot. However, on the ensuing faceoff win by Bloomington, Max Gottlieb fired a shot into the net from the left point to even the contest.
In the late stages of the opening period, Logan Halladay had stopped a shorthanded breakaway by Henrik Rommel, but he couldn’t stop a second opportunity under similar circumstances at 15:37 of the second. After jabbing the puck free in his own zone, Rommel came up the rink to beat Halladay with a backhander, allowing Waterloo to go back in front. The Hawks then built the margin a moment after a power play had ended; with 11.1 seconds to go before the second intermission Hayden Shaw rifled a shot into the net from the high slot.
The teams exchanged goals in the third period, beginning at 1:34 when Tyson McLellan batted his own rebound between the pipes from the top of the crease. Nikolas Koberstein drew Bloomington back within two, finding the net off a defenseman at 7:40.
Morris stopped the Thunder’s other dozen chances in the period and finished the victory with 36 saves. Halladay made 22 saves.
After concluding the weekend, the Black Hawks are off until beginning a stretch of three games in three days Friday versus the Sioux Falls Stampede. It’s a college night, with $7 advanced purchase tickets for all college students with ID. Fans arriving at the rink early will receive goodies from Village Inn, Hy-Vee, and Wheaton Franciscan Health Care. For tickets, call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
For Saturday's box score, please click here.