Black Hawks Preview: March 27-28 Games
The Waterloo Black Hawks have two games this weekend. On Friday, March 27, 2015, the team travels to Cedar Rapids to take on the RoughRiders. On Saturday, the Black Hawks return home to host the Bloomington Thunder.
Road Home Weekend:
The Black Hawks play their final road game of the season on Friday against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before coming home to host the Bloomington Thunder on Saturday. A win at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena would move Waterloo to 14-14-2 during away games this season, giving the Hawks at least half of the points possible on the road for the fourth consecutive season. Saturday’s game is the first link in a chain of five consecutive contests at Young Arena to conclude the schedule. The Hawks edged the Thunder 4-2 in the only ever meeting between the teams on February 21st.
Get the Point?:
With one more goal or assist, Waterloo forward Brock Boeser would be assured to finish the season with a scoring average of at least a point per appearance. The Hawks’ top offensive threat currently has 56 points (30 goals, 26 assists) from 51 games in which he has participated. He scored his 30th goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Youngstown Phantoms Friday. Boeser is now one goal shy of Chris Wilkie (Tri-City Storm) for the United States Hockey League lead. The goal against the Phantoms was on the power play – Boeser’s 13th of those this season – and he also is one behind Wilkie in that category. His 27 power play points tie with the Phantoms’ Kyle Connor for the most on the USHL.
Two for 20?:
While Brock Boeser has reached the 30-goal threshold, Waterloo would need a big scoring finish from someone else to maintain a streak which began in 2011/2012. In each of the last three seasons, the Hawks have had at least two 20-goal scorers. Henrik Rommel and Tom Novak (14 goals), Max Coatta (13 goals), and John Wiitala (12 goals) are all potential candidates.
Robert Rules of Order:
Defenseman Alex Robert has quietly provided a steady defensive presence for the Black Hawks. His +10 plus/ minus differential currently ranks third on the club. Since the beginning of February, Robert has been +8. In that time, he has been a “plus” in eight games, “even” in seven others, and “minus” in only two.
The Youngstown Phantoms led the Black Hawks 1-0 for nearly 40 minutes Friday until Brock Boeser tied the score during the late third period. However, with a minute to go, Josh Nenadal scored the game winning goal during the 2-1 decision. Nenadal found the net again on Saturday as the Phantoms blanked the Hawks, 4-0. It was just the fourth time the Hawks have been shutout this season.