Two Waterloo Black Hawks players were honored by the United States Hockey League after a three-win weekend.

The Black Hawks closed out 2017 with three big wins extending their win-streak to four games. On Thursday (Dec. 28), the Black Hawks shutout the Lancers while in Omaha. Waterloo out shined the Stars when Lincoln came to Young Arena. Party Town was rocking on New Year's Eve when the Black Hawks defeated instate rival Des Moines Buccaneers.

There were several players that made some spectacular plays, and the USHL honor two Waterloo Black Hawks for last week's play. Forward Jackson Cates and goaltender Matej Tomek were named Players of the Week by the United States Hockey League on Monday.

Tomek was in the crease for Waterloo wins on Thursday and Friday. Visiting the Omaha Lancers in the first game after the holiday break, Tomek made 31 saves for his first United States Hockey League shutout. Waterloo picked up a 3-0 victory, which included 16 saves during the final 20 minutes. Tomek’s effort the next night assured that the Black Hawks would never fall behind during a 4-3 home win against the Lincoln Stars. He turned aside 29 of 32 opposing chances.

The Philadelphia Flyers draft pick has boosted his record to 7-4-2. Tomek now ranks sixth among USHL goaltenders with a 2.37 goals-against average and checks in at eighth with a 91.2% save percentage. He has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last eight appearances.

Cates is Waterloo’s leading scorer this season and added to his point total in each of Waterloo’s three wins last week. Against Omaha, the rebound of his initial chance created Garrett Wait’s game-winning goal; Cates scored himself during the second period. Friday, Cates helped to set up another Waterloo score by Ben Copeland. The Minnesota-Duluth recruit added another goal and assist Sunday as the Hawks topped the Des Moines Buccaneers, 5-2. Cates’ power play goal in the second period tied the score, and an assist on another Copeland goal in the third salted away the result.

With 22 points and 11 goals, the second-year Hawk now paces the squad in both categories. Cates has accumulated at least one point in four consecutive games. The healthy scoring sequence has helped boost him into a tie for tenth in point production league-wide. Cates’ two points Sunday pushed him past his total of 21 recorded in 2016/17.

The Black Hawks seek to extend that four-game winning streak on Friday during another visit to Omaha. Waterloo returns to the friendly confines of Young Arena Saturday (Jan. 6, 2018). They will host the Central Illinois Flying Aces. For tickets, call the Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680 or visit

Partial Contributor: Tim Harwood (Waterloo Black Hawks Media Relations)