WATERLOO — When a team is hot, it is hot.
The Waterloo Warriors are sizzling.
In a game pitting the top two teams in the Midwest High School Hockey League Saturday at Young Arena, it was all Warriors.
Ben Sinnott recorded a hat trick as he scored his league-leading 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st goals, while Chase Pabst extended his unscored upon streak to 205 minutes, 44 seconds as he recorded his fourth consecutive shutout in a 7-0 victory over the Quad City Blues.
“We knew they were going to be tough, but if we could pop the first couple in quickly it would be tough for them,” Sinnott said. “We put the pressure on them, and our defense did a good job of stopping their offense.”
“We’re on a little hot streak,” Pabst added. “It’s a real good feeling.”
Waterloo improved to 21-0-0-1, while the Blues dropped to 17-4-0-0 in the first of two games this weekend between the first- and second-place teams in the MHSHL.
“We played fast right off the bat,” Warriors head coach Brian Cook said. “They came out with a lot of energy, but we matched that and were able to pop the first goal in on a power play. When we pop a goal in early, that gets everybody going.”
For Pabst, it was his 11th shutout of the season, breaking an MHSHL league record that was held by Mason City’s Austin Maginnis (2005-06).
Again, Pabst redirected credit to his defense.
“They’ve given up nine shots, 10 shots and 10 shots in the last three games,” Pabst said. “Giving up 10 shots to a second-place team, that is unheard of. Credit to all my defensemen, they did it in front of me.”
Sinnott’s four goals marked his second four-goal performance in three games and it is the ninth consecutive game he has scored two or more goals. He is on pace to shatter the MHSHL all-time single season goals scored mark. With 10 regular-season games left, Sinnott is averaging 1.95 goals per game, which puts him on pace to score 62. The record is 52 held by the Des Moines Oak Leafs’ Joseph Harcharik in 2005-06.
“I definitely didn’t expect this heading into the season, but I’m glad it is happening and a lot of hard work has went into it,” Sinnott said.
Waterloo wanted to set the tone early and it did when Sinnott scored from the right circle on a power-play with 11:12 left in the first. The Warriors made it 2-0 late in the period when Nick Samuelson sent a backhanded pass from behind the net to Jack Harrison in the slot for a one-timer that found the back of the net.
Samuelson, Sinnott and Ethan Fox had second-period goals, while Sinnott recorded his hat trick just 3:26 into the third and capped his night with a shorthanded goal with 8:01 remaining in the game.
“We got our goal scorers going and when they get confidence it is pretty hard to stop them,” Cook said. “We did a really good job, also, of negating their top two lines, and even on the power play, we did a good job of keeping the puck to the outside.”
The two teams square off again today at 11 a.m.
“We know they are going to come hard,” Sinnott said. “We have to go hard, too, keep the same game plan and if we execute it again it should turn out good.”
Waterloo 7, Quad City 0
SCORE BY PERIODS
Quad City 0 0 0 — 0
Waterloo 2 3 2 — 7
FIRST PERIOD — 1. Waterloo, Ben Sinnott (Carter Herbst), 6:48, 2. Waterloo, Jack Harrison (Nick Samuelson), 15:41. Penalties — Samuel Sturtzer, QC (hooking), 5:18.
SECOND PERIOD — 3. Waterloo, Samuelson (John Harrison), 2:30, 4. Waterloo, Sinnott (Kole Latusick, Carter Herbst), 5:21, 5. Waterloo, Ethan Fox (Brady Buckley), 12:08. Penalties — Kole Latusick, Wat (hooking), 2:42, Ja Harrison, Wat (hookiing), 7:11, Noah Hichborn, QC (roughing), 8:15, Chase Pabst, Wat (roughing), 8:15, Stone Patten, QC (slashing), 9:38, Sinnott, Wat (slashing), 15:06.
THIRD PERIOD — 6. Waterloo, Sinnott (Buckley), 3:26, 7. Waterloo, Sinnott (unassisted), 9:59, sh. Penalties — Buckley, Wat (tripping), 5:59, Samuelson, Wat (roughing), 6:28, Herbst, Wat (tripping), 8:11, Fox, Wat (roughing), 8:51, Keaton Peters, QC (roughing), 8:51, Cobie Morrissey, Wat (roughing), 14:17, Justin Schwallie, QC (cross checking), 14:17, Sturtzer, QC (cross checking), 15:57, Noah Hichborn, QC (tripping), 16:31.
SHOTS ON GOAL
Quad City 1 4 5 — 10
Waterloo 7 16 7 — 30
Goalies — Quad City, Samuel Nelson (23 saves). Waterloo, Chase Pabst 10 saves). Referee — Jason Freeman. Linesmen — Ryan Small and Mitchell Denhartog.
WATERLOO JV 3, QUAD CITY JV 1
Waterloo goals: Christian Heiser 2, John Harrison.