WATERLOO — Playing against the Fargo Force has been a 60-minute chore this season for the Waterloo Black Hawks.
Friday night the Hawks (28-9-2-0) had to work a little overtime to come away with an exciting 2-1 win, but Saturday night, the Black Hawks wanted to end it quickly.
After a scoreless first period, the Hawks went to work early in the second frame as they scored three goals in the first seven minutes, then cruised to a 5-2 USHL victory.
“This was a good game by two good teams and we were fortunate enough to win them both,” said head coach P.K. O’Handley. “We expected more of the same from them as we got last night, but we got those three goals and that gave us a needed lead. Without those three goals it could have been the same game as last night.”
Waterloo began the second with a power play opportunity and Ryan Drkulec made it count, with a shot from the top of the circle that squeezed beyond Force goalie Cole Brady.
Just moments later, Ryder Rolston connected on his 15th goal of the season as he skated parallel to the crease and let fly a shot that went behind Brady’s back and struck the far post, trickling in for a 2-0 home town lead.
Holding their slim edge, Waterloo needed some big defensive plays to thwart several Force chances midway through the period.
Black Hawks net minder, Gabe Carriere, brought the Young Arena fans to their feet as he stuffed a three-on-one break in Fargo’s favor, keeping the score at 2-nil.
Carriere performed another miracle save at the four minute mark as he buried a shot while laying on his back, once again denying a threat to score.
“I felt good tonight and I knew if I kept my head in the game the whole night, my defense would be there,” said Carriere. “Once I got the first block of the game I settled in and that great defense in front of me made some great stops. After they (Force) did get that first score I just did not want them to get another and grab the momentum. In this game you can not get too high or too low, and just keep working hard the whole game.”
Griffin Ness padded the Hawks advantage (3-0) with a blast that rattled the post at the seven minute mark, but Fargo answered with a score from Mason Salquist moments later.
Waterloo quickly answered back as Luke Bast skated unattended down the middle and parked Kyle Haskins pass top shelf over Brady’s glove side for 4-1 edge.
“We are playing good right now but we have to keep it going,” said Carriere. “You can get on a roll but you can never relax or you will lose it. We are going to keep working hard and go one game at a time.”
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Patrick Guzzo added a little insurance for the Black Hawks as he beat Brady with a back hand shot that got over the glove.
“There wasn’t really a lot of room out there tonight,” said O’Handley. “That was a good hockey game and these two teams seem to bring the best out of each other. We picked up four points this weekend against Fargo and we have to keep going forward.”
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Waterloo 5, Fargo 2
SCORE BY PERIODS
Fargo 0 1 1 — 2
Waterloo 0 4 1 — 5
FIRST PERIOD — No scoring. Penalties—Luke Bast, Wat. (cross checking) 3:03, Ryan Drkulec, Wat. (tripping) 10:22, Brian Kramer, Fargo (slashing) 11:35, Cedric Fiedler, Fargo (cross checking) 19:23.
SECOND PERIOD — 1. Waterloo, Drkulec (Griffin Ness, Bast) :19pp, 2. Waterloo, Ryder Rolston (Joey Cassetti, Aaron Bohlinger) 2:47, 3. Waterloo, Ness (Wyatt Schingoethe, Dane Montgomery) 7:47, 4. Fargo, Mason Salquist (Oliver MacDonald, Lynden Breen) 17:25pp, 5. Waterloo, Bast (Ness, Kyle Haskins) 18:14. Penalties—Fiedler, Fargo (interference) :35, Austin Crossley, Fargo (cross checking) 4:13, Xander Lamppa, Wat. (interference) 4:13, Bohlinger, Wat. (tripping) 12:35, Lamppa, Wat. (slashing) 16:21, Belpedio, Wat. (hooking) 18:56.
THIRD PERIOD — 6. Waterloo, Patrick Guzzo (Ness, Bohlinger) 6:29, 7. Fargo, MacDonald (Salquist, Beck) 16:27. Penalties—Ness, Wat. (slashing) 3:52, Lamppa, Wat. (cross checking) 8:49, John Waldron, Wat. (tripping) 11:44, Noah Beck, Fargo (slashing) 12:00, Carter Randklev, Fargo (cross checking) 13:48, Drkulec, Wat. (roughing) .
SHOTS ON GOAL
Fargo 12 11 12 — 35
Waterloo 11 9 4 — 24
Goaltenders — Fargo, Cole Brady (19 saves), Waterloo, Gabriel Carriere (33 saves). Officials—Referees, Nolan Bloyer, Justin Kea. Linesmen,Matthew Bleck, Sam Rankin. Att. — 3,138.