WATERLOO – Waterloo spent the majority of Saturday night’s instant rematch with Des Moines in a familiar frontrunning position. Everyone contributed.
Six different forwards tallied goals as the Black Hawks completed a weekend sweep over the Buccaneers with a 6-2 victory in front of a Young Arena crowd of 2,482.
“I think our depth is starting to show a little bit,” Waterloo head coach P.K. O’Handley said. “We’re doing more and more of the right things.”
Western Conference leader Waterloo (20-5-1-0) picked up its fourth consecutive victory and iced a Des Moines team (12-12-1-2) that had entered the weekend with three consecutive wins. The Black Hawks never trailed on this night, finding a variety of ways to get the puck past Des Moines goalie Cameron Rowe.
Ryder Rolston dished a two-on-one pass to Kyle Haskins to complete a breakaway chance after the Black Hawks won a faceoff in their own zone for a first-period lead that was never surrendered. Rolston later scored on a one-timer from Wyatt Schingoethe in the third period.
Xander Lamppa and Griffin Ness each cleaned up rebound opportunities for Waterloo over the first two frames. In the second period, Waterloo worked to retain lengthy possession in the Des Moines zone before Ryan Drkulec connected with Patrick Guzzo off an end board pass for a goal.
“The puck management was really good,” O’Handley said. “We talk a lot about that. One shot can get you two or three, and I thought tonight was a pretty good show of that.”
Joey Cassetti then scored his third goal in two games since rejoining the Black Hawks when he finished off a solo breakaway chance.
“He’s such a big body and he’s strong and understands how we want to play, just by being here,” O’Handley said of the veteran who turned to Waterloo for a third season after a semester at Merrimack College. “He provides some instant leadership. He’s happy to be here and I think the group is happy to have him. It’s good for us.”
Defensively, Waterloo goalie Logan Stein won his first start since Nov. 30 after a stint with Team USA by turning back 31 of 33 Des Moines shots for his fifth consecutive USHL victory.
“He had a long break and maybe wasn’t as sharp as normal in the beginning, but he got good as it went,” O’Handley said.
A Waterloo team that leads the USHL in penalty kill conversions denied all four Des Moines power-play opportunities.
“Our penalty kill has been good, and needs to continue to be good,” O’Handley noted. “It starts with the goalie.”
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Waterloo 6, Des Moines 2
SCORE BY PERIODS
Des Moines 1 1 0 – 2
Waterloo 2 3 1 – 6
FIRST PERIOD – 1. Waterloo, Xander Lamppa (Patrick Guzzo, Ryan Drkulec), 6:07, 2. Des Moines, Noah Ellis (Mason Nevers, Matt Choupain), 10:26, 3. Waterloo, Kyle Haskins (Ryder Rolston, Aaron Boliwnger), 15:16. Penalties – Frederick Paine-DM (roughing), 1:33, Xander Lamppa-Wat. (roughing), 1:33, Jacob Jeannette-Wat. (hooking) 15:58.
SECOND PERIOD – 4. Waterloo, Guzzo (Drkulec, Lamppa), 5:33, 5. Des Moines, Kristof Papp (Alex Laferriere, Paine), 8:45, 6. Waterloo, Joey Cassetti (Matt Argentina, Ethan Szmagaj) 16:25, 7. Waterloo, Griffin Ness (Aaron Bohlinger, Ondrej Psenicka), 17:04. Penalties – Caponi-Wat. (elbowing) 6:35, Ellis-DM (interference) 9:40, Michael Mancinelli-DM (hooking) 9:44, Drkulec-Wat. (hooking) 9:48, Haskins-Wat. (head contact) 19:15.
THIRD PERIOD – 8. Waterloo, Rolston (Wyatt Schingoethe, Lamppa), 8:45. Penalties – Schingoethe-Wat. (hooking) 6:24.
SHOTS ON GOAL
Des Moines 12 14 7 – 33
Waterloo 14 23 10 – 47
Power plays – Des Moines 0-for-4. Waterloo 0-for-1.