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USHL hockey: Black Hawks close year with solid win over Des Moines
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USHL hockey: Black Hawks close year with solid win over Des Moines


WATERLOO – The effort and grit on both sides Thursday was not much different than it was 24 hours earlier.

Two early goals and some sensational saves at key moments by goalie Charlie Glockner helped the Waterloo Black Hawks close out the 2020 portion of their United States Hockey League schedule on a bright note with a 3-1 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers at Young Arena.

Waterloo had dropped a 3-2 decision Wednesday to the Buccaneers in Des Moines in a game head coach P.K. O’Handley felt his team played well enough to win.

“It was eerily similar to yesterday’s game with the way both teams played,” O’Handley said. “It was a hard-fought game. We were fortunate to get off to a good start and score early, but it was pretty even all the way through.

“You had two teams that played hard and played structurally sound. They were good hockey games, both of them.”

Rookie Michael LaStarza scored 43 seconds into the game to settle the Black Hawks in and Waterloo led 2-0 after one period. Ethan Szmagaj and David Gucciardi also scored for the Black Hawks, and Glockner had 24 saves.

“It is a stop here and a stop there and I’m not just talking about the goalie,” O’Handley said. “It is breaking up plays on the forecheck. I thought our forecheck was a lot better. I thought our back pressure was a lot better and I thought Charlie was exceptional when he had to be.”

LaStarza scored on a nifty back-handed shot that slipped between the pipes and Des Moines goalie Remington Keopple.

With 9:09 left in the first, defensemen Ethan Szmagaj pinched in and scored on assists from Ryan O’Hara and Wyatt Schingoethe.

Des Moines was stymied until 12:51 was left in the third when Tanner Latsch finally pushed one past Glockner. But Gucciardi scored his first goal as a Black Hawk with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left to seal it.

“We were upset about yesterday’s game,” said forward Wyatt Schingoethe, who had a pair of assists in the game. “This segment we really wanted to go 4-0 and what happened last night we felt we should’ve won that game so we wanted to come out strong tonight.

“Scoring in the first minute kind of gets the nerves out of the way after losing the game the way we did yesterday. Got us to playing the way we had been before that and a score like that really got us back going strong.”

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The victory saw Waterloo with its fourth win in its last five games to improve to 5-7-0 overall.

“It has been a crazy year, but we’ve had a pretty good start after Christmas,” O’Handley said. “I think there is pretty good resolve in the room to keep it going and to improve every day.

‘That is what I’m pleased with. I think the growth from three weeks ago to now is visible, measureable and they want to keep doing it.”

Waterloo 3, Des Moines 1


Des Moines 0 0 1 — 1

Waterloo 2 0 1 — 3

FIRST PERIOD – 1. Waterloo, Michael LaStarza (Wyatt Schingoethe, John Waldron), :43, 2. Waterloo, Ethan Szmagaj (Ryan O’Hara, Schingoethe), 10:51. Penalties – Teddy Lagerback, Wat (tripping), 9:15, Zach Faremouth, DM (goalie interference), 9:25.

SECOND PERIOD – No scoring. Penalties – Josh Luedtke, DM (Interference), 3:11.

THIRD PERIOD – 3. Des Moines, Tanner Latsch (Tiernan Shoudy, Matt Coupani), 7:09, 4. Waterloo, David Gucciardi (Mason Reiners, Max Sasson), 17:50. Penalties – Sam Renlund, DM (roughing), 4:32, Szmagaj, Wat (roughing), 4:32, Matt Argentina, Wat (slashing), 8:25, Zach Faremouth, DM (tripping), 12:36.


Des Moines 8 7 10 — 25

Waterloo 11 9 010 — 30

Goalies – Des Moines, Remington Keopple (27 Saves). Waterloo, Charlie Glockner (24 Saves).

Referees – Rocco Stachowiak and Tyler Hascall. Linesmen – Cameron McCambridge and Aaron McCrary.


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Sports Reporter

I’m a Waterloo native who has covered Cedar Valley sports for more than 30 years for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. I’m also a big Cincinnati Reds fan … Go Big Red Machine!

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