WATERLOO — Jackson Cates may owe Ben Finkelstein a steak dinner. Or it could be Finkelstein who owes Cates.
Both Cates and Finkelstein had phenomenal nights Saturday as the Waterloo Black Hawks routed the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 7-3, in United States Hockey League action at Young Arena.
Cates registered a hat trick and added two assists to boot, while Finkelstein, playing in just his third game with Waterloo, had a goal and four assists — two on Cates goals — as the Black Hawks (20-11-1-1) matched their season-high in goals.
“Obviously, Jackson is a great player and makes it pretty easy to distribute to,” Finkelstein said. “We were moving the puck well, finding the seams and making it count.”
Cates opened the scoring with the first of three Waterloo power-play goals 7 minutes, 29 seconds into the first period. Then with 5:50 left, Finkelstein made a brilliant pass to Cates for a one-timer that made it 2-0.
“That was a good combo tonight,” O’Handley said of Cates and Finkelstein. “The scheme Shane (Fukushima) put together on the power play and the way the guys executed on the power play was excellent.”
After the RoughRiders cut their deficit to 2-1 with 3:28 left, Jack Drury pumped home his 11th goal of the season, a power-play goal with Cates and Finkelstein assisting with 1:32 left in the first.
“Great defenseman. Good puck mover. Has a high hockey IQ and sees the ice really well,” Cates said of Finkelstein. “
“He’s a good player. We were desperately in need of a power-play defenseman and I think he is feeling more and more comfortable every game,” O’Handley added.
Waterloo scored four more times in the second with Finkelstein scoring 3:12 in, and Cates finishing off his hat trick on a shot he buried into the roof with 10:42 left. Garrett Wait and Evan Dougherty also had second-period goals
It is the second time this month Waterloo has scored seven or more goals in a game. The Black Hawks topped Central Illinois, 7-2, on Jan. 6.
“We talked a lot about playing the right way this week, and I thought we played the right way,” O’Handley added.
Waterloo returns to action today at 3 p.m. against Sioux Falls.
Waterloo 7, Cedar Rapids 3
SCORE BY PERIODS
Cedar Rapids 1 2 0 — 3
Waterloo 3 4 0 —7
FIRST PERIOD — 1. Waterloo, Jackson Cates (Ben Finkelstein, Jack Drury), 7:29, pp, 2. Waterloo, Cates (Finkelstein, Michael Ferrandino), 14:10, 3. Cedar Rapids, Tyler Jubenvill (Roman Ahcan), 16:32, 4. Waterloo, Drury (Finkelstein, Cates), 18:28, pp. Penalties — Evan Dougherty, Wat (cross checking), 4:58, TJ Walsh, CR (high sticking), 6:34, Nick Granowicz, CR (head contact), 6:34, Solag Bakich, Wat (hooking), 7:50, Walsh, CR (tripping), 18:00.
SECOND PERIOD — 5. Waterloo, Finkelstein (Sam Huff, Matej Blumel), 3:12, 6. Cedar Rapids, Liam Walsh (Kevin Lombardi, Ikya Sushko), 8:23, pp, 7. Waterloo, Cates (Peter Tabor), 9:18, 8. Waterloo, Garett Wait (Cates, Finkelstein), 10:36, 9. Graham Slaggert, CR (Nathan Smith, Jason Polin), 19:01, pp. 10. Waterloo, Dougherty (Bakich), 19:30. Penalties — Dougherty, Wat (roughing), 6:27, Matt Denman, CR (tripping), 9:50, Joey Cassetti, Wat (fighting), 14:29, Lombardi, CR (fighting), 14:29, Niko Esposito-Selivanov, Wat (double minor roughing, game misconduct), 18:16, Harry Roy, CR (roughing), 18:16.
THIRD PERIOD — No scoring. Penalties — Bench, CR (too many men), 5:14, Dalton Messina, CR (tripping), 14:00, Huff, Wat (triping), 18:08.
SHOTS ON GOAL
Cedar Rapids 8 7 4 — 19
Waterloo 14 16 6 — 36
Goalies — Cedar Rapids, Blake Pietila (28 shots, 22 saves). Jiri Patera (8 shots, 4 saves). Waterloo, Jared Moe (16 saves). Referee — Ian Jendro. Linesmen — Tony Aronson, Greg Offerman.