WATERLOO — It would be hard to script a more damaging start to a hockey game than what the Waterloo Black Hawks endured Saturday night at Young Arena.
The Black Hawks entered the contest coming off a huge road win at Dubuque Friday night, 3-2, and hosted the Fighting Saints, trying to change the series outcome where the visiting team has been victorious in the last three outings.
Nothing has changed.
The Fighting Saints used a fast break 10 minutes to outscore the home team 4-0, then cruised to a 8-2 victory in USHL action.
The visitors wasted little time to flex their muscle as they took advantage of an early power play.
Riese Gaber popped the net a minute into the man advantage, then Dylan Jackson registered another power play tally seven minutes later for a 3-0 lead.
Reggie Millette sandwiched an even strength goal between the two Black Hawks penalty kills.
Dubuque came into the game ranked second in the USHL in power play goals.
To add insult to injury the Saints were awarded a penalty shot late in the first, which Jackson turned into a point, and the Black Hawks were in a deep 4-0 hole.
“We weren’t ready to go, that’s all there is to it,” said Black Hawks coach P.K. O’Handley. “Our special teams were horrific and we lost this game in every which way you can. We did a lot of bad things and we had a bone headed play to give up the fifth goal, it just was horrific. We need to let this soak in a bit and then just turn the page and move on.”
Nothing worked well for the Hawks throughout the opening frame, as they failed to convert on a two-on-one break, where the shot sailed high and wide of the net with 1:20 remaining.
The time between the periods proved helpful to the Hawks as they came out in the second frame with a little more fire.
Ryder Rolston began the short rally grabbing the puck from Joey Cassetti from a faceoff, and quickly slammed it home knocking the goose egg off the scoreboard.
Ten minutes later, Ryan Drkulec found the back of the net cutting the deficit to 4-2.
“I felt 100 percent that we got the momentum, when we got the first goal back,” said Rolston, who will be going to Notre Dame. “I think everybody thought we had momentum on our side and we picked up another one to cut it to 4-2. Unfortunately we gave up that late fifth goal and that just changed everything.” It was Ralston’s 13th goal of the season, and he leads the Black Hawks in that category.
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With a little momentum riding the Waterloo bench, Matthew Kopperud was successful on a three-on-two break for the Saints, scoring with 28 seconds left to take away the Hawks edge.
The Saints (20-6-1-0) put the icing on the cake in the final frame with a pair of goals one minute apart, and a final digit with under a minute to play.
“We cannot dwell on this at all,” said Rolston. “Obviously things went bad fast for us and we can take a little from this tomorrow and then we have to concentrate on next week and play a lot better. We know what we are capable of and we have to get back to what we know.”
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Dubuque 8,, Waterloo 2
SCORE BY PERIODS
Dubuque 4 1 3 — 8
Waterloo 0 2 0 — 2
FIRST PERIOD — 1. Dubuque, Riese Gaber (Stephen Halliday, Mark Cheremeta) 1:12, pp, 2. Dubuque, Reggie Millette (Luke Robinson, Thomas Middleton) 7:29, 3. Dubuque, Dylan Jackson (Braden Doyle, Ty Jackson) 8:39pp, 4. Dubuque, Jackson (unassisted) 16:36 penalty shot. Penalties—Kyle Haskins, Wat. (tripping) :18, Wyatt Schingoethe, Wat. (high sticking) 8:02, Robinson, Dub. (tripping) 8:55.
SECOND PERIOD — 5. Waterloo, Ryder Rolston (Joey Cassetti) 3:47, 6. Waterloo, Ryan Drkulec (unassisted) 13:53, 7. Dubuque, Matthew Kopperud (Ben Schultheis) 19:32. Penalties—Evan Stella, Dub. (kneeing) 7:27, Millette, Dub. (slashing) 7:47, Griffin Ness, Wat. (roughing) 11:40.
THIRD PERIOD — 8. Dubuque, Cheremeta (Schultheis, Gaber) 13:39, 9. Dubuque, Ryan Beck (Jackson) 14:21, 10. Dubuque, Gaber (Ian Pierce, Cheremeta) 19:03. Penalties—Aidan Fulp, Dub. (slashing) 7:58, Haskins, Wat. (roughing) 16:57.