The Black Hawks annual weekend honoring those who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces was a huge success, in more ways than one. The team wore special patriotic/military-themed jerseys saluting active military personnel and veterans. The jerseys were auctioned off Saturday night, raising thousands of dollars for the Miehe Veterans Transitional Home in Waterloo, which offers accommodations for servicemen in need. Plus, the hockey sweaters brought some "good luck" to the team with two excellent wins over Lincoln and Tri-City.

According to a team game re-cap, the Black Hawks never trailed on the way to a convincing 5-2 home ice victory over the Tri-City Storm at Young Arena. I guess you could call it the "calm before the storm" that we got on Monday, as the Black Hawks went ahead on the game’s first shot on goal. Max Sasson fired a shot past goalie Todd Scott just 36 seconds into the game. In the 2nd period, the Black Hawks were limited to eight shots but scored on three of them. One minute into the period, Alex Gaffney fired a low shot past Scott’s glove. Thirty second later, Ryan O’Hara slipped the puck between Scott’s pads on a partial breakaway. Then Sasson scored again when the Tri-City defenseman fell down giving Sasson an open look to slip in a wrister from the right hashmark. In the 3rd period, Michael LaStarza blasted in a power play goal on a setup by Ethan Szmagaj. Waterloo goalie Emmett Croteau picked up his 2nd win of the weekend by making 28 saves.

Tommy Hawk models the Black Hawks 2021 Veteran's tribute jersey - Photo by: Townsquare Media - Shawn McKenna
Tommy Hawk models the Black Hawks 2021 Veteran's tribute jersey - Photo by: Townsquare Media - Shawn McKenna

Speaking of Emmett Croteau, he finished with 34 saves, a personal best during his time as a Black Hawk, during a 6-2 victory Saturday night in Party Town. Croteau’s effort during an early Lincoln power play, snagging eight saves, kept the game scoreless until Dane Montgomery could finally find the net later in the period. Jacob Jeannette added two more goals before the period was over, follow-up chance to his back-handed wraparound. Later in the period, Jeannette scored again punching one in the top corner. Matt Argentina delivered a blow to the visitors’ comeback ambitions just 35 seconds out of intermission, sticking in a rebound off a Max Sasson shot that bounced off the post. Then the Black Hawks poured it on with two more insurance goals from Mason Reiners and Ryan O’Hara.

On Friday night, Waterloo didn't fare so well. The Lincoln Stars produced their second-highest scoring night of the season in beating the Black Hawks 7-3 at the Ice Box in Lincoln. Waterloo had goals from Dane Montgomery, Michael LaStarza, and Max Sasson. Waterloo's Charlie Glockner struggled in the crease saving 26 of 33 shots.

On Thursday, Waterloo starts their second of four straight three-game weekends. As the Black Hawks and Storm meet again on Thursday in Kearney, Nebraska, to conclude their six-game regular season series. Followed by match-ups at Lincoln on Friday and at Des Moines on Saturday.

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