A Waterloo Black Hawks goal within the first minute helped lead to a 6-1 win over U.S. National Team Development Program (Under-17s).

The Hawks now share the conference lead with the Omaha Lancers.

Waterloo scored early and late in the opening 20 minutes to pull to a 2-0 lead. Garrett Wait forced a turnover on the first shift of the game. The chance he set up for Ben Copeland deflected over the net, but Copeland got back to the puck, returned it to Wait, and the third-year veteran who had created the initial turnover fired his shot under the bar.

Jack Drury scored on a similar shot at 18:29. Bobby Trivigno was tenacious behind the net while Waterloo was shorthanded. Trivigno’s all-out lunge knocked the puck to Drury, who picked the top corner for his fourth shorthanded goal of the season.

The Hawks added two more goals in the second period. Copeland’s stretch pass at 8:03 clicked with Jackson Cates near the NTDP blueline. Cates controlled the puck while under pressure from a defender and slipped a low shot past Cameron Rowe.

Two-and-a-half minutes later, the Hawks cashed in on a power play, with Ben Finkelstein firing a shot to the twine from the right point. Waterloo outshot the U-17s 20-3 in the period; the first shot on goal for the visitors did not happen until Alex Vlasic had a look during a power play with 48.3 seconds left before intermission.

Ryder Rolston stuffed in the only goal for the visitors at 9:16 of the third, capitalizing on a rebound. It was only a momentary step backwards for the Hawks, who answered during a power play at 11:01. Wait swiped an attempt to rim the puck around the boards, setting up a Copeland tally from close range. Sam Huff added a final marker off a rebound shortly after a power play had ended at 18:34.

Matej Tomek picked up the win in net with 17 saves.

Omaha fell in a shootout Friday, 3-2 against the Lincoln Stars, allowing the Hawks to make up a one-point deficit.

Waterloo hosts the U.S. National Team Development Program (Under-17s) for an instant rematch Saturday. The Black Hawks Family 4 Pack is available for the contest; families looking for some fun on St. Patrick’s Day are encouraged to come out and cheer on P.K. O’Handley’s Black Hawks. For tickets, call the Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.

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