The Waterloo Black Hawks split their two-game weekend home series against the Fargo Force at Young Arena, winning 4-3 in a shootout on Friday (Oct. 27, 2018).

Saturday's game also ended 4-3, but the Black Hawk fell short. They rallied from three one-goal deficits, but ran out of time to make another come back.

Ben Meyers scored the goal which was the difference with 1:25 left in regulation.

The Hawks had overcame two one-goal Fargo leads in the opening 20 minutes, send the game to intermission tied 2-2. Just 28 seconds into the action, Tyler Gratton forced a turnover and scored unassisted on a Fargo breakaway. Waterloo responded, moving the puck up the ice less than three minutes later. Austin Swankler clicked with oncoming defenseman Ethan Szmagaj, who roofed a shot from the top of the right circle for his first USHL goal.

The Force took the lead again thanks to an errant shot by Jake Harrison; the puck caromed off the end glass into the opposite circle, finding Ondrej Pavel, who flipped it into an open side. Fargo’s second lead evaporated faster than their first. Wyatt Schingoethe’s first USHL goal on a drop pass by Swankler tied it just 94 seconds later.

Fargo found the net for a second period lead thanks to their first shorthanded goal of the season. A.J. Drobot capped a two-on-one-rush triggered by Hank Crone’s setup. That go-ahead score came at 11:59, but with just 0.4 seconds remaining in the second, Waterloo tied it again. Ryan Drkulec jammed the puck from behind the net to the post left of Ryan Bischel. Drkulec stuck with the play and stuffed in a shot to even the count in the nick of time before intermission.

One-goal leads also didn’t last too long Friday.

Matej Blumel converted Waterloo’s first shootout try to ultimately settle the back-and-forth contest. Blumel flicked the puck past the glove of Ryan Bischel after cutting across the slot from left to right. Jared Moe stopped three Fargo attempts at the other end of the ice to make Blumel’s tally stand up.

The USHL’s top two power play teams showed it during the first period, but the opening goal of the game was at even strength at 10:19. Fargo’s Ben Meyer’s scored that from the top of the left circle just a moment after a faceoff win by Josh Nodler.

Puck movement through the left circle keyed the equalizer for Blumel minutes later during Waterloo’s first power play. Joe Cassetti connected with Blumel, and he fired it inside the post to Bischel’s left. The Force were just as successful with lateral puck movement during their first power play two minutes later. Ryan O’Reilly was the beneficiary of a pass from Hank Crone, which he was able to blast in from the left dot.

However, Waterloo struck again with 13.3 seconds showing before intermission. Austin Swankler was near the front of the net and tipped in Hank Sorensen’s try from the deep slot.

The teams exchanged goals again in the second, with the Hawks taking the lead for the first time at 4:35. Blumel followed his initial shot from the slot, jabbing in the rebound from just outside the crease for his second score of the night. Following the pattern of the first, Fargo answered a little more the two minutes later, when Tyler Gratton capitalized from close range off a setup from behind the Waterloo net.

Waterloo goes on the road Tuesday night for its fifth consecutive game against an opponent from the Western Conference. The game at Tyson Events Center will be the Hawks’ second against the Sioux City Musketeers during the sequence.

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