Once the Sioux City Musketeers scored their first goal Saturday night, they started to believe they could win.
The Musketeers were trailing 3-0 late in the third period, but Sioux City scored four goals in the final 8 minutes, 16 seconds to come back to defeat the Waterloo Black Hawks 4-3 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.
The four-goal comeback gave the Musketeers their first win of the season, avoiding an 0-3 start.
“It was an emotional game,” Musketeers coach Luke Strand said in a phone interview Sunday. “Their work paid off. There was success to be found in what they were doing. We hadn’t had that success yet, and when it happened, it happened multiple times, that’s a big momentum shift.”
The Musketeers were on a power play midway through the third period, and that’s when Kirklan Irey put the first goal of the night for Sioux City.
The angle that Irey took on the shot was a difficult one, but he got the shot past Waterloo goalkeeper Jack Williams.
Irey also took the puck that bounced off Williams and got the rebound past the Black Hawks goalie.
Justin Hryckowian and Chase Bradley each had an assist on the Irey’s goal, and both picked up their third assist on the season.
“The Irey goal was a big goal for us,” Strand said. “We hadn’t scored a rebound goal in the whole regular season yet. That goal gave us an eye-opener.”
Hryckowian then chipped away at the Musketeers’ deficit, as he scored with 3:37 left to go in the game. Irey, as well as Griffin Ludtke, had assists for their firsts within the first three games.
Sioux City tied the game at 3-3 just 71 seconds later. Bennett Schimek scored his first goal of the season. Nikita Krivokrasov and Daniel Laatsch had the assists on that play.
On that goal, Krivokrasov passed the puck across the ice over to Schmiek, and Schmiek, too, used a wide angle to find the top of the net. It wasn’t too far off from the spot where Irey scored his goal.
“That was an unbelievable play, from Laatsch to Krivo over to Bennett,” Strand said. “We connected the dots, so you have to be happy for those guys.”
The Musketeers capped off the comeback with the game-winner from Brian Carrabes with 1:58 remaining. Carrabes used his speed to get behind the Waterloo defense, and then switched from his backhand to his forehand to get the puck in the net.
The Musketeers entered Saturday needing a win. They were already frustrated, and knew they were playing good hockey. They just needed to put everything together, which was what they did late in the game on Saturday, according to Strand.
“We weren’t doing things we do the right way,” Strand said. “We were trying to get away with things that we weren’t supposed to. The guys found a way. I was just happy the guys responded the way that they did. They were ecstatic, and as a coach, all you can do is sit back and grin.”
The Black Hawks scored their three goals in the first 39:15 of the game. The three Waterloo players who scored were Luke Bast, Max Sasson and Zane Dempsey. All three of them scored their first goals of the season.
Sioux City goalie Alex Tracy took the win. He had 16 saves on 19 shots.
The Musketeers play next weekend on the road against Des Moines. Des Moines has had all its games postponed this season due to COVID-19, and will start the season playing at Wells Fargo Arena.
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