WATERLOO, Iowa | The Waterloo Black Hawks can score in a variety of ways.
True, Waterloo is not the high-scoring team that paced the United States Hockey League a year ago with 210 goals. However, the Black Hawks jumped to a 4-0 first-period lead on the way to a 6-3 win over the Sioux City Musketeers Saturday night at Young Arena.
Waterloo also leads the USHL with 16 shorthanded goals, getting red-lighters of this variety from eight different skaters. Joey Cassetti and Jack Drury were among the latest, scoring shorties about a minute and 45 seconds apart late in the first period.
Drury has a team-high five shorthanded goals for Waterloo (32-14-7), which now has a 71-69 advantage for first place in the Western Conference over Fargo (31-15-7) which was idle Saturday night. Fargo, which will play the Musketeers at 3:05 Sunday afternoon at the Tyson Events Center, posted an 8-2 win over Omaha Friday night.
Sioux City (22-22-7) is now 0-4-1 against Waterloo this season. Coach Luke Strand’s squad may have dug itself an early hole, but after the first period scored the game’s next three goals, including a power-play red-lighter from Sampo Ranta with 11:19 left in the game.
However, former Musketeer Solag Bakich assisted on goals 5 ½ minutes apart in the game’s final 10 minutes for a Waterloo squad that’s 6-0-3 as of late.
Two of Sioux City’s youngest players had scoring success in the second period. Bobby Brink, who had 18 goals and 33 assists while leading Minnetonka to the recent Minnesota Class 2A state championship, scored his first career USHL goal to end Jared Moe’s shutout bid at the 8:02 mark.
Forty-five seconds later, Sammy Walker picked up the first of his two assists on Cole Koepke’s 24th goal of the season. Walker, who was Minnesota’s Associated Press player of the year while recording 33 goals and 41 assists for the Edina squad that reached the Class 2A state semifinals, has scored five goals in a current four-game scoring streak.