KEARNEY, Neb. – It took a shootout to decide a winner once again at the Viaero Event Center on Saturday night, as the Waterloo Black Hawks (4-1-0) squeaked past the Tri-City Storm (2-1-2) by a final score of 3-2.
Tri-City got goals from forwards Austin Poganski and Thomas Aldworth, while goaltender Jacob Johansson had another outstanding night between the pipes, making 53 saves.
After a scoreless opening period, the Storm were able to survive falling behind twice during the second, as Waterloo took two separate leads during the middle frame.
The Black Hawks wasted no time once they got out of the locker room for the second, scoring just 10 seconds into the new period. After winning the faceoff and moving into the Storm end, Zach Sanford deflected a Mark Friedman shot past Johansson for the first tally of the night.
Waterloo wanted more, taking control of the first few minutes of the period, but Johansson would have none of it and kept the score 1-0.
The Storm were able to tie up the game nine minutes later with a power play strike from Poganski. While on the man advantage, Chase Berger found the forward from St. Paul, Minn. open in front for his first goal of the season. Linemate Chris Wilkie picked up the second assist on the play.
Before the end of the second the Black Hawks retook the lead on a power play goal by Hayden Shaw at 12:36.
Down a goal in the final period, the Storm found what they needed when Aldworth found a loose puck and took off, streaking down the ice. Ahead of the play, he fired a shot past Waterloo netminder Mathias Israelsson to tie the game and give Tri-City some momentum.
Both sides had chances late but neither could break a 2-2 tie and the game headed to a shootout.
Waterloo forward Patrick Russell was the only player who converted in the shootout and he sent the Black Hawks home with a 3-2 victory.
Johansson continued his dominance in his fourth career USHL game, making key saves at important times, but fell just short in the shootout.
The Storm are back at the Viaero Event Center next week for two more home games. The first tilt is on Friday against the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:30 p.m. and the action continues Saturday with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders at 7:05.
Notes: The Storm scratched forwards Robbie Payne, Joey DiBenedetto, Nick Hutchison, Chase McMurphy and defenseman Garrett Cecere.…