For the second time in his brief USHL career, goaltender Drew Hotte’s late appearance made the difference, and the Waterloo Black Hawks nipped the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 4-3 in a shootout, Thursday at Young Arena.

Hotte entered the game in relief of injured Cale Morris at the beginning of overtime and stopped nine shots in seven minutes. In the shootout which followed, he denied three Cedar Rapids opportunities, making Ronnie Hein’s first round conversion stand up for the victory.

To the delight of Waterloo’s largest home crowd of the season, Hein had forced the overtime with a late third period goal. Just 5:17 remained when the Black Hawks’ captain batted the rebound of Michael Davies’ initial shot out of the air and into the net. That goal erased a 3-2 RoughRider lead created when Sam Sternschein scored on a rebound at 6:12.

In the first period, the RoughRiders potted the only goal at 13:53.  Defenseman Ben Foley joined a rush up the rink, centering a pass from the left wing circle which Ross Colton deflected into the net on one touch.

Waterloo outshot the RoughRiders 13-3 during the second period, and the effort paid off as the frame ended with a 2-2 score. The Hawks tied the game when David Cotton cashed in on a power play rebound at 1:57. Less than two minutes later, Hugh McGing slipped behind the Waterloo defense and flipped a shot past Morris’ stick side to complete a partial breakaway. However, Brandon Schultz tied it again with 3:12 to go before intermission; camped at the side of the goal, Schultz slammed the puck into an open side when it slipped his direction across the crease.

After finishing calendar year 2015 on home ice, the Hawks open 2016 on the road against the Fargo Force Saturday. The next Hawks home games are on January 8th and 9th against the Tri-City Storm.