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Black Hawks’ Season Comes to End in Sioux City

2017 USHL Clark Cup Playoffs
2017 USHL Clark Cup Playoffs

The Waterloo Black Hawks’ season concludes for a second year with an unfavorable winner-take-all result in the Western Conference Final Series.

Multiple goals in each period propelled the Sioux City Musketeers to an 8-3 win against the Waterloo Black Hawks Tuesday during Game Five of the United States Hockey League’s Western Conference Final Series.

Sioux City will now face the the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League 2017 Clark Cup Finals. The ‘best-of-five’ series begins this weekend in Sioux City.

The Musketeers struck 4:59 into the game when Tarek Baker dashed to the rebound of Jackson Keane’s shot and flipped it in from the top of the crease. Sioux City later added two more goals within a three minute span, building the margin on a blast from the right circle at 13:21. Micah Miller then weaved up 150 feet of ice to score on a backhander with 3:40 remaining before intermission.

A high-scoring second period turned out to be a wash. Phil Knies cut to the net out of the left corner and knocked in a backhander at 2:16. Then Kristian Pospisil rifled a shot in off the post in transition at 12:07 to make the lead 5-0.

Waterloo’s rally began during a power play at 16:52. Bailey Conger eluded defenders on his way to the top of the crease, where he lifted a shot over Matiss Kivlenieks. Just 35 seconds later, Conger set up Grant Gabriele at the top of the right circle; after hesitating, the Waterloo defenseman snapped a shot inside the wide-side post.

The comeback crested 1:51 into the third period. Ben Copeland stole Kivlenieks’ attempt to wrap the puck around the boards and lifted a sharp-angled shot into the net as the Musketeer goalie scrambled back to the crease.

However, Sioux City undid the Hawks’ efforts as the period continued. Just after a Sioux City power play ended, the Musketeers added to their margin when Odeen Tufto received a backdoor pass and swatted it past the post at Peter Thome’s right. Brian Rigali came up the ice to score shorthanded at 15:36. Eeli Tolvanen added one final score into an empty net at 16:54.

Contributed By: Waterloo Black Hawks (Tim Harwood)

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