Waterloo's lead in the USHL's Western Conference got a little more narrow over the weekend, but they're still firmly in 1st place with a record of 29-11-2 and 60 points, seven points ahead of 2nd place Omaha with 53 points.

SATURDAY NIGHT IN CEDAR RAPIDS
The Black Hawks defeated the RoughRiders for the fifth time this season with Saturday’s 4-3 win at the "Stable" in Cedar Rapids.

The victory assures Waterloo an edge in series points, boosting the Black Hawks’ record against the RoughRiders to 5-2-0 in 2019/20. It’s the fourth consecutive year Waterloo has come out on top from the head-to-head slate. The teams will meet one more time during the current schedule when Cedar Rapids visits Young Arena on March 27th.

The Black Hawks had goals by Keighan Gerrie, Griffin Ness, Joe Cassetti, and Dane Montgomery. Gabriel Carriere denied two RoughRider breakaway attempts in the closing minutes to preserve the win, first stopping Yegor Klavdiev with a left pad save, then pushing aside Robert Dzugan’s chance with his blocker a few shifts later. With 23 saves, Carriere earned his 17th win of the season.

FRIDAY NIGHT AT YOUNG ARENA
A determined Cedar Rapids effort to limit the quality of the Black Hawks’ chances carried the visiting club to a 5-2 win at Young Arena on Friday.

Sixteen-year-old goaltender Andrew Pichora made his first United States Hockey League start for Cedar Rapids. He stopped 32 of 34 Black Hawks shots but rarely was called on to make a spectacular save. The RoughRiders played swarming defense in their own zone.

In the 2nd period, Waterloo appeared to be on the verge of flipping momentum. Xander Lamppa blasted in a five-on-three power play goal just 11 second into the advantage. However, an offsetting penalty moments later erased the remaining power play time and sent the Hawks into a tailspin. Skating four-on-four at 15:06, Waterloo’s skaters got caught on the wrong side of the ice. Even though they were all in the neutral zone, the result was ultimately a breakaway for Bennett Zmolek from his own blue line, and the RoughRider defender slipped his low shot past Gabriel Carriere’s left skate. Cedar Rapids added a power play goal at 17:56 on a wraparound by Zach Faremouth. They extended the lead to 5-1 at 4:23 of the third when T.J. Schweighardt scored on a shot through traffic from the right point. Waterloo’s Jacob Jeannette tacked on the game’s final goal less than two minutes later, banking the puck in from behind the net off of Pichora.