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Hawks Fall One Game Short

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
John Lee (Courtesy Waterloo Winter Hawks)
There will be no ticker tape parade for the Waterloo Black Hawks.

With a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series over the Omaha Lancers, the Black Hawks couldn’t get that one win they needed in either Game 4 (2-0 loss) or Game 5 (4-3 in overtime).

Going back to Friday nights game, Waterloo had it all. They had the 2-1 lead in the series and they had home-ice advantage. The fans wanted them to win the Clark Cup championship in front of them.

Unfortunately they couldn’t solve either Barry Almeida or Drew Palmisano. Almeida netted both goals for Omaha while Palmisano stopped all 35 Waterloo shots.

Almeida scored the game-winner with 6:09 left in the first and then added the insurance goal 1:46 into the second. Palmisano made those two goals stand up as he stopped 11 shots in the first, 12 in the second and 12 in the third.

Omaha once again held the 1-0 lead after one period of play on Saturday as Jake Hauswirth with 2:41 left in the period.

Waterloo had an answer this time for the Lancers as they scored twice in the second to hold the 2-1 lead going into the final period of play. Brett Olson scored on a Black Hawk power play 6:47 in to tie it and Jan-Mikael Juutilainen scored with 3:36 to give them the lead.

In a back-and-forth game, Omaha took the lead again as Ben Arnt scored 3:58 in to tie it and Patrick Wiercioch scored with Omaha having an extra attacker with 9:26 remaining. Waterloo’s Chad Billins tied it at three with 7:14 remaining.

In overtime, it was one of the heroes from Game 4 that ended the Black Hawks season one-game short of the championship as Almeida scored 6:08 in, scoring on the Lancers fourth shot of the extra session. Palmisano made 32 saves on the night including four in the overtime period.

John Lee had a two-minute hooking call with 5:18 remaining in the game on Friday and two-minute tripping call 13:18 into the game on Saturday along with a -3 rating.

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So there will be a Game 7 after all.

When the series first started, everyone thought the Kitchener-Belleville would be a seven-game series. And after the first three games, it didn’t look that way as Kitchener won each contest decisively. But Belleville fought tooth-and-nail all the way back and with their 6-3 Saturday night, they forced Game 7 back in Kitchener on Monday.

Kitchener would score first in the contest as Justin Azevedo netted his ninth with 7:03 remaining in the first period. Belleville would take the lead heading into intermission however as Cory Tanaka scored with 4:35 remaining and Nigel Williams made it 2-1 with 2:07 left.

Belleville then opened it up to a two-goal lead as Eric Tangradi scored just 1:05 into the period.

Down 3-1, Kitchener fought back and tied it before the intermission as Justin Azevedo scored his second of the game 6:15 in on the power play and Alex Dzielski also scored on the power play as Mike Duco set him up with 2:05 remaining.

It wasn’t Kitchener’s night however as Belleville would score three times in the final period, making a close game a blowout. Matt Beleskey scored the game-winner 1:22 into the period as a Kitchener penalty cost the Rangers. Adam Perry added an insurance goal with 5:06 remaining and Beleskey added the empy net goal with 1:11.

Duco finished the night with the assist and was a -3.

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