The Waterloo Black Hawks are preparing to face the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL Western Conference Finals. The 'best-of-five' series begins Friday.

The Black Hawks finished just three points back of the the 2016/17 USHL Anderson Cup winning Sioux City Musketeers. Both Waterloo and Sioux City swept their conference semifinal opponents. The Black Hawks eliminated the Fargo Force winning 4-3, 4-1, & 4-0. The Musketeers beat the Des Moines Buccaneers 4-1, 5-0, & 2-1.

Entering the post season, the Black Hawks had the most potent offense scoring the most goals during the regular season (210 goals), the third best power play (21.2%) and the second most short handed goals (11 goals). Kevin Charyszyn lead the team in scoring (30 goals in 52 games), and he was the fourth best goal scorer in the league. During the first round of the playoffs, Waterloo averaged 3.67 goals per game.

The Musketeers ended the regular season with the best defense in the league. Sioux City allowed the fewest goals (125 goals), the third least penalized team (787 minutes), and the fourth best penalty kill (87.3%) when they were forced to skate shorthanded. The leagues top goalie (Matiss Kivlenieks) during the regular season (.932 save percentage, allowed only 1.85 goals per game) and so far during the playoffs (.973 save percentage, allowed only 0.67 goals per game) doesn't hurt either.

Both teams lived up to their regular season hype during the conference semifinals, and this sets up a great match up with one of the most explosive offenses (Waterloo) versus the league's stingiest defense (Sioux City). The winner earns the right to battle for the 2017 USHL Clark Cup Championship.

2017 USHL Clark Cup Playoffs
2017 USHL Clark Cup Playoffs

The Eastern Conference teams have yet to be determined. The Dubuque Fighting Saints eliminated the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and they wait to see who they will play in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Chicago Steel host the Youngstown Phantoms in a decisive game five tonight (April 25).


Western Conference Finals Schedule
Waterloo Black Hawks vs. Sioux City Musketeers

  • Game One – Friday, April 28th, Tyson Events Center, 7:05 PM
  • Game Two – Sunday, April 30th, Tyson Events Center, 4:05 PM
  • Game Three – Friday, May 5th, Young Arena, 7:05 PM
  • Game Four – If necessary…Saturday, May 6th, Young Arena, 7:05 PM
  • Game Five – If necessary…Tuesday, May 9th, Tyson Events Center, 7:05 PM

As per the Waterloo Black Hawks web site, fans who have purchased a Black Hawks playoff package should redeem the “Round B-Game 1” ticket for the game at Young Arena on May 5th. If necessary, the “Round B-Game 2” ticket would be used if the teams meet on May 6th. The “Round B-Game 3” ticket should be discarded.

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