Zach Stepan notched the first hat trick by a Waterloo Black Hawk this season, including the game-winning goal Thursday, helping the Hawks to a 4-3 Young Arena victory in the traditional holiday matchup against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Cedar Rapids and Waterloo traded goals in the first period. The RoughRiders struck first; Ian Brady's shot clanked off the post and sprang to Andrew Poturalski for a put back at 4:35. A long shot resulted in a Black Hawk goal three-and-a-half minutes later. Victor Newell's chance
from the left point hit a RoughRider, went to the ice, sprang back up, and was tipped over the shoulder of Chad Catt by Stepan.
Waterloo struck again in the second at 4:41, when a feed across the goalmouth found Taylor Cammarata who shot from close range. The Hawks made it 3-1 less than two minutes later as Stepan scored during a power play; after being tipped up, he regained his feet and knocked in a loose puck from the side of the net.
The RoughRiders slowed Waterloo's momentum with a power play score, wristed into the twine by Riley Bourbonnais at 9:13. Stepan reestablished the two goal margin and completed his hat trick at 17:19, receiving a drop pass from Cammarata to put into an open side.
Scott Moldenhauer brought the RoughRiders to within a goal at 3:01 of the third, with a chance that deflected in off a defenseman. Cal Petersen stopped seven other chances he saw during the period and 21 for the game to earn the win.
Waterloo and Cedar Rapids meet again at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday.
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