Waterloo Black Hawks

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Waterloo Black Hawks
Waterloo Black Hawks Logo.svg
City Waterloo, Iowa
League United States Hockey League
Conference Western
Founded 1962
Home arena Young Arena
Colors Black, red, and white
Owner(s) Butch Johnson
General manager P. K. O'Handley
Head coach P. K. O'Handley
Captain Nick Swaney (2016–17)
Media KCNZ, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, KWWL
Regular season titles 2 Anderson Cups (2007 and 2014)
Division Championships 1980, 2003, 2007, 2013
Playoff championships 1 Clark Cup (2004)

The Waterloo Black Hawks are a Tier I junior ice hockey team playing in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL) under president, general manager, and head coach P.K. O'Handley. The Black Hawks' home ice is the Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa.


Early history[edit]

The Waterloo Black Hawks began as a semi-professional team in the USHL in 1962. The league had been renamed prior to the season after beginning in 1948 as the American Amateur Hockey League. The team's home ice was the McElroy Auditorium. The team won the USHL championship consecutively between the seasons of 1964 and 1968. After the 1968-69 season, the Black Hawks went on a one-year hiatus to become the Minnesota North Stars' top farm team, the Iowa Stars. The Stars finished 35-26-11 in 1969-70, one point behind league champion Omaha (whom the Stars would later lose to in the Central Professional Hockey League final series). The Stars reverted to the Black Hawks and the USHL the very next year, amid financial losses topping $150,000 and a Stars move to Cleveland.

Early junior history[edit]

After league titles in 1978, and '79, the Black Hawks converted to junior hockey with the rest of the USHL in 1979. They won the Southern Division title in 1979-80 before head coach Jack Barzee moved the team to Dubuque the next season, becoming the Fighting Saints in the process. The Hennepin Nordiques then moved to Waterloo before the 1980-81 campaign. The "new" Black Hawks retained the history, logos, and arena of the old team.

From 1980 to 1992, following the retirement of head coach Scott Mikesch, the team went through eight different head coaches. Five of them coached between 1980 and 1982. After the team's Southern Division title in 1980, the Black Hawks did not have a winning season again until 1993-94, winning 20 games (in a 48-game season) four times during that span.


The Black Hawks turned out several future National Hockey League (NHL) players in the early 1990s. Twin leading forwards Chris Ferraro and Peter Ferraro came over from Dubuque midway through the 1991-1992 season and scored a combined 200 points in total. Two seasons later, Jason Blake had 50 goals and 50 assists, the first 50-goal, 50-assist player in the USHL since Thunder Bay's Terry Menard seven years prior.

In 1994, the Black Hawks moved out of the old McElroy Auditorium into the new Young Arena in downtown Waterloo, following new owner Butch Johnson's purchase of the team in 1997. The records did not improve, and the team failed to finish above .500 again until 1999-2000. New head coach Scott Pionk in 1997-98 jad a 25-29-2 record, but a 16-37-3 record the next season led to his departure. Scott Koberinski had a 28-26-4 record in 1999-2000, followed by a 25-29-2 record the next year, but a 21-38-2 record led to another coaching change.


New coach P.K. O'Handley brought immediate changes to the Black Hawks landscape in 2002-03, and Waterloo won their first division championship in 23 years with a 38-17-5 record and finishing two points behind the Lincoln Stars in the Anderson Cup race. The next season brought the Hawks' first USHL Clark Cup championship win, and the first league title of any kind since 1979, despite finishing 4th in the Eastern Division. Once again, O'Handley's leadership brought a title in 2007, this time the Anderson Cup, the first-ever regular season title for the Black Hawks in the junior era. The team was one game away from winning the 2007 Clark Cup, before they were beaten 3-0 by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the championship game, and in the 2008 Clark Cup Finals lost 4-3 to the Omaha Lancers in overtime in the final game of the series. Waterloo was edged again in a five-game finals series by the Green Bay Gamblers in 2012. Since the 1993-94 season, the Black Hawks have sent over 100 players to the college ranks and have sent 10 alumni to the National Hockey League in their 32-year junior history.

The Black Hawks won the USHL Organization of the Year award for the 2002-03, 2004–05, and 2006–07 seasons. At the time, the USHL said of the Black Hawks in 2007, "Once a franchise in a state of disarray, the Waterloo Black Hawks are now among the teams that sets the standard for how a team should be run." [1] P.K. O'Handley also won Coach of the Year honors for the 2002-03 and 2006-07 seasons and the General Manager of Year award for the 2002-03 and 2011-12 seasons.


The Black Hawks have had ongoing rivalries with other USHL teams, including the current "Corridor Cup" rivalry with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Other rivalries include a former rivalry with the old Dubuque Fighting Saints (which were the Black Hawks prior to 1980), a rivalry with the Sioux City Musketeers (the only teams left from the 1979 USHL transformation; the Des Moines Buccaneers were added to the league a year later), and the Buccaneers. During the 1990s, the Black Hawks - Buccaneers rivalry was not as active as it is now, with the Buccaneers' at the top of the league and the Black Hawks' lower down in the USHL's league tables. In 2010, the USHL saw the renewal of the rivalry between Dubuque and Waterloo. Dubuque took back the old name of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and renewed the rivalry between the two teams. Currently Waterloo shares a three-way rivalry with Dubuque and Cedar Rapids in the Prairie Farms Cowbell Cup.

Notable Black Hawks[edit]

Former Black Hawks in professional hockey[edit]

Former Black Hawks in other sports[edit]

  • Michael Annett (Most Improved Player and member of Championship team in 2004)


As of April 10, 2016.[2]

# S/P/C Player Pos Ht Wt DoB Hometown Previous team College commitment
4 Florida Pilawski, ChaseChase Pilawski D 6' 2" 190 lb 1999-04-03 Tampa, Florida Little Caesars U18 AAA (Midget AAA) None
9 Minnesota Rossini, SamSam Rossini D 6' 2" 197 lb 1998-06-19 Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota Burnsville High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota
12 Minnesota Copeland, BenBen Copeland F 5' 10" 152 lb 1999-04-27 Edina, Minnesota Edina High School (USHS–MN) None
13 Minnesota Swaney, NickNick Swaney F 5' 10" 167 lb 1997-09-09 Lakeville, Minnesota Lakeville South High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota–Duluth
15 Nova Scotia Bowers, ShaneShane Bowers F 6' 0" 176 lb 1999-07-30 Halifax, Nova Scotia Halifax McDonald's (Midget AAA) None
16 Minnesota Yon, ZachZach Yon F 6' 0" 180 lb 1995-12-30 Roseau, Minnesota Fargo (USHL) North Dakota
17 Minnesota Wait, GarrettGarrett Wait F 6' 0" 166 lb 1998-06-13 Edina, Minnesota Edina High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota
18 Pennsylvania Lohin, RyanRyan Lohin F 6' 0" 193 lb 1996-06-26 Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania Madison (USHL) UMass Lowell
19 Massachusetts Ryczek, JakeJake Ryczek D 5' 10" 180 lb 1998-03-19 Ludlow, Massachusetts Sioux City (USHL) Providence
24 Minnesota Anderson, MikeyMikey Anderson D 5' 11" 207 lb 1999-05-25 Roseville, Minnesota Hill-Murray School (USHS–MN) Minnesota–Duluth
25 Latvia Golovkovs, GeorgsGeorgs Golovkovs F 6' 0" 180 lb 1996-07-11 Riga, Latvia HK Prizma Riga (LHHL) None
26 Michigan Orchard, CameronCameron Orchard F 6' 1" 190 lb 1998-06-27 Dorr, Michigan Michigan Nationals U16 (Midget AAA) Western Michigan
27 Virginia Meike, ChristianChristian Meike D 5' 11" 172 lb 1996-01-23 Arlington, Virginia Sioux City (USHL) Michigan
28 Pennsylvania Charyszyn, KevinKevin Charyszyn F 5' 9" 164 lb 1996-07-11 Jamison, Pennsylvania Wichita Falls (NAHL) Air Force
29 Minnesota Saccoman, CollinCollin Saccoman D 6' 1" 194 lb 1997-03-05 Stillwater, Minnesota Shattuck-Saint Mary's (USHS–MN) Lake Superior State
30 Utah Metcalf, GarrettGarrett Metcalf G 6' 3" 193 lb 1996-03-05 Salt Lake City, Utah Madison (USHL) UMass Lowell
33 Colorado Morris, CaleCale Morris (A) G 6' 1" 193 lb 1996-05-22 Larkspur, Colorado Chicago (USHL) Notre Dame
39 Massachusetts Pecararo, LiamLiam Pecararo (A) F 5' 11" 164 lb 1996-04-06 Canton, Massachusetts Maine (HEA) Northeastern
40 Michigan Hein, RonnieRonnie Hein (C) F 5' 11" 179 lb 1997-01-22 Chelsea, Michigan Aberdeen (NAHL) Ferris State
46 Minnesota Newhouse, BenBen Newhouse D 5' 8" 168 lb 1997-06-16 Edina, Minnesota Benilde-St. Margaret's (USHS–MN) Union
47 Vermont Luhmann, HunterHunter Luhmann F 5' 11" 180 lb 1997-05-02 White River Junction, Vermont Madison (USHL) None
51 Florida Schultz, BrandonBrandon Schultz F 5' 7" 141 lb 1996-06-15 Estero, Florida Janesville (NAHL) Northeastern
52 Minnesota Sorensen, HankHank Sorensen D 6' 2" 186 lb 1998-06-05 Plymouth, Minnesota Wayzata High School (USHS–MN) None
77 Wisconsin McCormick, SamSam McCormick F 5' 9" 162 lb 1997-02-20 De Pere, Wisconsin Madison (USHL) Ohio State
88 Japan Terao, YuriYuri Terao F 5' 8" 188 lb 1995-04-29 Tochigi, Japan Nikkō Ice Bucks (Asia League) None
92 Texas Cotton, DavidDavid Cotton F 6' 3" 207 lb 1997-07-09 Parker, Texas Cushing Academy (USHS–MA) Boston College


  1. ^ "USHL Names Its Best For 2006-07". USHL. 16 April 2007. Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL 2015–16 Regular Season". Waterloo Black Hawks. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 

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