Black Hawks' Ryczek leads late season surge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawks' Ryczek leads late season surge

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The sky is the limit for Waterloo's Jake Ryczek. The veteran defenseman's taken a lead role in the Black Hawks late season surge that's seen them win 15 of their last 18 games

“I've taken on more of a leadership role. I know how the league works, I've been here three years now,” said Ryczek.

That knowledge and hard work has helped him become one of the best skaters in the league. With Ryzcek on the ice, the Black Hawks have scored 30 more times than their opponents this season putting him tops in the USHL in that category.

“The best part for me is Jake's defensive game,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley, “He was committed to getting better at that part of it and he's done that.”

“I have my defensive partner Mikey Anderson,” added Ryczek, “I think we're a really good pair. We communicate well, we work together well.”

Ryczek was a late-season addition to Waterloo last year having come from Sioux City after scoring 9 goals for the Musketeers. A late season surge in Young Arena as a member of the Black Hawks got the attention of pro scouts, and Chicago came calling in the 7th round of last year's NHL draft.

“That was one of the best days of my life,” recalled the 18 year old defenseman, “It's every hockey players dream.”

The next dream is a Clark Cup championship and passing first place Sioux City for the Anderson Cup, a team they trail by just 5 points going to the final weeks of the season.”

“I think we've been playing really well. We've been sticking to our plan, and I think we're ready.”

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