C.R. RoughRiders end pre-holiday schedule with 3-1 win at Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Marek Valach and Marc McLaughlin scored power-play goals, and Jason Polin had a short-handed one into an empty net as the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders concluded the pre-holiday portion of their United States Hockey League schedule with a 3-1 win Friday night over the Youngstown Phantoms at Covelli Center.

Cedar Rapids goes into a week-long break with 10-10-2 record, its 22 standings points placing it fifth in the Eastern Conference, though only six behind first-place Youngstown. The Riders’ next game is Dec. 27 at home against Chicago.

Valach’s eighth goal of the season put the RoughRiders on top at the 10:46 mark of the first period, 1-0. It was unassisted.

McLaughlin’s goal with one second remaining in the second provided C.R. with a two-goal lead. It was assisted by Steven Agriogianis and Ivan Sushko.

Youngstown ended goalie Blake Pietila’s shutout bid 5:37 into the third, and the Phantoms had a chance to tie with a late power-play opportunity. But Jason Polin scored with 33 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Each team had 16 shots on goal.

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