Cedar Rapids RoughRiders lose shootout toughie at Youngstown, 2-1

Marc McLaughlin
Marc McLaughlin

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Troy Esposito scored as the sixth player of the shootout to give the Youngstown Phantoms a 2-1 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in a United States Hockey League matinee Thursday at Covelli Center.

The teams ended regulation tied at 1-1. Marc McLaughlin, making his return to the lineup after missing two weeks with a concussion, scored an unassisted short-handed goal 10 minutes into the first period to put Cedar Rapids on top, 1-0.

Youngstown tied it with 9:32 left in the third period on a goal from Joey Abate. Marek Valach was successful for C.R. as the shootout’s first participant, with Max Ellis (Youngstown’s second shooter) tying it.

Blake Pietila was the hard-luck goaltender loser, though he continued his recent string of fine play. Last week’s USHL Goaltender of the Week made 30 saves in regulation and overtime.

The teams play again Friday night to conclude the pre-holiday portions of their schedules. The RoughRiders saw the return of second-year forward Jason Polin to the lineup.

He had been out since suffering a broken jaw in a preseason game.

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