116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS -- There are no what ifs with Ryan McGrath. No woulda, coulda, shouldas.
A broken wrist early in late October sabotaged his second season in the United States Hockey League, robbing him of some potentially impressive goal-scoring numbers. But "Mac" prefers not to dwell on that.
He's healthy now and lighting the lamp with regularity as his Cedar Rapids RoughRiders prepare for the playoffs.
The 20-year-old pepperpot from St. Louis had 18 goals in 58 games last season with the RoughRiders, who play Friday night at Des Moines. He went without a goal his first six games this season, taking a hit along the boards in an Oct. 21 game at Chicago and catching his hand the wrong way.
He had surgery and missed just over two months. It took six games upon his return to the lineup in late December to finally score his first goal, and he's gotten them with regularity since.
McGrath has scored six times in his last six games and has nine goals in his last 14. He's up to 16 goals and 32 points in 38 games for the season.
"He's doing a good job overall, not just (with scoring goals)," said Riders Coach Mark Carlson.
"I've never been out that long. It was frustrating. It really was," McGrath said. "Watching games, you want to be out there with the guys. Especially after a big home win or something. Or getting one on the road. It was tough. But you're still part of the family. Me and (teammate Nick) Saracino as part of a line have been doing a pretty good job. I think most of my points have come because of the team. We're going to keep rolling here."
Rolling without one of McGrath's best buddies. Defenseman Greg Amlong broke his collarbone in a game last weekend and is out for the rest of the season.
Just the latest in a line of injuries the RoughRiders have had to deal with. McGrath and Amlong will play college hockey together next season at Massachusetts-Lowell.
"We've just got to end up pulling together, just like we did with every other injury. It sucks having a veteran player down. We'll just have to pull together and keep fighting the rest of the way."