116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS – Don’t be shot shy.
That’s what defenseman Travis Shoudy thought to himself as he played one of the point positions on a late third-period power play Monday night for his Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
“Earlier in the game when I was on the power play, I saw a couple of times where I could have shot, but I passed it up,” Shoudy said.
Not this time. With the game on the line, tied at 4, Shoudy found himself with the puck out front near the blueline and a lot of traffic in front of Dubuque goaltender Paxton Geisel, including C.R. teammate Daniels Murnieks.
So he let it rip, and it somehow hit the back of the net with 1:01 left in regulation. Winning goal, final score: RoughRiders 5, Dubuque 4.
Great way to begin the post-holiday portion of the United States Hockey League schedule. Cedar Rapids is 12-11-1-0, its 25 standings point placing it in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with two games in hand on third-place Madison and third-place Muskegon, who they are within striking distance.
“I think we played hard,” said Shoudy. “We played hard, played our game. Especially in the third period, we chipped away at them, made it hard for them, especially for their goalie. We had a lot of shots, got in front of him, got some rebounds, made it hard for the goalie.”
Cedar Rapids got goals from Adam Flammang and Andy Moore for a 2-0 lead early, though Dubuque had power-play goals in the final minute of both the first and second periods to take a 4-3 edge.
Josh Karnish scored his first USHL goal with 5:03 gone in the third period to tie the game. It was a very similar shot to Shoudy’s, a long slapper that found its way through a bunch of players and home.
It was a shift from forwards Karnish, who has been injured a lot of this season, Yusaku Ando and Logan Morrell that actually took the momentum away from Dubuque and toward the RoughRiders, which eventually led to Karnish’s tying shot.
“There’s no question that is going to be the story of this team moving forward,” said RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson. “Karnish, Ando, Morrell, maybe they didn’t play a ton tonight, but they’re going to play more. The competition within the team is going to be fierce moving forward at all three positions: at forward, at defense and at goalie.
“We’ve tried to make that point to our group. It doesn’t matter where your scholarship is to, it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, it doesn’t matter how many games you have played. You’ve got to earn it every day. Karnish, to this point, is a guy who has done that.”
Dubuque outshot Cedar Rapids by a 36-22 margin, though Riders goalie Connor Hasley was good enough to pick up the victory. Four of the last five RoughRiders games have been against Dubuque and the Chicago Steel, who are second and first, respectively, in the Eastern Conference. All four of those games have been wins or close losses.
“I think we expect to win every game, no matter who it is against,” Shoudy said. “No matter whether it’s against Chicago, Dubuque, anybody, you know what I mean? We just know what we can do. We can do great things here.”
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