SPORTS

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders drop first game of weekend home-and-home series with Dubuque

Fighting Saints scores three goals in first 25 minutes of 4-2 victory

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders lost at home to Dubuque, 4-2, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders lost at home to Dubuque, 4-2, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders were hoping to earn some more distance from the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the conference standings.

There will be other opportunities.

Dubuque scored three goals in the first 25 minutes and held off Cedar Rapids, 4-2, in a USHL game before 2,352 fans Friday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

“They’ve got a good group over there,” Cedar Rapids Coach Mark Carlson said. “They capitalized on their chances.”

The loss dropped Cedar Rapids (19-16-4) out of a third-place tie with Youngstown — which won at home against Lincoln Friday night — and into a tie for fourth in the Eastern Conference with Dubuque (18-16-6) with 42 standings points.

The game was the second of five February meetings between the two in-state junior hockey league clubs. They meet again Saturday night in Dubuque.

“Every game is important for us,” Carlson said. “Our outlook always is, whatever the next game is, that’s the most important game at that time. So for me, we certainly respect their club and we’ve got to be ready to go no matter who we are playing.”

Cedar Rapids goalkeeper Blake Pietila — who shut out Dubuque on Feb. 1 and was named the USHL Goalkeeper of the Week — was pulled from the game less than five minutes into the second period after allowing three goals in the first nine shots of the game.

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Dubuque reserve forward Matias Maccelli scored his team-best 20th goal of the season just over four minutes into the game. Teammates Dallas Tulik and J.D. Greenway added scores within 90 seconds of each other early in the second period.

Trailing 3-0, Cedar Rapids reserve goalkeeper Troy Kobryn held Dubuque at bay for a bit while his teammates began to chip away at the deficit. Cedar Rapids reserve forward Grant Silianoff scored his 10th goal of the season with 2:24 left in the second period. Forward Aidan McDonough cut the Dubuque lead to one goal at 3-2 with his 16th score of the season on a power play less than four minutes into the final period.

“We’ve got to be more consistent,” Carlson said. “Recently we’ve been pretty good. I think we can improve our passing.”

Dubuque received an insurance goal with 9:30 left in the game when reserve forward James Sanchez scored his 13th goal of the season.

Cedar Rapids outshot Dubuque, 20-18. Dubuque goalkeeper Matthew Thiessen was credited with all 18 saves.

“Trying to improve in every area,” Carlson said. “We’ve got a lot of things to improve on.”

AT CEDAR RAPIDS ICE ARENA

Dubuque 4, Cedar Rapids 2

Dubuque 1 2 1—4

Cedar Rapids 0 1 1—2

First period — 1. Dubuque: Matias Maccelli (Logan Pietila, Bram Scheerer), 4:32.

Second period — 2. Dubuque: Dallas Tulik (Patrick Smyth, Chris Lipe), 3:07. 3. Dubuque: J.D. Greenway (Willie Knierim, Verners Egle), 4:37. 4. Cedar Rapids: Grant Silianoff (Joe Hankinson, Max Sasson), 17:36.

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Third period — 5. Cedar Rapids: Aidan McDonough (Kyle Looft, Mitchell Miller), 3:24 (PP). 6. Dubuque: James Sanchez (J.D. Greenway, Chris Lipe), 10:30.

Shots on goal — Dubuque 7-5-6-18. Cedar Rapids 7-7-6-20.

Power play opportunities — Dubuque 0 of 0; Cedar Rapids 1 of 3.

Goalies — Dubuque: Matthew Thiessen 11-13-3-3 (20 shots, 18 saves). Cedar Rapids, Blake Pietila 15-10-2-1 (9 shots, 6 saves); Troy Kobryn 4-4-0-1 (9 shots, 8 saves).

A — 2,352.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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