CEDAR RAPIDS — It felt like it should have been a victory. It really did.
But the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders had to settle for obtaining a standings point Saturday night instead.
Robert Mastrosimone’s breakaway goal 35 seconds into overtime allowed Chicago to skate away with a 4-3 win before 1,452 fans at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Mastrosimone camped out at his team’s blueline on the left side and took a pass from teammate Nick Abuzzese that sprung him.
He deked down Blake Pietela and squeezed a backhand through the other side of the sprawling C.R. goalie, the puck just having enough on it to go over the goal line. A frustrating end to a game the RoughRiders had three leads in and just about won themselves in OT.
Jason Polin was set up in the slot by rushing defenseman Adam Backehag seconds into the 3-on-3 extra session. Chicago goalie Justin Robbins stopped that, as well as a shot from defenseman Will Zmolek a short time later.
Polin appeared poised to pounce on the rebound but had his stick tied up by a defender just enough to where he couldn’t get a full shot off. The puck fluttered toward the empty goal but rolled just wide.
“That last play, it was a nice shot by Zmolek,” Polin said. “He got it with the pad, and I thought I was right there. But their guy got my stick and knocked the puck away a little bit. Then there was bad communication on our part, guy got open and got a breakaway.”
Cedar Rapids (5-2-2) got goals from Will Francis, Liam Walsh and Grant Silianoff in the second period, but the Francis and Walsh goals were countered almost immediately by Chicago goals. Cole Quisenberry’s second of the game with 7:34 left in regulation tied it.
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“You can’t afford to give up those kind of odd-man rushes like we did,” said RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson. “We’ve got to do a better job in a couple of other areas, too. I thought we could have worked harder more consistently the entire game. We’ve got to get to a point where we have every single guy working at maximum effort for the entire game. That is one thing we don’t have right now.”
The Riders did get three of four available standings points over the weekend. They blasted Lincoln, 7-2, Friday night.
Cedar Rapids hosts Madison and Green Bay this coming weekend.
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