CEDAR RAPIDS — The first period was great. The third period, other than the very end, was pretty decent.
But the second period? That’s what cost the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in their home opener Saturday night.
Sioux City scored four unanswered goals in the middle of the game and rode away to a 6-3 win at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. It’s the first regulation loss in five games for the Riders (3-1-1).
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” said Coach Mark Carlson. “We created a lot of chances, played hard. A couple of miscues ended up in the net. That’s kind of how it went.”
Harry Roy scored three minutes in, with Nathan Smith completing a great passing play between he, Jack O’Leary and Grant Silianoff late in the first for a 2-0 RoughRiders edge. But former Rider Josh Bohlin scored on a breakaway after a turnover two minutes into the second period, and Parker Ford scored on the power play two minutes after that to tie it very quickly for Sioux City (3-1).
All that Cedar Rapids momentum from the first period disappeared.
“We had a good start. Tons of energy,” Roy said. “The main emphasis is we need to stay even keeled. You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. We had a great first period, obviously, then went into the second period and made some stupid mistakes. We lost our intelligence, we just weren’t sharp enough, beat ourselves. We contributed to them beating us.”
Ford’s second goal of the game put the Musketeers in front at the 12:40 mark, an innocuous looking shot from the boards. Sioux City’s Marcus Kallionkieli popped on a rebound after C.R. goaltender Blake Pietila failed to cleanly catch a long shot from the blueline late in the second, making it 4-2.
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Defenseman Mitchell Miller joined a rush and converted one beautiful centering pass from Smith to make it a 4-3 game three minutes into the third period. The RoughRiders came up empty on an ensuing power play, and Sioux City got a deflection goal from Bobby Brink with 4:45 left to put it away.
Matt Miller’s length-of-the-ice empty netter with 1:27 remaining provided the final margin. The RoughRiders are back home Wednesday night against Dubuque.
“We just needed to pay more attention to detail there in a couple of areas in the second period,” Carlson said.
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