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RoughRiders Clinch Home-Ice, Waterloo Clinches Share of Anderson Cup

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CEDAR RAPIDS Thank you, Youngstown.

Has anyone ever uttered those words? The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders did Friday night.

At least their fans did. Their coach was his usual nonplussed self when asked what it meant to officially know his hockey club has clinched second place in the division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the United States Hockey League playoffs.

"You want to finish as high as you can as a competitor. It's nice for the fans," he said, after a 5-1 loss to Waterloo before a crowd of 4,009 in the regular-season finale at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. "But we'll play anywhere. We'll play here, we'll play on Mars, in the parking lot at NewBo. We'll play wherever."

Cedar Rapids hosts Dubuque in Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five Eastern Conference semifinals next Friday and Saturday (April 11 and 12). That was assured after the Fighting Saints lost to the aforementioned Youngstown Phantoms.

Game 3 is April 18 at Dubuque, an if-needed Game 4 April 19 at Dubuque and a deciding Game 5 back in Cedar Rapids April 21.

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