Riders Beat Saints in a Shootout


By S Saville

CEDAR RAPIDS — Mark Carlson pulled out the fist pump last night.

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders head coach is known for raising his arm (or arms) and shaking his fist (or fists) in celebration of a big victory as he leaves the ice. Guess you know how nice this 5-4 shootout win over Dubuque last night at The Stable really felt.

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders celebrate a first-period goal Saturday night. (Source Media Group photo by Liz Martin)
“That was a little one,” Carlson laughed, when his fist pump was brought up. “The real ones are when I get down on one knee. I almost pop my shoulder out.”

Hey, Coach, this one was definitely fist pump worthy. The RoughRiders (23-7-5, 51 points) rallied from a 3-1 hole, winning the shootout, 3-2, when final shooter Sam Warning’s wrist shot beat Dubuque goalie Matt Morris five-hole (through the legs).

The win ended a three-game losing streak and made up — at least somewhat — for Friday night’s tough 5-4 overtime loss to Team USA. The winning goal was scored in the final minute after what appeared to be a missed penalty called that led to an odd-man break for Team USA.

“Dubuque is a very good team, and we’ve played a lot of hockey lately,” Carlson said. “I’m real proud of the effort … We found a way.”

Former Rider Jordan DiGiando scored late in the first period to give Dubuque (21-8-6, 49 points) a 3-1 lead, but Jayson Megna pounced on a big rebound after an initial Tommy Fallen blast and scored with 12.8 seconds left to cut the deficit and give Cedar Rapids a lot of momentum.

Michael Parks and Nick Saracino scored 50 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the second for a 4-3 Cedar Rapids lead, only to have Dubuque’s T.J. Schlueter tie it late in the period by batting a puck out of mid-air and past Riders goalie Brady Hjelle. The puck actually bounced off the glass behind the net right into the crease.

Cedar Rapids killed off a 52-second 5-on-3 Dubuque power play in the final five minutes of regulation, then had a lengthy 4-on-3 power play of its own killed off by the Fighting Saints. Justin Kovacs and Megna scored in the shootout and Warning won it.

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