CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Impressive debut; more impressive, a total team effort.
Cedar Rapids RoughRider newcomer Andrew Poturalski, called up from the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, scored two goals and added an assist, as the RoughRiders defeated Dubuque, 6-3, before 2,764 fans at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena Friday night.
The team effort thing? Blocked shot after blocked shot, successful penalty kills, good goaltending, and sticking up for the team with three fights.
"(Poturalski) was good to see," Rider Head Coach Mark Carlson said. "But, what I really liked was the guys are starting to figure out what it takes to win games at this level."
After Dubuque had taken an early 1-0 lead, Poturalski got his first of the night, stuffing a rebound under the pad of Saint goaltender Matt Morris at the 6:15 mark.
Ryan McGrath gave the Riders a 2-1 lead 3 minutes later, using a wraparound move to beat Morris after his paddle was momentarily caught in the net.
At the 15:47 mark, McGrath drew the defense towards him, and made a nifty cross-ice feed to Gerald Mayhew, who wristed it home to give the Riders a 3-1 lead.
Although the Riders failed to get a shot off for the second time on the power play, Thomas Forgione shot the puck off a Dubuque defender 12 seconds later that rebounded into the net.
Poturalski put the Riders up 5-1 on a nice feed from Riley Bourbonnais, who assisted on both of Poturalski's tallies.
"The second goal was definitely better," Poturalski said. "Riley gave me a sweet pass."
Landon Smith clinched the game for all intents and purposes, putting the puck in after taking advantage of an overplay by Dubuque relief goalie Connor Girard and some nice passes by Poturalski and Greg Amlong at the 4:02 mark of the second period.
Dubuque added two third-period goals by Tyler Lundey, the last one coming at the 2:58 mark.
Carlson was tight-lipped about whether adding Poturalski was a permanent move, but the New Hampshire commit commented, "I played with these guys in the second summer camp, and it was a nice fit."
The two teams will complete their home-and-home series Saturday night at Dubuque. Faceoff is 7:05 p.m.