CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – No shenanigans Friday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Sorry if that's what you were looking for.
Just a huge third period that gave Waterloo a 7-3 win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before 3,001 fans at the Ice Arena.
You wondered how much of the physical stuff would go on between these rivals after Cedar Rapids blasted the Black Hawks two weeks ago in Waterloo, on the scoreboard (6-1) and by knocking two of their top players out of the game with heavy hits.
Other than a brief early skirmish between Riders newcomer Ross Olsson and Waterloo's Dane Cooper that was broken up by the linesmen before punches could be thrown, this was a clean game that way.
"No, not really (surprised)," said Cedar Rapids' Dylan Steman. "It was just two good teams out there trying to win a hockey game. That's what it comes down to."
The teams were tied, 2-2, but Ryan Papa scored two and a half minutes into the third, and the spigots opened for the Hawks (23-13-0, 46 points). J.T. Stenglein's second of the night on an odd-man rush after a turnover made it a two-goal spread at 9:15 with two more Waterloo goals following in the next five minutes.
"We just got outplayed," Steman said. "Didn't really deserve to win that one. A lot of mental breakdowns, I'd say."
"Odd-man rushes," said Riders Coach Mark Carlson of an issue that has plagued his club at times this season. "Can't win hockey games at any level when you give up that many odd-man rushes. It's that simple."
Cedar Rapids didn't record its first official shot on goal until there were eight minutes left in the period, with Waterloo picking up the first 12 of the game, including a goal by Stenglein. The Riders' first SOG came on a power play that was eventually converted on a Steman goal.
Cedar Rapids regrouped and re-energized in the second period with a good forecheck. Ian McCoshen scored briefly after the Riders killed a near four-minute Waterloo power play, with Davey Middleton countering with a C.R. power-play goal that re-tied it at 2-2.
"I thought once we got going in the first period, we played really well for a long time," Carlson said.
The RoughRiders (15-17-4, 34 points), who have lost three straight, host Sioux Falls Saturday night at 7:05.