MOMENTUM SWING...The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders needed a good moment to rally on this season, and they may have found it. Last Saturday at The Stable, CR found themselves down a goal late in the third period. The Riders produced a late goal, and then rode that late goal into the shootout, where resident new guy Jordan Timmons scored the game-winner in round five of the shootout, en route to a 5-4 win.
GET BACK ON TRACK...Last Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Madison could be tacked up to being “one of those games” over the course of a 60-game season. The key remains not making this a trend. The Fighting Saints are in the midst of a winning trend—winners of three of the last four, and four of the last six—however, the margin of being in a playoff spot at the halfway point is just three points.
ON THE OPPOSITE END...It all comes down to offense and defense in the game of hockey, and for the team with the fewest goals scored, the most goals allowed, and the lowest percentage in both power play and penalty kill in the USHL, success has been hard to come by. The RoughRiders have been outscored, including the December 30 game against the Saints, 20-7 in the last four games, and won only once.
ROAD WARRIORS...The Dubuque Fighting Saints have been one of the better road teams in the USHL, just like they were a season ago. They own the league’s second-best power play on the road (23.9%), the league’s fourth-best road PK (90.8%), which certainly helps. They are currently tied with the Chicago Steel, the Fargo Force, the Youngstown Phantoms, and the Green Bay Gamblers, for 10 road wins on the year.
DO THE DREW...Three of Cedar Rapids’ four victories this season have come with 16-year-old Drew DeRidder in net. While he did not fare well in the Fighting Saints’ last game against CR, he navigated his way through a 23-save performance en route to a win over the Waterloo Black Hawks last Saturday. The Michigan State commit stopped two of Waterloo’s three shootout participants en route to the win.
STREAKS, AHOY!...The #SolowStreak. The Theisen Tear. The Preston Point Streak. Goal Guttman. All of these are currently going into tonight’s game. Zach Solow’s outrageous stretch, which tied former Waterloo defenseman Brandon Montour’s 18-game streak, is on the line tonight. Colin Theisen brings goals in four consecutive games, and points in six straight, into tonight. Quinn Preston has points in eight consecutive games, including three multi-point games, all in a row. Cole Guttman continues to rack up points with regularity, now with a seven-game point streak on the line heading into tonight’s game. The line of Guttman, Theisen and Solow torched the RoughRiders in the last meeting, the 8-0 win on December 30, by scoring a total of nine points in the lopsided win. Time will tell if these streaks continue.