Dubuque battled within one goal early in the third period but ultimately fell to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 6-3 on Friday night. Cedar Rapids used a quick start and methodically kept the lead the rest of the way to beat Dubuque. The Saints failed to move up in the standings while the RoughRiders crawled within one point of second in the East.
-The hot start for Cedar Rapids included two goals on their first two shots. Grant Silianoff scored two of the first three for the RoughRiders and Jack O’Leary had the other. Dubuque was able to get a goal passed Blake Pietila in the first as Ty Jackson scored, but Cedar Rapids showed why they are the best first period team in the league.
-Matthew Thiessen had a rough go of it, getting pulled after the first period of play. Aaron Randazzo played the final 40 minutes. Thiessen wasn’t at fault for any of the goals as Cedar Rapids simply capitalized on minimal chances in the first.
-Matias Maccelli tallied two assists to move in to fifth on the single season point total list during the Tier-1 era. Maccelli passed Vinny Saponari with his 64th and 65th points as he has put together quite an impressive season. Maccelli has been in the top five in the USHL’s scoring race since the beginning of December.
-Cooper Haar played a solid game for Dubuque as well and was rewarded in the third period on the power play. Haar has seen more time on the power play unit as the season has gone on and was the recipient of a gorgeous cross ice pass from Maccelli.
-Kaelan Taylor also played a good game for Dubuque, scoring on a pretty move. The defenseman has come in to his own late in the season and has scored all four of his goals in the last 13 games.
-Silianoff had a two-goal night, Will Zmolek had a three-point night and Aidan McDonough had four points for the RoughRiders. McDonough was the overtime hero for Cedar Rapids on Wednesday against Chicago, and he was all over the ice on Friday.
-Blake Pietila didn’t have to be lights out, but he made enough key saves to secure another win for Cedar Rapids. Pietila has been one of the better goalies in the USHL this season as he sits top five in goals against and save percentage.
-Dubuque remained three points away from clinching a playoff spot. Those points can be gained either by Fighting Saints wins or by Central Illinois loses. Dubuque has a chance to clinch tomorrow with a win and a loss of any kind from Central Illinois. If not tomorrow, the two square off on Sunday at Mystique Community Ice Center.