Riders Lose Eastern Division To Green Bay

By Kory Catlett

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders tried everything, cycling the puck down low, moving the puck on the point, taking weird angle shots but none of those combinations worked as Green Bay Gamblers goalie Eric Pfligler shut out the Riders. The win means Green Bay wins the Eastern Division Title for the second straight year. Green Bay also gets the coveted number 2 seed in the Clark Cup Playoffs, which brings with it home-ice advantage for at least the first 2 rounds.

Cedar Rapids had their chances but 2 slapshots from defenseman Steve Burgess hit the goalposts and caromed into the corners. There were many other scoring opportunities but the Green Bay defense was too strong on this night. They clogged up the middle making it hard for any Rider shot to get through. “We probably shot 50 pucks, but only had 28 shots on goal, they made it hard for us to score,” Rider defenseman PJ Atherton said after the game.

Green Bay’s lone goal came in the second period while on a powerplay. It was another fluke goal that cost CR. Green Bay defenseman Matt Greene threw a shot toward the net that hit teammate Bret Adams in the elbow and went in for the game winner.

Riders Coach Mark Carlson said he was extremely proud of the effort of the team over the entire weekend, but you can’t play 2 top caliber teams without 2 of your top scorers. Cedar Rapids was without Kevin Brooks, who is serving a match penalty suspension, and Ted O’Leary who is out with a high-ankle sprain. Coach Carlson also said, “We’ve played Lincoln tough this year and have won 2 games in their building. We need to get the PP going and go out there and do it again.”