CEDAR RAPIDS – Turns out there is no such thing as “The Gazette Curse.” At least not for Andrew Poturalski.
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders forward was featured in a Thursday story about how he hopes to become a go-to guy for his hockey club this season. And he was just that Friday night, scoring a goal with 1:14 left that gave the Riders a 4-3 win over the Youngstown Phantoms at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Poturalski also had two assists for Cedar Rapids (2-1), which has the rest of the weekend off.
“He had a really nice game,” said RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson.
The Riders got a first-period power-play goal from Andrew Oglevie and even-strength breakaway goal from Jason Kalinowski early in the second period for a 2-0 lead. Youngstown (1-3-1) tied it before period’s end.
Defenseman Nathan Widman put Cedar Rapids back on top, 3-2, with a goal early in the third period, but Youngstown tied it again with just less than seven minutes left on a goal from J.J. Piccinich.
On his winner, Poturalski took a pass in the Youngstown zone and fired a laser from the right circle over the right shoulder of Youngstown goaltender Jake Moore and into the top left corner of the net. Youngstown pulled Moore for an extra attacker the final minute, but the RoughRiders held on.
Things nearly got out of hand as the final buzzer sounded. Judd Peterson was assessed a slashing major penalty and game misconduct, with Josh Nenadal of Youngstown a game misconduct for abuse of officials. Carson Vance of Youngstown nearly came to blows with a couple of RoughRiders players that were restrained by Carlson as the team lined up around center ice to celebrate the victory.
Chris Birdsall made 16 saves for the win in goal for Cedar Rapids, which outshot Youngstown, 33-19.
“We need to get better at everything,” Carlson said. “But I think we improved from last week, which is good.”
The RoughRiders play next Saturday at Dubuque. Here is a link to the previous story on Poturalski and the official gamesheet:
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