DUBUQUE - Goaltender Danny Tirone took a shutout into the final minute, and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders scored three times in the third period for a 3-1 win Saturday night over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
The victory gives the Riders (33-20-3, 69 points) a three-point lead on Dubuque for second place in the United States Hockey League's Eastern Conference and clinches a playoff spot. Dubuque does have two games in hand.
Cedar Rapids plays twice next weekend at Youngstown.
Alec Marsh was credited with the RoughRiders' first goal 2:19 into the third, as a puck hit the skate of Dubuque defenseman Blake Hillman at the side of the Fighting Saints net, then was inadvertently knocked in off of his stick as he tried to corral it. Freddy Tiffels scored a power play goal from Clark Kuster and Andrew Poturalski at 9:56 to give the Riders a 2-0 edge.
Poturalski scored again on the power play with less than five minutes to go to put the game away. With an extra attacker on, Dylan Gambrell scored for Dubuque with 44 seconds left for the final margin.
Tirone made 27 saves to pick up the victory.
Here is the official gamesheet: