The Anderson Cup Champion Cedar Rapids RoughRiders started off their quest for a Clark Cup with a resounding 7-3 victory over the Bloomington Thunder. It was all RoughRiders from the beginning, as Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second period on their way to the win.
Forward Pavel Tkachkov scored twice, and Matt Filipe, John Snodgrass, Luke Morgan, Jacob Hayhurst, and Callahan Burke all had one goal apiece. Tkachkov is one goal shy of his regular season production of three goals in 42 games. Leading scorer Ross Colton dished out an assist on the night as well.
Ben Blacker had 24 saves to pick up the win between the pipes. Blacker went 50 minutes with a shutout, when Patrick Curry finally broke through with a goal for the Thunder. Cedar Rapids will look to double their series lead on Saturday.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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