Diamonds and Ice


Winkler, Bergman back (?) and a coach-less practice
April 2, 2009, 10:18 pm
Filed under: hockey, USHL, Cedar Rapids, Kernels, baseball, NFL

Forward Scott Winkler will miss Friday’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders game, sitting out a one-game USHL-mandated suspension for a game misconduct in a game March 7 against Waterloo. Winkler was given a checking-from-behind major penalty along with the game misconduct. RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson was not aware Winkler was supposed to sit out the following game, thus the suspension Friday.

Injured Riders forward Robin Bergman said Thursday that he hopes to begin skating next week with an eye toward playing in the USHL playoffs. Bergman was injured in practice last week and has what appears to be a right foot injury, though the team has described it only as a lower-body injury. He was in a walking boot last weekend.

By the way, the USHL playoffs for the RoughRiders will likely start next Friday. The first two games will be at the rink of whomever gets home-ice advantage, with Games 3 and 4 slated for Wednesday, April 15 and Friday the 17th at the other team’s arena. The deciding Game 5 would be the following night.

Carlson was so upset with his team after a loss last weekend at Green Bay, he didn’t attend practice the following day, telling his captains to run it.

Here’s a story that will be in Friday’s Gazette. Kind of interesting.

CEDAR RAPIDS [--] As a coach, you try a lot of different things to get your team to play well.
You work your guys hard, you work them lightly. You try motivational speeches, you tell jokes to lighten the mood.
Mark Carlson tried the absence method last week. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders head coach/general manager was so peeved at his team for a loss at Green Bay, he made his captains run practice the following day.
Carlson and his assistant coaches simply left the ice and went back to the locker room. After a while, Carlson reappeared and told everyone practice was over.
["]There was really no need for me to go out there because they weren[']t really listening anyway,[""] Carlson said.
So what was the team[']s reaction?
["]I didn[']t wait around to find out,[""] Carlson said.
["]It was kind of a wake-up call,[""] said goalie Mike Johnson. ["]We knew we were a lot better than the way we[']d been playing. We definitely learned a lesson.[""]
Let[']s see if it[']s a long-lasting lesson. The RoughRiders put together two good games last weekend after Carlson[']s disappearing act, winning at Lincoln in overtime and topping Green Bay at home, 4-1.
The regular season ends this weekend with a home game tonight against Indiana and a road game at Waterloo.
["]I think the guys realize the season is short (now),[""] said Riders winger Mike Seidel. ["]We want to be here for the next month and a half or whatever it is.
["]It[']s the end of the season, and you want to be able to look at your teammates and say you did everything you could to win.[""]
Seidel was one of the guys who ran the coachless practice. He said the team worked on things like getting to the net and finishing checks.
After practice, there was a player[']s-only meeting to clear the air.
["]I think we showed last weekend that we[']ve figured it out,[""] Johnson said.
Carlson said he wants more proof before he[']ll agree with that.
["]We[']ll see,[""] he said. ["]It was only one weekend. Last weekend, (the play) was better, but I don[']t think it had anything to do with me. Sooner or later, I don[']t care whether it[']s hockey or baseball or whatever it is, the players have to take over at some point. Maybe they have.[""]
@Netline:n Contact the writer: (319) 398-8259 or jeff.johnson@gazcomm.com

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