Diamonds and Ice


RoughRiders’ Donovan, Seidel named to all-USHL team

Defenseman Matt Donovan and forward Mike Seidel have been named to the all-United States Hockey League team, it was announced Sunday.

Donovan was named to the first team, one of only five RoughRiders to earn that honor. The others were goalies Bobby Goepfert (2001-02) and Alex Stalock (2005-06), defenseman Derek Peltier (2003-04) and forward Jacob Cepis (2006-07).

Donovan scored 19 goals and had 51 points this season, both highs for league defensemen and franchise single-season records. The University of Denver commitment and New York Islanders NHL draft pick had 31 goals and 81 points in his two-year RoughRiders career.

Seidel, a Minnesota-Duluth signee, played three seasons for the Riders, setting the franchise’s career records for goals (60), assists (103) and points (163). He had 29 goals and 44 assists this season.

Chicago’s Andrew Miller was named USHL Player of the Year and Forward of the Year. Chicago’s John Moore was named USHL Defenseman of the Year and Fargo’s Mike Lee Goaltender of the Year. Louis Leblanc of Omaha was Rookie of the Year.

Other award winners included Fargo’s Dean Blais (Coach of the Year), Green Bay’s Jon Cooper (General Manager of the Year), Lincoln’s Jim Pflug (Executive of the Year), Omaha’s Jeff Teglia (Scholar-Athlete Award), Chicago’s Mike Walsh (Curt Hammer Award for most gentlemanly player on and off the ice). Fargo was named Organization of the Year.

The rest of the USHL First Team included goalie Brett Bennett (Indiana) and forwards Mike Cichy (Indiana) and Craig Smith (Waterloo). The second team included goalie Kevin Murdock (Lincoln), defensemen David Makowski (Green Bay) and Jake Newton (Lincoln) and forwards Stephane DaCosta (Sioux City) and Andy Taranto (Fargo).

Joining Lee and Leblanc on the All-Rookie Team were defensemen Torey Krug (Indiana) and Brett Kostolansky (Chicago) and forwards David Eddy (Sioux Falls),  Stanislav Galiev (Indiana) and Alex Chiasson (Des Moines).

All of the USHL awards were decided by a vote of league coaches.



RoughRiders clinch 2nd, have chance at title

It all comes down to Sunday night.

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders went into Waterloo on Saturday night and pulled out a 4-1 victory. That clinches at least second place in the East Division for the Riders, who finish the regular season with a 38-17-5 record. Their 81 points are good for first place … right now.

Second place Green Bay is one point back and has one more regular-season game to go tonight at home against Des Moines. The Gamblers beat the East Division’s worst team on Saturday night, 4-1.

If Green Bay wins Sunday, it is East Division champ and Anderson Cup champ for most regular-season points in the league. If it loses in regulation, Cedar Rapids is champion of both. If Green Bay loses in overtime or a shootout, the teams finished tied, with Green Bay winning  the tiebreaker playoff wise. The teams split eight games this season, but one of Cedar Rapids’ victories was in a shootout. That gives Green Bay nine points in the season series to Cedar Rapids’ eight.

The RoughRiders’ victory Saturday night also clinched the Corridor Cup, given annually to the series winner between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Cedar Rapids has clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the USHL playoffs, with Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-5 series likely being Friday and Saturday nights at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

Now who will the opponent be? If the RoughRiders win the division outright, they will face Waterloo. Wouldn’t that be fun? If they finish second or in a tie for first, the first-round opponent will be Indiana.

By the way, the RoughRiders ended the regular season with a four-game winning streak. The victories came over West Division champion Lincoln, Green Bay, Indiana and Waterloo.

It doesn’t get more impressive than that!