Leading 5-4 with 2:56 remaining in regulation and heading to the penalty kill, the Madison Capitols played a perfect final minutes to complete a weekend sweep of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Madison killed off the RoughRiders power play while partially playing 6-on-4 with their netminder pulled for the final 90 seconds. Selflessly blocking shots and making big saves, the Caps were able to close out the evening in sweeping fashion.
"It was a little bit of adversity at the end having to kill that penalty but I'm really proud of the guys stepping up on the PK there," Caps head coach Tommy Upton said. "It was almost fitting how we had to win that game. Our penalty kill wasn't great to start the game and it was almost like the hockey gods were testing us at the end saying 'hey, if you're going to win this game, your penalty kill has to be spot on' and I thought it was and we got the job done."
The Capitols scored early in the game last night and that is exactly what they did tonight. Barrett Brooks corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone, took it in 2-on-1, then scored on a gorgeous forehand to backhand goal, to put Madison up 1-0 4:20 into the game. Centerman Matthew McGroarty was credited with assist. Tied at 1-1, Caps forward Jack Musa capitalized on a misplayed puck in the attacking zone, took it in all alone and fired a shot 5-hole to give the Caps a 2-1 lead with 9:00 minutes to play in the 1st period. Cedar Rapids would answer the Capitols again at 17:51 of the 1st period to pull even. With 44 seconds left in the opening frame, Musa fired a shot from the high slot that bounced off the back glass, and ricocheted off the back of the RoughRiders netminder and into the back of the net. Defenseman Ben Dexheimer and forward Kyle Kukkonen tallied the assists. After the opening 20, Madison would take a 3-2 lead into the intermission.
Madison's only goal of the 2nd period came at the 19:34 mark. Brendan Lamb played all the way to the whistle and put home a loose puck that was sitting on the goal line for his sixth of the season. Forward Nathan Lewis and blueliner Blake Dangos had the helpers on the game tying goal.
The game winning goal, 70 seconds into the 3rd period, came at the hands of Michigan commit Tyler Haskins. Haskins put a sneaky shot on net from the low slot that trickled over the goal line and 5-4 is where things would remain until triple zeros were on the clock.
"It was a good win tonight and It's nice to get back on track. Obviously Cedar Rapids played hard and they pushed hard and had a great response from last night," Upton said. " But I'm really proud of how the guys came out in the third and played our type of hockey.
Jack Musa (2G) and Blake Dangos (2A) each tallied multi-point games this evening. Musa notched his fourth multi-point game of the season while it was the first for Dangos.
The Capitols return to action next weekend against Team USA for a road series in Plymouth, Michigan.