‘We just want to keep getting better every day,’ says Cedar Rapids head coach as team prepares for season
Practices have been competitive and head coach Mark Carlson has been pleased with how the group is coming together ahead of the start of the 2022-23 campaign.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — After falling to the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the first round of the Clark Cup playoffs last season, the Cedar Rapids Roughriders are ready to ride into the new year.
"I think we have some pretty good depth throughout the lineup," said Roughriders head coach Mark Carlson. "It's nice to have some returners back this year and our job choices that have come in this year have done a pretty good job and we're happy to have some free agents come in that have played well too so it's been pretty darn competitive on a daily basis which has been great."
When asked if there was a goal or message that he had for the group as they enter the new season, Carlson had a simple answer.
"I know it sounds cliche but we just want to keep getting better every day," said Carlson.
2021-22 SEASON RECAP
Last season, Mark Carlson led the Roughriders to a 29-29-0-4 record. Adam Flamming led the team in points with 46 and in goals with 27 through 62 games.
- Lukas Fischer was drafted in round one with the sixth pick by the Roughriders
- There were 16 past, current and future Roughriders who attended NHL Development camps
- The Roughriders hired new goalie coach Evan Draves
Brendan Fitzgerald is one player coach Carlson mentioned he has been really impressed by this preseason. Fitzgerald returns to the Roughriders after putting up 5 goals and 26 assists for 31 points last year through 58 games.
Ryan O'Connell could be another name to look out for on the Roughriders this season. Last year he played for Mount St. Charles Academy 18U AAA where he had 29 goals and 44 assists through 63 games.
The Roughriders play at ImOn Ice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The arena was built in 2000 and seats 3,850 fans.
The Roughriders will open their season on Sept. 22 in Pittsburgh at the USHL Fall Classic as they take on the Lincoln Stars.