It was a must-win game for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Wednesday night. It turns out it just wasn't meant to be. The Rider's season came to an end thanks to a 4-1` loss to Chicago.

Chicago moves on to play Muskegon in the Eastern Conference Finals. Cedar Rapids has to reflect on what might have been. Cedar Rapids had an up and down regular season, posting a record of 36-21-5. They won their first-round playoff series, a sweep against Team USA. But Chicago was simply the better team over the past four games.

Cedar Rapids coach Mark Carlson mentioned that his team had to deal with a stomach virus at the worst possible time. Their leading scorer, Nathan Smith, missed the first two games of the series due to the illness. Two assistant coaches missed Tuesday's game and several players played while suffering from the sickness. But Carlson gave Chicago the credit. He said, "They deserved to win. They've just got a real good hockey team."

The RoughRiders have made the playoffs 16 of their 20 years of existence in Cedar Rapids. This year's run ended a three-year postseason absence.


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