A Look Back: Cedar Rapids RoughRiders’ Epic Rivalries

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

For fans of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, there are few things more exciting than a heated rivalry between their beloved team and a formidable opponent. Over the years, the RoughRiders have had their fair share of intense matchups, creating a rich history of rivalry and competition. From heated on-ice battles to passionate fan rivalries, these matchups have and continue to define the RoughRiders’ legacy. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most important and unforgettable rivalries in the RoughRiders’ history.

A Long-Standing Rivalry: RoughRiders vs. Waterloo Black Hawks

One of the longest and most intense rivalries for the RoughRiders has been against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Both teams have been in the USHL (United States Hockey League) since the early 1990s and have been battling it out on the ice ever since. This rivalry is steeped in history, with both teams originating from the same state of Iowa. The proximity of the two teams has only added fuel to the already intense fire.

In recent years, this rivalry has reached new heights, with both teams being top contenders in the USHL. The RoughRiders and the Black Hawks have met in multiple playoff series, each time resulting in hard-fought and intense matchups. One such instance was in 2018 when the RoughRiders and the Black Hawks faced off in a thrilling series, with the RoughRiders ultimately coming out on top and advancing to the Clark Cup Finals.

The fans of both teams have also played a significant role in this rivalry. With the close proximity of the teams, it is not uncommon for fans to travel to support their team on enemy territory. This has led to passionate and sometimes heated interactions between the two sets of fans, only adding more excitement to the already intense on-ice action.

RoughRiders vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks: A Clash of Titans

Another notable rivalry for the RoughRiders has been against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. This rivalry has been fueled by the strong competition between the two teams, as well as the success they have both had in the league. Both teams have consistently been top contenders in the USHL, resulting in multiple playoff appearances and thrilling encounters on the ice.

One of the most significant moments in this rivalry was in the 2016-2017 season, when the RoughRiders faced off against the Lumberjacks in the Clark Cup Finals. It was an intense series, with both teams giving it their all in a seven-game battle. In the end, the RoughRiders came out victorious and claimed their first-ever Clark Cup Championship.

The rivalry between the RoughRiders and the Lumberjacks also extends beyond the ice. The two teams have a strong fan base, and when they face off against each other, it becomes a battle not just between the players but also between the fans. This adds another layer of excitement to an already intense matchup.

Strong Competitors: RoughRiders vs. Chicago Steel

In more recent years, a new rivalry has emerged for the RoughRiders against the Chicago Steel. Despite being in different divisions, there is no shortage of intensity when these two teams face off against each other. The RoughRiders and the Steel have met in multiple crucial matchups, including the 2018 Clark Cup Semifinals.

In the 2019-2020 season, the RoughRiders and the Steel were neck and neck in the standings and were set to faceoff in a crucial matchup for playoff seeding. The game was a wild back-and-forth battle, with the RoughRiders ultimately coming out on top in overtime. This game solidified the rivalry between these two teams and has set the stage for future intense matchups.

Fan involvement has also been a key aspect of this rivalry, with both teams having passionate fan bases. During their matchups, fans from both teams can be heard cheering and chanting, elevating the energy of the game.

Looking Ahead: Potential New Rivalries

As in any sport, rivalries evolve and change over time. While the RoughRiders have had intense matchups with various USHL teams over the years, there is always room for new rivalries to emerge. With expansion teams being added to the league in recent years, there is a possibility for new and exciting rivalries in the future.

Some potential matchups to keep an eye on in the future include the RoughRiders vs. the new Dubuque Fighting Saints or the RoughRiders vs. the expansion Des Moines Buccaneers. These matchups have the potential to become intense and long-standing rivalries, adding to the already rich and storied history of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

In Conclusion

The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders have a long history of fierce and passionate rivalries, spanning multiple decades and generations of players and fans. From intense on-ice battles to fan rivalries, these matchups have shaped and defined the team’s legacy. As the team continues to compete in the USHL, we can only anticipate more thrilling and unforgettable rivalries to come.


Cedar Rapids RoughRiders,


Waterloo Black Hawks