By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
When the Division I Cyclones take the ice this weekend, it will be a rematch of the game that made college hockey history last March. In what ended up being one of the final games of the 2019-20 collegiate hockey season, the Cyclones and the Lindenwood Lions played a game that went into a fifth overtime, lasting a total of 157 minutes and 18 seconds. The matchup set a record for the longest game in college hockey history at any level.
Both Head Coach Jason Fairman and forward Matty Moran immediately recalled that game when asked about facing Lindenwood again.
As for this weekend’s series, Moran knows it will be another difficult challenge as the Lions are currently the top-ranked team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
“They’re definitely a tough team to beat,” Moran said. “They’ve got a lot of skill and speed.”
The Lions enter the weekend with a record of 6-0 as they have swept Maryville, Missouri State and Ohio. The series against Ohio took place on Feb. 2-3 which is Lindenwood’s most recent series.
The Cyclones enter the weekend having played the No. 6 Minot State Beavers last weekend. Fairman knows that series will help the team in the upcoming one.
“I thought we played very well. We didn’t get the result we wanted but I thought we played a pretty good hockey game,” Fairman said of Saturday’s game. “It was good preparation for our battle against Lindenwood this weekend.”
Moran noted that in Friday’s game, a couple of small mistakes cost the Cyclones. He knows that attention to detail down the stretch will be crucial.
“In those games, you’ve got to stay even-keeled because anything can pop into the net and anything can happen,” Moran said. “[…] The teams at this level capitalize on that and you can’t make those mistakes.”
In its six games so far this season, Lindenwood averages 6.67 goals per game and 1.5 goals against. Iowa State enters the weekend averaging 4.29 goals per game with 2.64 goals against.
Fairman said the team is preparing like normal but knows the significance of the series.
“Obviously, there’s an emphasis on the details which will be crucial this weekend,” Fairman said. “But I don’t have to say much to the players about the importance of these games coming up against Lindenwood.”
The No. 8 Cyclones and No. 1 Lions will faceoff at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday from the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, Missouri. A live stream of both games will be available through GLVC Sports Network (link: https://glvcsn.com/lindenwood/).
Moran said the team is ready and the schedule shouldn’t be a factor.
“I think it’ll be a good test,” Moran said. “We’ll just go out there, play our game and have some fun.”