By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division I Cyclones (9-2) lost their first home game of the season as the Missouri State Ice Bears (1-3-1) picked up a 3-2 win on Friday night.
Head Coach Jason Fairman said that the effort wasn’t what it needed to be.
“I’m very disappointed and embarrassed with the way we played,” Fairman said. “That’s not Cyclone Hockey.”
Payton McSharry opened the scoring on the Cyclones’ first power play of the night. Stuart Pearson got the puck to McSharry with less than ten seconds remaining in the man advantage. McSharry’s shot from the right faceoff circle found its way past Missouri State goalie Bailey Stephens at 4:25.
Despite several chances throughout the rest of the first period, the score sat at 1-0 going into the first intermission. A similar storyline took place in the second period as the score remained 1-0 even with a lot of action.
Just over halfway through the period, the Cyclones found themselves skating 5-on-3 for 1:09. They killed both penalties to keep their one-goal lead.
“There were glimpses of good, but overall, it was just an incomplete game by our team,” said Captain Max Olson.
Missouri State found its opening goal of the night at 16:36 in the second. Derek Smith took a shot from the slot that Cyclone goalie Greg Moon appeared to have stopped. Moon lost the puck momentarily, and it trickled by him as Smith tallied the unassisted goal.
The Cyclones regained their lead in the final minute of the second period. Everett Bestland carried the puck into the Missouri State zone. His wrister from the right faceoff circle found the back of the net at 19:44. Joey Marcuccilli recorded the assist.
Iowa State took that 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
At 5:03 in the third, Missouri State tied the game at two goals apiece. Josh Bell’s shot hit Moon in the chest and bounced just outside of the crease. Hunter Cooley scored on the rebound as he got to the puck before Moon could.
The Ice Bears gained their first lead of the night at the 13:42 mark in the third period. Bell fired a wrister from the right faceoff circle that made it past Moon for the unassisted goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Fairman was pleased with how the team played in the first semester but said old habits have returned after winter break.
“We’ve gotten away from how we play the game,” Fairman said. “I’ve got to recalibrate these guys to the way Cyclone Hockey operates, and that’s on me.”
Iowa State took a timeout with less than two minutes to play and went with an empty net to try and find the tying goal. After a flurry of chances, the Cyclones were unable to find the back of the net. They outshot the Ice Bears 42-28.
Moon finished with 25 saves for a save percentage of 0.893. Stephens recorded 39 saves to make his percentage 0.951.
The Cyclones scored on one of their two power plays. Missouri State did not connect on either of their two advantages.
Game two of the series is at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday from the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. The game will be streamed through Stretch (link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/isuhockey/). A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
“I think that was a good wake up call. It was just a good reminder that every game is a fight,” Olson said. “We’ll bring it tomorrow and hopefully close out the weekend on a good note.”