By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division I Cyclones (10-4-1) took the ice against the No. 1 Lindenwood Lions (7-0) on Saturday afternoon. After the Cyclones took an early lead, Lindenwood grabbed a lead of its own before the Cyclones tied the game at two apiece. Lindenwood tallied the final goal of the game to secure a 3-2 victory.
“It was a good hockey game,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “I was disappointed with the outcome but Lindenwood is a good hockey team and they were ultimately the better team today.”
The Cyclones grabbed the lead when Austin Keil opened the scoring at 16:07 in the first period. Ray Zimmerman skated through the neutral zone and across the blue line with Keil to his left. Keil received the pass and fired a wrister from the faceoff circle that beat Lindenwood goalie Cooper Seedott’s pad on the short side.
Fairman and the Cyclones thought they were in control in the first period. The team took that 1-0 lead into the intermission and held a 9-6 shot advantage.
“It was definitely our best period,” said Max Kamper. “We were winning a lot of wall battles.”
Keil saw the Cyclones match the speed and intensity of the Lions in the first period, and Fairman liked what he saw from the team as well.
“I was very pleased with our play in the first period,” Fairman said. “I thought we territorially had the advantage, and I felt that it was going to be a good day for us.”
Iowa State continued its strong play at the beginning of the second period. However, the team lost it part way through the period, according to Fairman.
“The turning point was the couple of shifts in a row where a couple of our guys got dinged up and came off the ice,” Fairman said. “I think the rest of the guys saw that and they played a little scared the rest of the period.”
Later in the second period, Lion Matt Runyon fired a pass from the point that hit the boards behind the net and found Vegard Faret on the back post. Despite the slim angle, Faret’s shot made it past Cyclone goalie Greg Moon’s blocker at 13:04 as Lindenwood tied the game at one apiece.
Less than two minutes later, the Lions took their first lead of the afternoon. Kyler Newman circled behind the net and attempted a wraparound. Moon made the initial save, but the puck was still free, and Newman poked it in at 15:28.
Iowa State responded with a goal of its own before the second period came to a close. Matty Moran got the puck to Everett Bestland. Lindenwood goalie Cooper Seedott saved Bestland’s shot, but Kamper was there for the rebound goal at 17:03.
Early in the third period, Lindenwood tallied a goal at 2:50 that ended up being the game winner. Kyle Diamond carried the puck across the blue line and found a diving Blake Finley in the low slot. Finley’s one-timer made it past Moon’s glove on the near post.
Fairman saw a better performance from the team in the third period than the second, but the Cyclones were unable to find another goal.
Both teams ended the game two for two on the penalty kill and recorded six penalty minutes. Lindenwood ended the game with a 24-18 shot advantage.
Moon recorded 21 saves for a percentage of 0.875, and Seedott registered 16 saves as his percentage was 0.889.
The key to success in Sunday’s game will be to play like the first period of Saturday’s game throughout the entire 60 minutes, according to Keil.
“We need to come out like we did in the first and keep that intensity all the way through,” Keil said. “[…] “We’ve got to come out flying and get on them early and I think that’ll lead to success tomorrow.”
Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon. The coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. on the GLVC Sports Network (link: https://glvcsn.com/lindenwood/).
“There’s a reason why Lindenwood is number one and year in, year out a top program in the country,” Fairman said. “We like to consider ourselves in that company, and we’ll have to prove it tomorrow.”