By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division I Cyclones (10-3-1) lost consecutive games for the first time this season as the Minot State Beavers (16-2-1) picked up a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night in Ames, Iowa.
“I thought it should’ve been our game,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “I thought we outplayed them. It was a great hockey game.”
Both teams took turns with zone time and chances in the first period, but the score remained 0-0. The shots sat at 17-10 in favor of the Cyclones headed into the first intermission.
The Beavers scored the first goal of the night at the 18-second mark of the second period. Blake Fournier’s slapshot from the faceoff circle made its way past Cyclone goalie Greg Moon’s glove for the top-shelf goal that gave Minot State a one-goal lead. Davis Sheldon and Eric Soar tallied the assists.
Toward the middle of the period, each team recorded several penalties. Just 15 seconds into a Minot State power play, the teams skated 4-on-4 after a Beaver penalty.
During the 4-on-4 action, the Cyclones scored a goal during a delayed penalty. Moon left the ice as Ray Zimmerman took the puck into the Beaver zone. The puck found Justin Paulson on the backside. Minot State goalie Riley Wallace came out of his net slightly to cover the angle. Paulson took the puck beyond the goal line and passed it behind Wallace’s back to Zimmerman, who tapped it in from the crease at 8:20.
The Cyclones then skated 4-on-3 as well as 5-on-3. The 5-on-3 lasted just 10 seconds as the play then resumed at 5-on-4 followed soon after with both teams at full strength.
The Cyclones held a 19-8 advantage for shots in the second period, but the score remained 1-1 heading into the second intermission. Neither team connected on a power play in the second period as the Cyclones had three advantages to the Beavers’ two.
Iowa State struck first in the third period. Everett Bestland had the puck on the edge of the faceoff circle and found a driving Matty Moran on the backside. Moran’s chip shot from just outside the crease made its way over Wallace’s leg and past his blocker at 8:53 as the Cyclones took their first lead of the night.
“We scored and I think we were so happy about it that we didn’t pay attention off the faceoff. That’s uncharacteristic of us, but that’s what comes with a young team,” Fairman said.
On the ensuing faceoff, Minot State tied the game with a goal of its own just eight seconds later. Jagger Thiessen’s centering pass found Nick Doyle in the low slot, and Doyle’s shot went through Moon’s five-hole at 9:01.
“It depleted us a little bit but the guys were still pretty upbeat,” Paulson said. “It was right back to a tie game so we knew there was a lot of work ahead. We didn’t dwell on it too much.”
Both teams again had several chances in the period, but the score remained at two goals apiece. The Cyclones were assessed a penalty late in the third that carried into overtime.
In the final minute of the overtime period, Moon made two saves on two separate Minot State breakaways, including one just before the horn sounded.
“Greg Moon played unbelievable today,” Paulson said. “He really helped us get to that shootout and even get to that overtime so he was a big part of that.”
After four rounds, the Beavers won the shootout by a score of 2-1. Iowa State outshot Minot State 53-38. Both teams finished three for three on the penalty kill and recorded eight penalty minutes.
“I think it was a good representation of the way that ACHA hockey is played,” Fairman said.
The Cyclones next take the ice at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:10 p.m. Sunday as they travel to face the Lindenwood Lions.