By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The No. 9 Cyclones (13-9-2) traveled to Missouri over the weekend for the round robin formatted Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) tournament. They lost to the No. 6 Ohio Bobcats (5-15-0) by a score of 3-1 on Saturday night before falling 9-2 to the No. 2 Lindenwood Lions (15-1-0) on Sunday afternoon.
“We derailed this weekend, and I’ll accept responsibility,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “That’s my job to make sure at this time of year, we need to be ready to play and we weren’t. That starts with me.”
Ohio opened the scoring in Saturday’s game with a goal at 4:33 in the first period. J.T. Schmizzi started to circle behind the net. His centering pass from below the goal line slipped behind Cyclone goalie Greg Moon and into the net to give the Bobcats an early lead. Drew Magyar and Patrick Roach tallied the assists.
“We’re getting a number of those scored on us,” Fairman said. “That’s deflating.”
Each team recorded several more chances during the period, but the score remained 1-0. Neither team took a penalty during the period, and the Cyclones held a shot advantage of 12-10.
The Cyclones found a tying goal at 5:45 in the second period. Just after Brooks Mitzel gained the zone for the Cyclones, he sent a cross-ice pass to an open Will Kutch. After carrying the puck straight to the crease, Kutch beat Bobcat goalie Max Karlenzig five-hole to bring the score to 1-1.
A few minutes later, the Cyclones took the first penalty of the night and killed it to keep the game tied. Iowa State had a power play of its own near the end of the period but did not convert as the game remained tied at one heading into the third period. The Cyclones outshot the Bobcats 11-5 in the second period.
Iowa State had scoring chances but had trouble putting the puck in the net, according to Fairman.
“Having point-blank chances and not being able to hit the net — it’s not just one thing,” Fairman said. “It’s a number of things, and I’ll include myself in that.”
The Bobcats regained their lead early in the third period. Collin Felton had the puck on an odd-man rush and took it himself. His shot from the center of the faceoff circle beat Moon five-hole at 4:29. Nick Erker and Roach picked up the assists.
Both teams again recorded chances as the Bobcats had a 12-11 edge in shots during the third period. Ohio found the final goal of the night at 12:53. Schmizzi gained the zone as the lone Bobcat on the attack. His shot from the bottom edge of the faceoff circle beat Moon five-hole to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead. Aiden Grieco and Timmy Thurnau tallied the assists.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Iowa State took a timeout and went with an empty net. The Cyclones were unable to score despite several chances.
Iowa State ended the night with a 34-27 shot advantage. Moon stopped 24 shots for a percentage of 0.889. Karlenzig finished the game with a percentage of 0.971 as he stopped 33 shots. Each team killed its lone penalty of the game.
The teams traded early scoring chances in Sunday’s game. The Cyclones also had a power play early in the first period but could not convert as the game remained scoreless.
The opening goal of the game occurred at 9:05 in the first period. Vegard Faret collected the loose puck and fired a wrister from the slot. Faret’s shot beat Moon’s blocker as the Lions took a lead they never relinquished.
Lindenwood doubled its lead just over two minutes later. Moon saved the initial shot, but Faret collected the puck and slipped it behind Moon at 11:39. The Lions then increased their lead to three at 14:22. Austin Wilk’s driven shot from the point took a deflection from Andy Willis in the low slot. Willis’ redirection beat Moon five-hole.
The Cyclones tallied a goal of their own near the end of the period. Lindenwood goalie Stephen Friedland took some contact and fell to the ice beside the net as the puck found Payton McSharry along the far boards. McSharry quickly turned and fired a shot into the open net at 16:10 to make the score 3-1.
Lindenwood took that lead into the intermission and held a 16-10 advantage in shots.
The Lions tallied an early goal in the second period to bring the score to 4-1. Ryan Finnegan’s wrister from the slot beat Moon’s blocker at 2:08. Just over three minutes later, the Cyclones once again cut the lead down to two. As Ray Zimmerman cleared the zone for the Cyclones, C.J. Banser made his way behind the Lion blueliners. The puck found Banser just before he entered the Lions’ zone. Banser carried it straight to the crease and beat Friedland five-hole for the breakaway goal at 5:13.
“I give the guys credit for battling but they’ve got to start that at the drop of the puck,” Fairman said.
Less than two minutes later, Lindenwood lit the lamp again to make the score 5-2. Hayden Ursulak had the puck along the near boards and found Brendan Murphy in the slot. Murphy’s one-timer made it past Moon’s blocker at 6:53.
The teams skated 4-on-4 soon after before the Cyclones had another power play, but a Max Olson penalty cut the man advantage short. After skating 4-on-4 again, Lindenwood had just less than a minute on the power play. The period ran out before the advantage, and the Cyclones killed the remainder of it to start the third.
Lindenwood outshot Iowa State 15-10 in the second period. The Lions made it 6-2 when Faret completed his hat trick at 4:40 in the third period. After a scrum in front of the net, Faret collected the puck and fired it into the net before Moon could cover the angle.
Just under five minutes later, Murphy picked up a penalty to put the Cyclones on the power play for the third time of the game. The Lions killed it, and Murphy tallied a goal just seconds after returning to the ice. Faret’s centering pass took a deflection but still found Murphy in the low slot. Murphy put the puck past Moon’s glove to make the game 7-2 at 10:13. Lindenwood made it 8-2 less than a minute later. Moon made several saves in a row before Zach Martin’s shot from the low slot beat his blocker at 10:57.
The final goal of the game occurred at 18:21. Finnegan had the puck deep in the Cyclone zone and found an open Colton Craigo in the low slot. Craigo’s one-timer found the back of the net before Moon could slide across to cover the angle.
The Lions recorded 26 shots in the third period to the Cyclones’ 10. Lindenwood finished the game with a shot advantage of 57-30. Moon stopped 48 shots for a percentage of 0.842. Friedland finished the game with a percentage of 0.933 as he stopped 28 shots.
“I’m really disappointed,” Fairman said. “I felt like we quit and that’s the worst loss that I’ve been a part of here as the coach of Iowa State. It was embarrassing. It was hard to watch.”
The Cyclones, along with several other teams, now await the final rankings to determine the seeds of the national tournament. The tournament will take place April 16-20 at the Maryville University Hockey Center in Chesterfield, Missouri.