By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division II Cyclones (13-7-1) are now in the driver’s seat in Pool C. Iowa State picked up a 3-1 win over the Williston State College Tetons (13-20-1) on Friday evening.
“I thought tactically we played very well. I was very pleased,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “They executed our game plan, and there were rare exceptions when we deviated from that.”
Most of the first period saw a scoreless game without many chances from either side. The Cyclones then took a 1-0 lead at 15:32. After a faceoff in the Teton zone, the puck was loose just outside the crease. Canyon Brown got his stick on it and beat the glove of Teton goalie Tyler Jansen for the top-shelf goal. Peter Meyer tallied the assist.
Williston State College picked up the lone penalty of the period. Despite a couple of power-play chances, the penalty and the period expired with the score still at 1-0. The Cyclones had an 11-4 shot advantage in the first frame.
“We shut them down,” Fairman said. “They really couldn’t get any offense.”
Iowa State increased its lead with an early goal in the second period. Jon Koester’s shot from the point took a deflection from Sam Dorfman, who was just outside the crease. The puck found its way past Jansen at 1:29.
Bryan Watters made the score 3-0 at 9:47 in the period. Blake Ramsey carried the puck into the zone and left it for Watters at the top of the near faceoff circle. Watters collected the puck, made his way to the slot and fired a wrister that beat Jansen five-hole.
Through good decisions and quick puck movement, the Cyclones were able to prevent the Tetons from getting many chances, according to Fairman.
“That’s what allowed us to get into a transition game, and I think that was very effective for us,” Fairman said.
Iowa State again held a 14-5 shot advantage during the second period. The lone penalty in the period was against the Cyclones, but they killed it to keep their 3-0 lead.
Cameron Maycock got the Tetons on the board just 41 seconds into the third period. Cyclone goalie Devin Naidow stopped the initial shot with his blocker, but Maycock was in the low slot to tap the rebound home. Jake Huska tallied the assist.
Less than a minute and a half later, the Cyclones found themselves down a man for the second time in the game. They killed the penalty to keep the score at 3-1.
“That was the biggest moment of the game,” Fairman said. “They did a great job on that kill because if [Williston] would’ve gotten a goal there, the momentum swing would’ve been so great and might’ve put us back on our heels.”
Despite having just a two-goal lead, Fairman felt confident in the team’s ability to finish the game after killing the penalty.
The Cyclones ended the game with a 35-15 shot advantage. Naidow stopped 14 shots for a percentage of 0.933. Jansen finished the game with a percentage of 0.914 as he saved 32 shots.
Iowa State plays the Marian Sabres (14-1-1) at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. As the only 2-0 team in the pool, a win puts the Cyclones into the semifinals.
Fairman now heads from North Dakota to Missouri to be with the Division I team, but he has full confidence in the team finishing strong.
“We’ve gotta do it three more times,” Fairman said. “They’ll get it done. They know what to do.”