By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division II Cyclones (3-4-0) lost to the University of Mary Marauders (11-0-1) on Saturday by a score of 5-0. The Cyclones then played the Division II Jamestown Jimmies (3-6-1) on Sunday. Cyclone Hockey walked away from that matchup with a 6-2 victory.
After a close game on Friday, the University of Mary jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Saturday’s game.
“It wasn’t our best effort. It was a pretty slow start to the game,” said Assistant Coach Shaun Gibbons. “[…] Overall, the energy just wasn’t there and to be honest I’m not sure why.”
Marauder forward Seth Cushing tallied a goal at 8:43 in the first. Cushing found the back of the next again just a few minutes later for the power-play goal at the 11:37 mark. The Marauders quickly added another goal. Zach Garrett scored a short-handed goal at 12:48 to give the University of Mary the 3-0 lead after the first.
Cyclone goalie Matthew Ayres recorded seven saves on 10 shots in the first period. Tyler Szturm started in goal for the Cyclones to start the second period and played the rest of the game.
The score sat at 3-0 for most of the second period.
“The guys came out with a lot more energy in the second and third,” Gibbons said. “[…] They got together after the first and started to make plays and figured out what they were supposed to do.”
Forward Andrew Huber scored at 18:07 in the second to give the Marauders a 4-0 lead heading into the final frame. The score again remained stagnant for most of the period. The University of Mary added one final goal just seconds before the final horn as Jaren Hugelen scored a power-play goal at 19:56.
Szturm finished the game with 19 saves on 21 shots for a save percentage of 0.904. Conan Hayton recorded the shutout for the Marauders as he saved all 30 shots that he faced.
The University of Mary killed all eight of its penalties. The Cyclones killed three of their five penalties.
“Hopefully we can bounce back and walk away with a win this weekend,” Gibbons said. “[…] I think they are going to come with a lot of energy [on Sunday].”
The energy was there early for the Cyclones as they got a lead that they never relinquished.
“The energy was there from the start,” Gibbons said. “The guys came out flying.”
Defenseman Jordan Hillman opened the scoring with a goal at 10:58 in the first period. Peter Meyer and James Frantz got the puck to Hillman who was at the top of the faceoff circle on Jamestown goalie Chase Engebretso’s right hand side. Hillman fired a shot past Engebresto’s glove for the top shelf goal.
Just minutes later, defenseman Jon Koester scored an almost identical goal from the same spot. Like Hillman, Koester went top shelf for the goal at 15:18. Sam Dorfman and Cam Barto tallied the assists.
The Cyclones took that 2-0 lead into the first break.
Early in the second period, Cyclone forward Landon Michniak got the puck to fellow forward Blake Ramsey. Meyer took the pass from Ramsey and flicked a shot past Jamestown goalie Chase Engebretson from just outside of the crease at 4:44 to increase the Cyclone lead.
A few minutes later, Ramsey got the puck to Jarett Green who drove in a shot from the point. Canyon Brown, who was in the low slot, deflected the puck past Engebretson for the goal at 8:40. The goal increased the Cyclone lead to 4-0 and prompted a goalie change as Jimmy Grosklaus immediately entered the game for the Jimmies.
Engebretson recorded 23 saves on the 27 shots for a save percentage of 0.852 with four goals against.
Jamestown got a goal of its own a few minutes later on a power play. Braeden Thomas threaded the puck through traffic to an open Keaton Cline on the backside. Cline beat Cyclone goalie Griffin Iglesias at 11:10. Gunnar Gibbs also tallied an assist on the play.
The Cyclones responded with a goal less than two minutes later. Ramsey had the puck on the right wing. He found Brown in the slot, who deflected it towards the backside where Michniak was waiting. Michniak snuck his shot inside the near post before Grosklaus could cover the angle as the Cyclones took a 5-1 lead.
The Cyclones increased their lead to 6-1 in the third as Meyer scored his second of the afternoon. Barto tallied his second assist of the game, and Ramsey his fourth, as Meyer’s shot from just outside the crease found its way into the back of the net at 5:08 for the power-play goal.
Jamestown added the final goal of the night exactly two minutes later. On the power play, the Jimmies grabbed the puck during a scramble in front of the net. Defenseman Chris Wracker poked the puck past Iglesias at 7:08.
The Cyclones ended the game scoring on one of their two power plays. They killed four of the six times they were down a man.
Iglesias finished the game with a save percentage of 0.904 as he saved 19 shots in his first win as a Cyclone. Grosklaus also recorded 19 saves on 21 shots for a save percentage of 0.904 for the Jimmies.
Gibbons said he didn’t have to say much on the bench during Sunday’s game as the team’s leaders stepped up to help some of the younger players.
“I think the older guys really led the team and made sure the guys were doing the right things on the road,” Gibbons said.
In this being the first time this season that the Cyclones played three games in three days, they were able to learn about themselves and continue to make progress.
“After the Mary series, the guys came to realize that we are a good team and as long as we play our systems and do what we’re supposed to do, we can win,” Gibbons said.