By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
After losing on Friday night, the Cyclones (10-2) bounced back and picked up a win on Saturday night. They scored three power-play goals en route to a 5-4 win against the Missouri State Ice Bears (1-4-1).
“The effort was amped up quite a bit and that goes a long way,” said Captain Max Olson. “I don’t think we’re anywhere close to midseason form but we’re going in the right direction.”
The game did not remain scoreless for long as Ray Zimmerman tallied a power-play goal at 1:39 in the first period. His shot from just outside the crease beat Missouri State goalie Brady Griffin. Will Kutch and Payton McSharry recorded the assists.
The Cyclones struck again on the power play later in the period. Stuart Pearson and Ryan Nelson got the puck to Olson, who was at the point. Olson drove a shot through traffic and past Griffin at 12:04.
Head Coach Jason Fairman said the power-play goals made the difference.
“They bailed us out,” Fairman said. “[…] They’re moving the puck really well.”
Iowa State took the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Missouri State answered with a power-play goal of its own in the first minute of the second period. Sam Hiserodt’s shot from the point took a slight redirection from Henrik Löhman as the puck found its way past Cyclone goalie Greg Moon at the 45-second mark, just three seconds into the power play.
The Cyclones do not normally give up power-play goals from shots above the circles, according to Fairman.
“Some of the things we’re doing right now are very uncharacteristic of our program,” Fairman said. “We’ve got to remedy this in short order.”
Iowa State restored its two-goal lead three minutes later as Andrew Lee lit the lamp at 3:45. Lee’s centering pass took a deflection in the low slot and found its way through Griffin’s five-hole.
Less than three minutes later, the Cyclones increased their lead to 4-1. Zimmerman once again struck gold on the power play with a top-shelf goal at 6:00. McSharry and Olson tallied the assists.
The power-play unit is developing chemistry, according to Zimmerman.
“All five of us are in complete sync,” Zimmerman said. “We all know where we are on the ice.”
Missouri State added one more goal in the second period to bring the score to 4-2 in favor of the Cyclones. Hunter Cooley carried the puck into the Cyclone zone and fired an early shot from the high slot that beat Moon at 15:15. Brian Schumacher and Josh Bell tallied the assists.
Matty Moran scored a similar goal early in the third period as he fired a shot just after crossing the blue line that scored at 3:49. Everett Bestland and Josh Paulson picked up the assists as the Cyclones took a 5-2 lead.
The Ice Bears responded less than a minute later as Stewart Hopkins fired a wrister from the low slot at 4:38. Terrance Josephson carried the puck across the blue line and left the puck for Josephson to collect and shoot. Levi Wright also tallied an assist on the goal.
Missouri State added another goal to get back within one. Alex Rubin started to circle behind the net and attempted to get the puck to his teammate. The puck took a couple of deflections near the crease and slipped past Moon at 10:03.
Both teams registered several more chances before the final horn blew, but Rubin’s goal ended up being the final one of the night.
With just over three minutes remaining in the game, the Cyclones were on the penalty kill. Missouri State went with an empty net for the remaining 1:21 of the game. The Ice Bears recorded several shots, but Moon and the Cyclones kept the puck out of the net to secure the win.
Moon made 37 saves for a percentage of 0.902 while Griffin recorded 26 saves as his percentage was 0.839.
Iowa State finished three of five on the power play. Missouri State scored on one of its three power plays. The Ice Bears held a 41-31 shot advantage making this just the second game of the season that the Cyclones were outshot by their opponent.
They will take the ice again on Feb. 5-6 against the McKendree Bearcats. The series will take place in Ames, Iowa.