By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The No. 10 Cyclones (12-7-2) fell in overtime to the Midland Warriors (9-15-1) Friday night by a score of 6-5.
The Cyclones opened the scoring at 11:03 in the first period. Matty Moran carried the puck deep into the Midland zone and slipped a shot past Midland goalie Angus Laing from just outside the crease.
Iowa State got its first power-play opportunity a few minutes later, but it only lasted four seconds as Stuart Pearson was sent to the box.
While the teams skated 4-on-4, the Cyclones doubled their lead. Conner Hunt circled behind the Warrior net and found Ryan Nelson in the low slot for the one-timer at 15:55.
The Warriors found a goal of their own just before the end of the period when Fletcher Chun fired a wrister from the near faceoff circle. The puck made its way past the glove of Cyclone goalie Greg Moon at 19:15 for the power-play goal. Luke Sanko and Ryan Donovan tallied the assists.
The Cyclones took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission as they outshot the Warriors 18-7 during the first frame.
Early in the second period, the Cyclones found themselves down a man again, and the Warriors capitalized. Ondrej Blaha tallied the second power-play goal on the night. Blaha’s wrister from the slot beat Moon’s blocker at 2:46. Zach Eddington recorded the assist.
Less than three minutes later, Midland took its first lead of the night. Blaha tallied another as he scored a rebound goal at 5:16 to give the Warriors a 3-2 advantage. Sanko and Chun tallied the assists.
Iowa State responded with a goal of its own at 7:41 to tie the game at three. Brooks Mitzel carried the puck from the neutral zone deep into the Midland zone and scored on a wraparound just seconds before the Cyclone power play expired.
Approximately 30 seconds later, the Cyclones appeared to score a goal to retake the lead, but it was disallowed. Just seconds later on the ensuing faceoff, Iowa State recorded its fourth goal on the night to bring the score to 4-3. Chris Ciolek won the draw to Eli Kopish, who was at the bottom edge of the faceoff circle. Despite the sharp angle, Kopish fired a shot past Laing’s blocker at 8:10 as the Cyclones regained their lead.
Later in the period, the Cyclones thought they scored another goal, but the referee blew the play dead just before the puck crossed the line. Iowa State entered the second intermission with the 4-3 advantage, outshooting Midland 14-8 during the period.
The Cyclones killed an early penalty in the third to maintain their one-goal lead. Iowa State then took a 5-3 lead at 5:25 in the third period. Paulson’s centering pass found Ciolek in the slot. Ciolek’s turnaround backhander made it past Laing’s blocker.
Late in the third period with the score still at 5-3, but Midland had another power play. Sanko tallied a goal just seconds into the advantage. The initial shot from the point was blocked in front, but the puck found Sanko in the slot. His one-timer made its way past Moon’s glove at 18:34
With less than a minute remaining, the Warriors went with an empty net where they found the tying goal. A shot from the point got blocked in front, and Jesse Stepp poked the puck past Moon from the edge of the crease at 19:45.
Midland’s game-winner came at 1:24 in overtime. Chun had the puck along the far boards, made his way into the slot and fired a wrister past Moon’s glove.
The Cyclones outshot the Warriors 46-24. Moon stopped 18 shots for a percentage of 0.750 while Laing recorded a percentage of 0.891 as he made 41 saves.
Midland finished the game converting on three of its five power plays. Iowa State scored on one of its four advantages.
Game two of the series is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday from the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. A limited number of tickets are available at the door. The game will be streamed through Stretch (link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/isuhockey/).