By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
The Division I Cyclones (14-10-2) fell to the No. 1 Adrian Bulldogs (20-1-0) by a score of 10-2 in Sunday night’s quarterfinal game of the 2021 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Tournament.
“We couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start in the first period,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “[…] It changed the complexity of the game from that point and it became a very different game on a number of levels.”
The opening goal came at 1:29 in the first period. Cyclone goalie Greg Moon made the initial save. During the scramble in front of the net, Connor Smith gained control of the puck and put it into the net.
Just over 90 seconds later, Adrian increased its lead to 2-0. Brenden Stanko’s shot from the slot hit the post, and the puck bounced to Henrik Overall just outside the crease. His backhander beat Moon’s blocker at 3:06.
About two minutes after the second goal, the Bulldogs scored another to make it 3-0. Moon went to routinely play the puck behind his own net as it wrapped along the boards. The puck took an odd deflection and bounced to Austin Kuhn instead. Kuhn put the puck into the open net from close range at 5:13.
Following another minute of play, the score sat at 4-0. Domenic Moore’s wrister from the center of the near faceoff circle beat Moon five-hole for the power-play goal at 6:15. Moon stayed in the net for a couple more minutes before being replaced by Alex Neverve at 8:03 in the period. Moon recorded six saves on the 10 shots he faced.
“We were on our heels for the start and weren’t ready to play,” Fairman said. “That’s my responsibility.”
Adrian tacked on another power-play goal at 15:37 in the first. Just before the first penalty expired, the Cyclones picked up a second penalty, causing Adrian to skate 5-on-3 for two seconds. Late in the second advantage, Emanuel Silverio carried the puck into the zone. He found Moore in the far faceoff circle. Moore’s wrister beat Neverve’s blocker to bring the score to 5-0.
Iowa State found its first goal at 15:52. Brooks Mitzel won a faceoff directly to Everett Bestland, who was in the slot. Bestland quickly made his way into the same faceoff circle, and his wrister beat the glove of Bulldog goalie Michael Barrett for the top-shelf goal.
The first period then came to an end with Adrian holding a 17-8 shot advantage. The Cyclones were 1/3 on the penalty kill and 0/1 on the power play in the first period.
“The first part of that first period set the tone and it wasn’t in our favor,” Fairman said.
Iowa State picked up a penalty in the first minute of the second period but killed it to keep the score at 5-1. The second period saw only one goal between the two teams. Jordan Oshowy tallied a goal at 3:23 to make the score 6-1. Kuhn had the puck behind the net and found Oshowy just outside the crease. His shot beat Neverve five-hole.
Just over a minute after the goal, the Cyclones went to the power play but the game remained 6-1. After a back-and-forth second period, Adrian narrowly outshot the Cyclones 11-10.
Just under two minutes into the third period, Jacob Schuldt picked up a five-minute major for charging with a game misconduct and left the ice. Less than a minute into the power play, Adrian made it 7-1. Oshowy’s cross-ice pass found Christopher Donaldson in the far faceoff circle. Donaldson’s wrister beat Neverve at 2:38. The Cyclones killed the rest major to keep the score at 7-1.
Near the midway point of the period, the Bulldogs scored two goals in quick succession. Overall scored a rebound goal at 8:28 to make it 8-1. Samuel Spaedt tallied a goal at 9:03 to increase Adrian’s lead to 9-1. Spaedt raced into the zone, deked a Cyclone defenseman and deked Neverve before scooping the puck into the net for the top-shelf goal.
The Cyclones found their second goal soon after Spaedt’s goal. A Cyclone and a Bulldog became tangled up in the crease. Each fell to the ice — also knocking down Barrett. The puck bounced around and found Eli Kopish in the slot. Kopish put the puck over Barrett’s stacked pads at 9:37.
The final goal of the night came at 12:43 in the third period. After a faceoff win, Dakota Bohn received a pass at the point, and his one-timer made it through traffic and into the back of the net.
“Largely, the game had been determined in the first period,” Fairman said.
Adrian ended the game with a 41-28 shot advantage. Neverve stopped 25 shots for a percentage of 0.806. Barrett made 26 saves for a percentage of 0.929. Iowa State finished the game 0/2 on the power play, and Adrian finished 3/6.