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Division I Hockey
Takeaways: Cyclones swept by No. 1 team

By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard


Following a 3-2 final on Saturday, the No. 1 Lindenwood Lions (8-0) completed the sweep of the now-No. 5 Cyclones (10-5-1) on Sunday with a 2-0 win in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

“It was a gauge of how far we still need to go as a team,” said Head Coach Jason Fairman. “It was another learning weekend for us against a top-notch opponent.”


Strong starts

The Cyclones had slow starts on the road earlier this season, but Fairman saw that change this past weekend.

“I was very pleased with our play in the first period,” Fairman said after Saturday’s game. “I thought we territorially had the advantage and I felt that it was going to be a good day for us.”

After Saturday’s first period, the Cyclones held a 1-0 lead and a 9-6 shot advantage.

“In the first period, we came out and matched their speed and intensity,” said Austin Keil. “I thought we controlled most of the first period.”

Matty Moran saw more of the same in Sunday’s first period despite the scoreless game. The Cyclones again outshot the Lions by an 8-6 advantage on Sunday.

“The start of both games was pretty similar actually,” Moran said after Sunday’s game. “We were playing well in the first.”


Taming the Lions

Entering the weekend, the Lions averaged 6.67 goals per game. The Cyclones held them to three on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Moran gave all the credit to Cyclone goalie Greg Moon.

“Greg Moon stood on his head the entire weekend,” Moran said. “[…] He was a rock back there.”

In Saturday’s game, Moon recorded 21 saves for a percentage of 0.875. He made a save on a Lindenwood breakaway during the second period to help the Cyclones keep their 1-0 lead.

Moon again made multiple breakaway saves in Sunday’s game. Lindenwood had a two-man break in the first period and another breakaway early in the second, but Moon was equal to the task to keep the game scoreless.

Sunday’s 37 saves tied the season-high for Moon as he recorded a season-high 0.945 save percentage in the game.


Close games 

The Cyclones have been within three goals in all of their losses this season and were again this weekend as the difference was just one on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Max Kamper saw the Cyclones go toe-to-toe with the Lions on Saturday.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Kamper said. “I thought it was a pretty even matchup.”

Despite the work ahead of them, Fairman knows the Cyclones are not far away.

“We’re right there but we have got to get better in some areas if we’re going to compete on the national stage,” Fairman said.


Up next

The Cyclones have a week off before their next series, which will be a rematch against the Lions. The series will take place March 5-6 in Ames, Iowa.

Moran said the Cyclones showed they could hang with the Lions and is optimistic about the next time the two teams meet.

“Some of our better players were injured and we still managed to keep it within two,” Moran said. “[…] We just need to work a little bit harder and I think we’ll come out on top.”