After losing five of its previous six games, the No. 10 Cyclone Hockey club was hoping to turn things around against No. 9 Illinois with a two-game weekend series.
The Cyclones (8-5-1) came out aggressively in the first game of the weekend series, scoring the first goal of the game at 11:15. Illinois (10-3-2) was quick to respond, however, scoring two power play goals before the end of the first period.
Although Iowa State produced offensively throughout the game, Illinois answered each time. The Cyclones were never able to take the lead and lost the game 6-4.
“Not a great night for goaltenders,” said coach Al Murdoch of the Cyclones' goaltending woes of late.
Senior goalie Paul Karus, who started for the Cyclones in the first game of the series, was pulled in the second period and replaced by Scott Ismond.
Murdoch said he decided to pull Karus because he was looking for a “change in momentum," equating the switch to a pitching change in a baseball game.
Junior forward Jon Feavel stated his frustration with Illinois’ three power play goals, noting that Iowa State is capable of a lot more.
“We’ve been losing games because of us,” Feavel said.
Feavel added that the Cyclones need to stay in the right mindset throughout the entire game and the forwards must be more accountable.
Iowa State was focused and determined to break its losing streak coming out to face the Illini in game two of the weekend series.
Illinois started off the scoring, tallying its first goal of the game at 16:38 in the first period. Beginning the second period down 1-0, the Cyclones came alive, scoring two back-to-back goals.
Iowa State would add three more goals before the end of the game to break its losing streak with a 5-3 win.
“It was a big win for us and gave us some momentum for when we head to Indiana next weekend,” said senior defenseman Brandon Clark.
Happy to see some results from the hard work in practice, Karus noted how well the Cyclone’s defense played.
“The forwards and the team did a fantastic job of winning the small battles and changing the momentum,” Karus said.
The Cyclones will take the ice again Friday and Saturday against the Hoosiers in Indiana.