Things didn’t seem to go Cyclone Hockey’s way toward the end of the season. Despite good play, the Cyclones dropped eight of their last 10 games of the season, which resulted in them falling from No. 4 to No. 5 before the postseason. Then they dropped out of the CSCHL Playoffs with a loss to Ohio.
Despite this, the Cyclones went on an impressive run in the 2019 ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) Men’s Division I National Tournament last week. This run saw the Cyclones make a return to the national championship game against the Minot State Beavers on March 26. Unfortunately for the Cyclones, the Beavers would be the ones to take home the championship.
A run to remember
The No. 5 Cyclones started the tournament off by matching up against an unfamiliar Stony Brook team that was ranked at No. 12. The unfamiliarity seemed to help the Cyclones out by allowing them to focus more on playing their game, and that they did. The Cyclones came out and dominated their first matchup in a 4-0 victory over the Seawolves.
Their next matchup came against the same team that had bounced them out of the CSCHL Playoffs, the No. 4 Ohio Bobcats. The game saw goals bounce back and forth between the teams and after the Cyclones tied that game at 2-2, senior forward Tony Uglem put in the game-winning goal, advancing the Cyclones to the semi-final round.
The Cyclones faced a tough challenged in the semi-final round, matching up with the No. 2 Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines. The Cyclones got the first lead of the game thanks to senior forward Trevor Sabo, but the Wolverines responded with two straight goals, holding a 2-1 lead for much of the game. The Cyclones responded late in the game with a goal from senior defenseman Nick Sandy, forcing the game into overtime. The game went into a double overtime period before senior forward Colton Kramer deflected a shot in to send the Cyclones back to the national championship.
The championship game saw the Cyclones fall to a Minot State team that was out to prove themselves after they took down Illinois, defending national champs Adrian and No. 1 Lindenwood.
The Cyclones took the early lead thanks to Sabo. However, the Beavers scored two straight goals to take a 2-1 lead. The Cyclones failed to find the back of the net again even after several near goals. After getting an extra man advantage when Iowa State pulled senior goaltender Matt Goedeke, the Beavers managed to take advantage of the open net, sealing the game in a 3-1 victory.
Seniors show up in last tournament
For every senior member that was a part of Cyclone Hockey, the national championship run in the 2015-16 season was one to remember. All throughout the season, they wanted to repeat that run and try to take home the championship. Several senior members stepped up for the Cyclones, making memorable play after memorable play.
Forward Tony Uglem was the one to get the Cyclones on the scoreboard, helped set up the goal that tied the game at two and fired in the game winning goal against Ohio, as well as getting two more assists in the tournament. Forward Aaron Azevedo got the second goal in the Stony Brook game, the goal that tied the game at two and helped set up the game winning goal against Ohio. Forward Trevor Sabo scored to start off the games against Michigan-Dearborn and Minot State, as well as picking up two assists in the Stony Brook game.
Defenseman Nick Sandy picked up two assists and was the one to fire in the game tying goal with little time left on the clock against Michigan-Dearborn, sending that game into overtime.
Forward Colton Kramer picked up an assist on the Uglem game-winning goal in the Ohio game. Kramer also was the one to deflect the shot into the net in double overtime against Michigan-Dearborn. That shot that Kramer defected came from defenseman Kurt Halbach.
Goaltender Matt Goedeke made key save after key save for the Cyclones, especially in the later games of their tournament run.