After suffering a 4-1 loss against the No. 3 Ohio Bobcats on Friday night, Cyclone Hockey was determined to bounce back on Saturday. That they did, winning the game 5-3 and giving the Bobcats their first loss of the season.
“You look to build confidence week after week,” said coach and general manager Jason Fairman. “We’re going to probably have the toughest strength of schedule this year, so there won’t be many easy games and we have to battle like we did tonight.”
It seemed like Ohio was going to be the ones in control after Thomas Pokorney got Ohio on the board just 19 seconds into the game. Ohio stuck again with 3:18 left with a goal from Grant Hazel. The Bobcats had a 2-0 lead and looked to keep up their momentum.
Iowa State was able to slow their momentum down with a power play goal from Aaron Azevedo with a minute left in the first period.
The second period began, and it was the freshman forward Nick Rogers who started things off with a goal 44 seconds into the period, tying the game. Ohio’s Zach Frank took the lead back for Ohio, but Iowa State’s Trevor Sabo would tie the game up.
Nick Rogers broke the tie, scoring the go-ahead goal to give the Cyclones a 4-3 lead, which they held on to until senior forward Tony Uglem took advantage of an open net with 9 seconds left, sealing the 5-3 win.
Rogers led the Cyclones in goals on Saturday with his two goals in the second period. Tony Uglem led the Cyclones in points with one goal and two assists.
“I just got opportunities,” Rogers said. “I was in the right place at the right time and I just took advantage of it.”
Defensively, it was junior goaltender Nikita Kozak who would start Saturday’s game. After a tough first period with two Ohio goals, Kozak had to mentally get past the two goals allowed.
“As a goaltender, you understand you can’t do anything from a shot that went in previously,” Kozak said. “You just got to make sure you stop that next one and give the team the best opportunity to win.”
Kozak allowed only one goal through the next two periods of play, shutting down the Ohio offense with help from his defense.
The Cyclone defense on special teams played a huge role in stopping Ohio. Despite having a disadvantage during Ohio power plays, Iowa State went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The win on Saturday snapped Ohio’s winning streak and broke their undefeated record. It also gives Cyclone Hockey some confidence heading into the week and into their next series of games.
“The guys are looking to prove that we belong among the elite teams in the nation,” Fairman said. “Like we’ve always been.”