The Cyclones returned to home ice this weekend, determined to add to their win column. They were ultimately successful as they started the weekend against the Colorado State Rams with a 3-0 shutout on Friday.
Being able to start the home series off with a win provided the Cyclones with some momentum going into Saturday’s game with the Rams and on the opposite side, the Rams are pressured to come out and play well in order to avoid being swept.
The Cyclones tallied three goals during Friday’s shutout. The first coming from junior forward and defenseman David Rutkowski, the second from senior forward Tony Uglem and the third from senior forward Colton Kramer on a power play.
“We haven’t seen these guys in a couple years, being able to take it to them and shut them out at home is really big,” Rutkowski said, “Hopefully we have a bigger win tomorrow.”
The first goal of the game not only provided the Cyclones with the first lead of the game but marked the first goal of the season for Rutkowski.
Rutkowski had previously spent time playing for Iowa State’s Division II team and made the jump to the Division I team at the start of the season. Rutkowski saw action in 19 games throughout the season, but Friday’s game was the one where he managed to get his first goal.
“It’s been a challenging year for him, you know there’s a big jump from Division II up to Division I,” said coach and general manager Jason Fairman. “It’s nice to see him get his first goal and I’m happy for him.”
The goal came 3:17 into the second period, as the goaltender had come out of net to challenge a shot. This left the net open for Rutkowski, who got the puck and buried it.
Rutkowski said he was relieved to finally bury one.
The Cyclones were just as impressive on the other side of the puck. Senior goaltender Matt Goedeke recorded his third shutout on the season after saving all 14 of the Rams shots on net. The Cyclone defense made it tough for the Rams to get scoring opportunities all night. The Cyclones outshot the Rams 40-14 throughout the game.
“It’s tough to play a team like [Colorado State] because they’re motivated for a push for qualifying for nationals because they’re right on the border there,” Goedeke said. “So shutting them out sends a message that we’re for real and they’re going to have to work hard tomorrow.”
The Cyclones had also made some other adjustments to their defense for Friday’s game. Sophomore forward and defenseman Dylan Goggin was out of the game, so the Cyclones had fellow sophomore forward Jared Erickson fill in on the defensive side.
While the Cyclones recorded the first win of the home series, they know their game can be improved as they look for the sweep over the Rams on Saturday.
“I just want to see us hungry tomorrow around the net,” Fairman said. “Have that killer instinct.”