In their last regular season game before the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament next weekend, the Cyclones hosted Senior Night, celebrating the careers of seniors Matt Goedeke, Derek Moser and Kody Reuter.
"They are great guys, they work hard and are the type of players that exemplify what Cyclone Hockey is and what we want it to be," said coach and general manager Jason Fairman. "They are hardworking players who are very dedicated to the teams success and will be sorely missed."
It was a packed arena for the last game of the season, as fans got one final opportunity to see the Cyclones play at home this season. However, the Cyclones dropped the game to the Midland Warriors, 3-2.
"We had three penalties in the third period," Fairman said. "If that's how we are going to play, then we will not make if very far in the national tournament".
The Cyclones showed good play early and prevented a lot of offensive zone entries for the Warriors and it paid off when the Cyclones got their first goal of the game from freshman Dylan Goggin, his sixth goal of the season. Not too long after, the Cyclones were caught in a bad line change and as a result, Midland was able to get on the board, tying the game.
Late in the period at 19:26, junior forward Tony Uglem was able to score a sneaky one past the Warriors goaltender over the shoulder to give the Cyclones the lead heading into the first intermission.
In the blink of an eye, Midland was able to tie the game right off the face off, catching the Cyclones off guard just 13 seconds into the period.
"A couple of our forwards did not have coverage. I told our guys after the game that we mostly dominated play, but with a couple breakdowns and penalty trouble, we ended up losing the game," Fairman said. "This could be us in a week.
"A couple critical mistakes like these and we lose the game."
The goal came from Warriors forward Blake Neumann, a product of the Minnesota Flying Aces in the NA3HL. Interestingly, Moser was pulled from the game at the 10 minute mark of the second and was replaced by sophomore Nikita Kozak.
This was Kozak's second chance in net this season and is someone who will likely be seen a lot next season with both Moser and Goedeke graduating. Kozak last played in late October against the University of Arkansas.
The Cyclones took their first penalty of the game after junior Adam Alcott went to the box for cross checking, sending the warriors to the power play where they were able to go up 3-2 on the Cyclones. The goal came at 2:37 from Ryan Conybear off of a good feed. The Cyclones had some great chances to tie it at the end as things got chippy, but were unable to net the equalizer,
Next weekend, the Cyclones are set to take on the Robert Morris Eagles in their first game of the national tournament at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 10. The Cyclones most recently faced the Eagles at the start of the CSCHL conference tournament, wining in a high-scoring game, 6-3.
"We have to be more consistent," Fairman said. "We are good one night and not the next. You have to win four games to win it all and be national champions at the tournament.
"That is what we can't be, good one night and not the next because then you will be done. We have to find more consistency."