Cyclone Hockey usually gets off to good starts in the season. Very rarely have the Cyclones struggled to score the puck or find a way to win games.
Cyclone Hockey in 2019 has reached unchartered territory.
A goal from the blue line in the second period and a redirect power play goal in the third ignited second-ranked Lindenwood to a 3-0 victory over the fifth-ranked Cyclones Saturday night to complete the weekend sweep inside the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.
"This team reminds me of the 14-15 team that was hard working, just couldn't score," said head coach Jason Fairman. "We're a young team that's doing a lot of good things."
Cyclone Hockey is in the midst of a three-game losing streak — as well as three straight contests it has allowed three goals — and now finds itself 0-2 in the CSCHL after suffering its first sweep to drop its record to 4-4.
"There were blocks of time where I thought we were pretty good, thought we were dominant and there were other times where I was real concerned," Fairman said. "We got a team that doesn't seem to capitalize on mistakes and other times we made a mistake, they scored. It's frustrating for everybody."
Lindenwood had three different power plays at one point in the second period.
It started with a 5-on-4, then a couple penalties later became a 4-on-3 and finally went back to a 5-on-4.
Yet when the power plays were over and just as C.J. Banser emerged out of the penalty box, the Lions found the back of the net.
Michael Lombardi tossed the puck near the blue line and it found its way past Nikita Kozak to give second-ranked Lindenwood a 1-0 lead. Brendan Murphy was credited with the assist.
"That goal took the air out of us," Fairman said. "We lost momentum when we took those penalties. We had to win it back and it took awhile."
For awhile, it looked like the first goal of the night would come in the opening period.
Lindenwood dominated the first seven minutes, at one point putting up 11 shots. It had a power play at the 3:34 mark and couldn't do anything with it.
The Cyclones took control over the final 13 minutes, going on the power play twice and finishing the period with 12 shots.
Despite going 0-for-2 with the man advantage, Iowa State had plenty of scoring opportunities.
Andrew Lee had the puck poked away on a one-on-one breakaway and it fell to Stuart Pearson, who weaved his way to the glove side of Lions freshman goalie Stephen Friedland and flicked the shot too high.
Then, with five minutes left in the opening frame, Dom Varallo went between his legs to find a trailing Dylan Goggin and the junior captains shot was high enough for Friedland to stand straight up for the save.
Like Friday night, the score was knotted at zero after the first 20 minutes.
"Once we killed that penalty, I thought it was going to be our night," Fairman said. "I just felt we were playing really well three-fourths of that period after we weathered that early storm."
In the third, Lindenwood connected on its fourth time on the power play as Vegard Faret redirected a goal past Kozak for a 2-0 cushion.
Over three minutes later, Matt Runyon found the back of the net to push it to a three-goal lead.
Fairman isn't going to press the panic button yet, but the schedule gets more challenging with 15th-ranked Jamestown coming to down in five days.
"They went to-to-toe with one of the elite teams in the nation," Fairman said. "For a young team to do that, they should be proud."