Hockey fans were treated to plenty of free hockey in a five overtime showdown between Cyclone Hockey and Lindenwood Saturday night.
To get to this game, Iowa State made quick work of Robert Morris on Friday, 6-1, to move on to the CSCHL semifinals on Saturday.
The Cyclones faced off against No. 3 (and top CSCHL seed) Lindenwood in the semi-finals of the CSCHL playoffs.
Shortly after a failed power play attempt, the Cyclones were able to get on the board first off a goal from Ray Zimmerman. The scoresheet assists went to Payton McSharry and Dylan Goggin, but the real helper was a Lion turnover in their own zone.
Aside from that goal, the first frame was fairly quiet. Two penalties committed by Lindenwood were killed. Iowa State was able to get a couple chances early on (including the goal), but Lindenwood really started to dominate towards the end.
In what could be senior goaltender Nikita Kozak's last game as a Cyclone, he had to come up big near the end of that first period with at least a couple nifty saves, and Iowa State held the lead going into the second.
The second period saw many more pucks go in the net. Ryan Finnegan put one past Kozak just a minute into the period. The Cyclones were able to respond, however, with captain Dylan Goggin being the beneficiary of a tic-tac-toe play off the 3-1 break, assists going to David Rutkowski and Blake Ramsey.
Lindenwood was able to tie it back up on the power play about eight minutes into the period. Iowa State is one of the least penalized teams in the country, so it is rare they concede a goal on the penalty kill.
Rutkowski rushed in with about six and a half minutes to play, and Payton McSharry was able to backhand it home off the rebound to give Iowa State a 3-2 lead.
The final frame saw two power play goals, one by each team. The score was 4-3 from about seven minutes in until about five seconds left, when the Lions created a large scrum in front of Kozak after pulling the goalie, and pushed it through to send the game into extras.
One note about overtime in the playoffs is that regulation overtime is played until a winner is determined. That would be an important fact to remember.
As is expected of a playoff overtime game, the teams went back and forth in the first overtime, with no team gaining a distinct advantage.
The second overtime was dominated by the Lion offense or Nikita Kozak, depending on how you look at it. Kozak was needing to make save after save, as the shots kept coming.
The only thing that shows up on the scoreboard through 40 minutes of overtime is a penalty per side, each killed off.
The third overtime consisted of much more even play. Both sides had some tremendous chances to get their tired legs off the ice, but the goalies stood strong for 20 more minutes. Hunter Dolan was a notable participant in the sixth frame, having a couple of very good chances.
After playing what is equivalent to two hockey games consecutively, fatigue started to show from the players and restlessness from the fans. There was another semifinal game to be played, Ohio and Illinois. Boos could be heard raining down after the third overtime.
The shots after four overtimes were 78-42, in favor of Lindenwood. That's 74 saves for Kozak and 38 saves for Cooper Seedott.
With about two and a half minutes left to go in the fifth overtime, Lindenwood was finally able to put one past Kozak.
This game will certainly go down in the record books, but this also means the Cyclone's season has come to an end. They certainly did get their money's worth in their final game.
Lindenwood moves on to play either Ohio University or Illinois in the championship game, time and possibly date are to be determined.