Cyclone Hockey hosted the University of Illinois on Saturday and was defeated by the Fighting Illini 2-0.
During the seven minute mark both teams were at full strength but could not get anything going offensively. Both teams were aggressive. There was plenty of shoving and pushing in the first period with the Fighting Illini wanting revenge from the 3-0 loss on Friday.
Coach Jason Fairman thought that Illinois was more fired up than the Cyclones tonight.
“We did not match the same intensity in the second period,” Fairman said.
At the end of the first period the game was scoreless-even with the Cyclones having a total of 16 shots.
“Tonight, both teams were aggressive," said goalie Nikita Kozak. "As a team it was frustrating that we could not get anything going during all three periods.
"I thought the team responded well whenever we were faced with difficulty."
Right at the start of the second period, the Fighting Illini scored its first goal of the night, making it 1-0. The momentum in the second period died down after Illinois scored its first goal.
The Cyclones did not have nearly as many of the shots that they had in the first period. Halfway through the second period the Cyclones only had two shot attempts. At the end of the second period there was six shots taken by the Cyclones and 12 saves by Kozak.
At the four-minute mark the Fighting Illini scored another goal making it 2-0.
“We were feeling sorry for ourselves all night,” Fairman said.
According to Kozak, the second period is where the team started to trickle off.
“Both of the goals that were allowed in the second period were because of bad positioning," Kozak said. "We will have to step up our game next week against Minot."
The Cyclones needed a comeback period during the third period if the Cyclones wanted a chance to win. The Cyclones had a total of nine shots in the third, but they never landed.
Kozak had four saves in the third period and did not allow another goal.
Fairman’s overall thoughts on the game was the team did not play with the same energy that the Cyclones had last night.
Kozak had to do it all this weekend. On Friday he had 35 saves and Saturday he matched that number.
“I like to control the pace and tonight I also had some faults, letting a few rebounds slip away from me in the first and third periods,” Kozak said.
The Cyclones next challenge will be against Minot State University who ended the Cyclones season last year. The Cyclones will face Minot State on Nov. 15 and 16 in Minot, North Dakota.