There was just something about the 3:00 mark in the period at Ames/ISU Ice Arena Friday.
No. 24 Cyclone Hockey saw their losing streak extend to five games with a 4-1 loss to CSCHL rival University of Ohio and there were two instances in the game that truly defined the outcome.
The first one came three and a half minutes into the game after a fairly even start. The Cyclones were in the defensive end and were close to getting a clear and potentially a breakaway. Instead, Sam Turner of the Bobcats was able to find the back of the net to give Ohio a 1-0 lead early in the game.
A lead early on is key for any team trying to win on the road against a rival and that's exactly what Ohio did in Ames Friday.
They added another goal later on in the period, and went back to the locker room already up 2-0.
The second crucial turning point in the game came at almost exactly the same time as the first, and Head Coach Jason Fairman believes that was the one that really took the wind out of the Cyclone's sails.
"When they got that goal, to be honest, the life came out of us. We were putting pressure on them [...] I think we were just in disbelief," Fairman said.
Iowa State notched a goal halfway through the period off a nice top-shelf backhander from Brooks Mitzel to make it 3-1, but the game got closer and closer to being over, and the Cyclones failed to really find their rhythm.
The third period saw a lot more physicality, with multiple occasions getting the officials involved. The chippy play is to be expected when two rivals hit the ice, and captain Dylan Goggin knew that was coming.
"[The refs] did a good job of keeping it consistent both ways, and they let us play, it's a good aggressive conference game," Goggin said.
Early period goals are a killer for a team that generates their fair share of chances, and they're also a big help to a highly-talented team trying to steal a win on the road in their own conference.