For Cyclone Hockey, it has been a challenging last couple of weeks, with a winless trip to Central Oklahoma as well as Minot State, and splitting at home against Illinois. Cyclone Hockey needed to get back on track, and that's exactly what the Cyclones did this weekend in Colorado.
The Cyclones won 3-2 on Friday night, and 2-1 on Saturday. This is exactly what the doctor ordered, seeing as they have had trouble finding the back of the net in recent weeks against much tougher competition.
Back to winning ways
It's not hard to remember when the Cyclones were having one of the best seasons in their history, it was last year. Record-wise, they're still on pace to have a very strong season, but it's important have some momentum going into more important and difficult matchups.
This is the Cyclones third sweep of the season, and first since the middle of October against a very good Jamestown team. They also swept Waldorf to begin the season. They've hung around with some of the best teams in the country, the Lindenwoods and the Minot States, but were swept both times. If Iowa State wants to consider themselves National Championship contenders, they have to start picking up wins against teams they would see in the later rounds.
The officials were not shy in blowing their whistles this weekend, a total of 20 penalties were called, which means approximately a third of the weekend was played with a man in the penalty box. It benefitted the Cyclones more, Colorado State committed 14 infractions, resulting in lots of power plays for Iowa State.
What's more surprising is that the Cyclones had five goals on the weekend, and only one of them came on the power play, that being Payton Mcsherry scoring off a Alberto Moreno tripping penalty that carried over into the second period of Friday night's game.
Kozak continues strong season
Nikita Kozak was a big part of the teams success this weekend. Giving up two goals on 22 shots on Friday, and following it up with one goal allowed on 24 shots. In total, Kozak stopped 43 of 46 shots, a save percentage of 0.934, which is pretty dang impressive. Kozak is playing at a high level right now, and his team is finding their offensive footing.
If Iowa State can continue to build on this offensive success, and Kozak keeps being a solid goaltender, there's no reason why this team can't find themselves right back where they were last year, or at least be competitive down the stretch.
The Cyclones have a week off before heading back home to Ames Ice Arena for a weekend showdown with Robert Morris of Illinois, who comes in with a strong record of 8-5. Both nights have a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.