Frustrated Cyclones swept by defending champs

Dan Kassan

After a close game Friday night, Iowa State once again stayed with the No. 1-ranked team in the country, but three unanswered goals in the second and third periods propelled the Lindenwood Lions to a 6-3 victory and a sweep over the Cyclones Saturday night.

“We’re a little bit banged up but I thought we played them really well,” said coach Al Murdoch.  “More positives than negatives, and we still have a pretty young team.”

The youthfulness showed at times for the Cyclones (11-14-0) against an experienced, defending national champion squad in Lindenwood (17-1-0).  Both teams took about an average amount of penalties, but it was the Cyclone defense that had troubles at time clearing the puck out of their own zone, leading to scoring chances for the Lions.

“You know, they’re a good team, I’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They worked hard,” said ISU goaltender Erik Hudson, who faced 32 shots on the night. “Just sometimes we get overwhelmed, but, you know, we’re young, we’re building.  It’s tough.”

Shots were even after the first period, as the Lions went into the first intermission up 2-1.  The Cyclones never got closer than a one-goal deficit.  Iowa State had deficits of 2-1 and 3-2, but just couldn’t get the tying goal and keep the momentum going their way.

“They’re well-coached, you know, I have all the respect in the world for them,” Murdoch said.  “I think our guys know ‘Hey, that’s number one’.  If we play the very best competition, that’s how we’re going to get better.”

After Iowa State made it 3-2 in the second period on a power-play goal from freshman Jake Flynn, the Lions responded with their run of three goals.  They got one in the second and two late in the third, when the Cyclones couldn’t get any offensive plays and special teams to convert into goals.  Lindenwood, known for capitalizing on turnovers, got several especially late in ISU shifts.

“You don’t want to have a weak moment, and you don’t want to stay out on the ice too long,” Murdoch said.  “Late in the shift when we’re tired, we had some turnovers.”

This week, the Cyclones will prepare for finals during dead week and get ready for their in-state rival, the University of Iowa.  Getting swept at home is hard to take, but Hudson, exhausted emotionally after the game, said Lindenwood was more experienced than Iowa State and had a lot of talent.

“We got to keep working, you know,” Hudson said.  “Got to put this one behind us.  It was a tough loss and, you know, tough year so far but can’t say much about it.”

Iowa State will face Iowa Dec. 10 at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m.