Takeaways: Cyclone Hockey splits weekend with Robert Morris Illinois

Max Olson, #4 on the Cyclone hockey team, plays defense at Friday night’s game. The game was held at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. The Cyclones won the game against Minot State with a final score of 3-1. 

Stephen Mcdaniel

The No. 5 Cyclones were back at home Friday and Saturday, as they faced the No. 18 Robert Morris Eagles. The series saw a split with an overtime 4-3 win Friday for the Eagles and a 1-0 shutout Saturday for the Cyclones.

After the weekend split with the Eagles, the Cyclones move their record to 15-5 and their conference record to 3-5.

Kramer’s hot streak continues

Senior forward Colton Kramer returned to Cyclone Hockey at the start of the second half of their season, but the senior has wasted no time getting involved. His return last week against Missouri State saw him score four goals in the first game and tally another goal in the second game.

Kramer got involved once again in both games against the Eagles.

After a scoreless first period in Friday’s game and despite the Eagles going on a power play during the second period, Kramer capitalized on a scoring opportunity and managed to score a shorthanded goal, which was the first goal of that game and provided the Cyclones with the first lead.

After another scoreless first period in Saturday’s game, Kramer came in big for the Cyclones in the second period and scored the crucial first goal. Cyclones ultimately held on to the 1-0 lead for the remainder of the game, shutting out the Eagles.

“I’ve definitely been a beneficiary of some luck and some good passes, so it’s not all me,” Kramer said. “We’re just working good as a line again, so it’s picking up where we left off, so it’s been good.”

After his weekend performance against the Eagles, Kramer has recorded eight points, with seven goals and one assist, in the span of the Cyclones’ last four games.

Special teams play

The Cyclones’ special teams played a big role in the games against the Eagles on both sides of the puck.

The Cyclones committed four total penalties all weekend, with two penalties in both games, but the Cyclones managed to shut down the Eagles’ power play all four times, going for a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

“If you want to be a championship team, you have to be composed and not take bad penalties,” said head coach and general manager Jason Fairman.

Offensively, the Cyclones capitalized on a power play and even during the penalty kill during Friday’s game. Kramer managed the shorthanded goal in the second period and senior forward Tony Uglem capitalized on a power-play goal during the third period of Friday’s game.

“A lot of those close games come down to a power play or a penalty kill, one breakdown and one goal pops in and that’s the game right there,” Kramer said. “So it’s one of the more important parts of the game in those close ones.”

Ability to bounce back

Friday night’s game saw the Cyclones lose in heartbreaking fashion, with the Eagles managing to tie the game up with just under 90 seconds left of play, then scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to walk away with the victory.

Saturday, the Cyclones bounced back from Friday’s overtime loss and shut out the Eagles in their 1-0 victory, which saw senior goaltender Matt Goedeke go perfect with 28 saves on 28 shots.

Fairman mentioned that the team’s effort was one of the changes from their Friday performance to their Saturday performance.

“We weren’t particularly good on Friday, but tonight was a pretty good effort,” Fairman said. “This is more like the team that we know and love.”

Being able to come out on top, especially in close games, will give the Cyclones an advantage moving forward.

“When we get toward [the] playoffs, all the games are going to be close,” Goedeke said. “So it’s good to get that experience in close games right now, so we kind of know how to handle it and we know what to expect when we get into that situation where games matter the most.”