Three-goal performance in second period leads Cyclones to victory

Nick Rogers, #14, and Hunter Dolan, #11, on the Cyclone hockey team celebrate after a goal 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. 4 Cyclones returned home to the Ames/ISU Ice Arena on Friday to face the No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini in a CSCHL matchup. The Cyclones prevailed 4-1, in large part due to their second period performance.

The Cyclones came out with a slow start in the first period and the Fighting Illini capitalized on that. The Fighting Illini’s Robert Ernsting took a stolen pass and found the back of the net, giving them the early momentum, along with the 1-0 lead. Despite multiple chances for the Fighting Illini, the Cyclones managed to hold them to the 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.

The first intermission provided the Cyclones some time to readjust their game plan moving forward into the game, which ended up to be big help.

“We did change our strategy, how we played them and I thought that helped us adjust to what they were doing in the first period,” said head coach and general manager Jason Fairman.

The Fighting Illini seemed to have been put in a good spot with a power play opportunity in the second period, but would they had to send a man to the box during the power play, making the game being skated 4-on-4.

While skating 4-on-4, senior forward Aaron Azevedo set up fellow senior forward Tony Uglem with a fantastic pass that led to an Uglem goal that tied the game. Momentum was starting to move in the Cyclones’ favor.

The Cyclones’ penalty time ended and since the Fighting Illini still had a man in the box, the Cyclones found themselves on a power play opportunity after the Uglem goal.

Uglem took advantage of the power play and scored a power play goal, just over a minute from his first goal of the game. With the 2-1 lead from the pair of Uglem goals, momentum swung in Iowa State’s favor as they took control of the game.

“We needed that,” Fairman said, “It changed the course of the game.”

Sophomore forward Jared Erickson closed out the Cyclones in the second period, tallying on another goal with just under three minutes left to play. The Cyclones went from a scoreless first period to a three-goal performance, swinging the games momentum in their favor.

“Especially after that first period, they were able to get one on us,” Uglem said. “Just coming out, knowing we can score goals and just being able to do it is huge and going into tomorrow, that’s going to be really important too.”

The Cyclones held the Fighting Illini scoreless for the remainder of the game after their goal in the first period. However, the Cyclones weren’t done scoring.

In an attempt to get some goals back in the third period, the Fighting Illini pulled their goalie so they could have an extra man advantage over the Cyclones. However, freshman forward Nick Rogers managed to get the puck, took it down to the other end and scored a goal on the empty net, sealing the 4-1 victory over the Fighting Illini in the first matchup.

The Cyclones and the Fighting Illini will face off again on Saturday night at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena and the Cyclones know what they need to do to find success.

“I think we definitely need to have a little bit of a quicker start, getting over there and matching their speed and play a little bit more physical,” Erickson said.