Cyclone Hockey travels to Missouri for Lindenwood series

Cyclone players celebrate a goal by junior Ray Zimmerman during Iowa State’s 3-2 victory over Robert Morris on Dec. 6.

Jared Bravard

After a home split with then No. 7 Ohio, No. 23 Cyclone Hockey will hit the road this week with a matchup against the No. 3 Lindenwood University Lions.

The Lions (21-7-0) have been ranked third for five consecutive weeks of rankings. For seven straight rankings, Cyclone Hockey has found itself ranked between 21 and 25.

The Cyclones are 1-5 in their previous six games but had a four-game win streak before that. Lindenwood is 5-1 in its last six.

These two teams last met in October. The Lions got the sweep, winning 3-1 and 3-0.

Of the 70 Division I teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), Lindenwood sits in second for least goals against this season (37) behind No. 1 Adrian College.

Goal scoring has been a common theme of the Cyclones’ season. Cyclone Hockey averages 2.24 goals per game and 2.03 goals against per game. Almost half of the Cyclone games this season — 16 of 34 — have been decided by one goal.

Head Coach Jason Fairman said he is pleased with the way the team plays in all other areas of the game and said it’s hard to be disappointed in the team.

“If we didn’t bring an effort and we weren’t executing other than goal scoring, that might be a reason to be harder on the team or disappointed, but our coaching staff is pretty pleased with the way this team goes about its business,” Fairman said.

The matchup will also feature two top ten goalies. Lindenwood’s Cooper Seedott is ranked third in the ACHA for goals against (1.17) and save percentage (94.8). Cyclone netminder Nikita Kozak is currently sixth in goals against (1.92) and save percentage (93.5).

Seedott is the main Lindenwood goalie with a record of 18-7-0. Stephen Friedland is the secondary goalie with a record of 3-0-0, with wins over Robert Morris Illinois (twice) and Iowa State.

The Cyclones currently lead the ACHA in fewest penalty minutes (225) and average penalty minutes per game (6.62). Lindenwood sits in 51st with 558 penalty minutes and 54th in average penalty minutes per game (19.93).

“We can only control so much — and those are wins, and we haven’t gotten the wins we’ve needed, and we haven’t scored the goals that we’ve needed,” Fairman said.

With four games left in the regular season, Cyclone Hockey finds itself on the outside looking in. A total of 20 teams — six automatic bids and 14 at-large — qualify for the ACHA Division I National Championships. The Cyclones play No. 19 Oklahoma next weekend before playing in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) playoffs March 6-8.

“They should be motivated by games. They should be motivated by nationals,” Fairman said. “That comes from the locker room. The coaching staff can impact that to a degree, but that’s gotta come from the locker room.”

The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, Missouri.