No. 5 Cyclones sweep No. 7 Central Oklahoma on road

Senior defenseman Kurt Halbach shoots the puck during the Iowa State vs. Illinois State game Sept. 29th. The Cyclones beat the Redbirds 5-2. 

Carlyn Ward

Cyclone Hockey continued its hot streak this weekend, completing the sweep over No. 7 University of Central Oklahoma.

On Friday night, the Cyclones ousted the Bronchos 3-1, with goals from freshman forward C.J. Banser, sophomore forward Dylan Goggin and senior forward Tony Uglem.

Saturday night’s game, which finished in a 5-3 victory, proved to be more of a battle for the Cyclones, as they had to battle back from a one-goal deficit three times.

Senior forward Trevor Sabo tied the game at one in the first period, but going into the first intermission, the Cyclones trailed 2-1.

Senior defenseman Kurt Halbach then tied the game for the Cyclones in the second period, just after killing two penalties on a chaotic 5-on-3 Central Oklahoma power play.

“That was pretty intense … we only had one player with a stick out on the ice, and immediately after that we go down and score,” Sabo said. “It completely shifted the tides. I think that was a turning point in the game, even though we didn’t take the lead there.”

The weekend was filled with countless power play opportunities on both sides, so much of the game was spent on special teams.

That 5-on-3 Central Oklahoma power play was not all the Cyclones had to overcome.

“Considering all the situations we were put in, whether it be 5-on-3, 4-on-3, whatever it may have been, I think overall we were pretty good on special teams,” said head coach and general manager Jason Fairman.

The Bronchos regained their lead in the second period, which made the score going into the second intermission 3-2.

In the third period, the Cyclones came out with a much bigger jump than the first two periods.

“On our winning streak, we’ve beaten some top teams. We’ve recognized as a team, what’s allowed us to do that,” Fairman said. “I think we got away from that in the first and second period, but we got back to that in the third.”

With 13:27 remaining, sophomore forward Hunter Dolan tied the game again for the Cyclones, which paved the way for Sabo to take the lead two minutes later. 

Banser then notched another goal, to give the Cyclones a two-goal lead.

Halbach said going into that period, they wanted to play simple but play hard, and do everything they needed to do in order for things to swing in their favor. That’s exactly what the Cyclones did.

“We played smart. Our defensive zone was good, our goaltending was good,” Halbach said. “We made the right plays that we needed to, and that contributed to how we ended up doing this weekend.”

Senior goaltender Matt Goedeke also played strong this weekend, allowing just four goals on 61 shots throughout the two games.

Fairman said the Cyclones have a lot of confidence in the midst of this five-game winning streak. They’ll look to continue their strong play against Robert Morris University on Nov. 16 and 17.