Cyclone Hockey offense the difference in win over Illinois State University

Nick Rogers, freshman forward, attempts to make a shot on goal at the game on Sept. 28. Cyclone Hockey beat Illinois State 6 to 3 at the Ames/ISU Ice Area. This was game one of Cyclone Hockey’s weekend series against Illinois State.

Stephen Mcdaniel

Cyclone Hockey was back on the ice Friday night, as the Cyclones took on Illinois State University in the first of two non-conference home games.

The Cyclone offense dominated last weekend against Waldorf University and gave the Cyclones the edge in their Friday night game against the Redbirds.

The Cyclones struck first, capitalizing on a power play with a goal from Tony Uglem just 5:51 into the first period, putting the Cyclones up 1-0.

Freshman forward C.J. Banser built onto the Cyclones’ lead, placing the puck in the back of the net just over a minute after the Uglem goal to give the Cyclones a 2-0 lead.

“It’s important to kind of get our feet going and be able to score two early is real important,” Uglem said. “Just to kind of up the energy on the bench and in the locker room, just get everyone going.”

With the two early goals from Uglem and Banser, along with the Cyclone defense shutting down the Illinois State offense, the Cyclones would hold the 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

“You get a little momentum early,” said senior defenseman Nick Sandy. “If you start a little slow, it’s a lot easier to play the game when you got a couple goals in the back of the net.”

The Cyclones wasted no time in the start of the second period, with Uglem finding the back of the net for the second time in just 36 seconds from the start of play, giving the Cyclones a 3-0 lead.

“Tony [Uglem] is playing phenomenal right now, I mean he’s had a great career here,” Said coach and general manager Jason Fairman. “He’s one of the top players in the nation, so we’re going to be counting on him and it’s good to see him get such a great start.”

Freshman forward Nick Rogers also found the back of the net a few minutes later, pushing the Cyclone lead to 4-0.

Halfway through the second, sophomore forward Jared Erickson would score after deflecting a shot from senior forward Trevor Sabo. This gave the Cyclones a commanding 5-0 lead.

Illinois State would answer back with a goal after a penalty kill from the Cyclone defense. Illinois State took advantage of another power play, scoring a second goal with a little over a minute left in the second.

“25 or 28 percent of the game is on special teams, you’re either on a power play or killing a penalty,” Fairman said. “That’s a big chunk of the game that you need to be buttoned up and do well.”

The Cyclones headed into the second intermission with a three-goal lead, but Illinois State was picking up momentum.  

Illinois State’s Cory Wasilewski came in for Marc Hayton at goaltender to start the third period, looking to stop the Cyclone offense.

Both offenses remained quiet throughout the third period, but the silence was broken with 5:57 left with a goal from the Illinois State offense, who looked to continue a comeback with the score at 5-3 in favor of the Cyclones.

However, senior forward Adam Alcott responded immediately with a goal to put the Cyclones up 6-3, stopping the Illinois State comeback.

The Cyclones would hold on to the 6-3 lead to finish the game, giving the Cyclones the win.

“It was good to see that we got a lead and I thought for the most part we dominated play in that first period and to a degree in the second when we got up 5-0,” Fairman said.

The Cyclones will face against Illinois State again at home on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.