Cyclone Hockey loses momentum after injury resulting in loss against Illinois

Once the fight calmed down, team medic Dana Cash ran out onto the ice to assess Tony Uglem’s injuries. Junior Nick Sandy and junior Kurt Halbach are seen here supporting Uglem. 

Brian Mozey

Cyclone Hockey was down 2-1 with seven minutes left in the game. Iowa State hadn’t scored since the halfway point in the first period. The team needed something.

All of a sudden, sophomore Anthony Song connected on a shot that tied the game at two apiece with 6:45 left in the game. The Cyclones regained the momentum and were starting to feel confident about the end of the game.

Then, one big hit took all of that away.

“The referee was weak from the beginning and he essentially took the game out of our hands,” said head coach and general manager Jason Fairman. “I don’t like getting into officials…his calls were weak at the beginning of the game, it wasn’t just at the end. It just figures it’s just a cherry on top of his officiating tonight.”

With 6:13 left in the game, junior Tony Uglem was hit hard by Illinois’ James McGing and Uglem went down on the ice. He laid face down on the ice for a few minutes holding his head.

One of his teammates skated to the bench signaling the need of a trainer and attention was given to him. After conversing with the trainer for a couple minutes, Uglem got back to his feet and skated off the ice to the bench.

A pile of blood was left on the ice.

While Uglem was laying on the ice, Iowa State’s Justin Paulson got called for tripping and Aaron Azevedo was ejected from the game for a misconduct as he was defending his teammate. Fairman thought that Illinois should’ve had a penalty against them to even it up with less than seven minutes left in the game.

The referee told Fairman on the bench that it was a clean hit and there would be no penalties assessed to Illinois. Therefore, the Cyclones were playing 3-on-5 hockey for five of the last six minutes.

“[The referee] thought it was a clean hit and I give it to agree,” Fairman said. “But when Tony’s got a cut on the top of his head and he’s six-foot and the kid that hit him is five-eight, that’s a high hit, can’t hit high anymore.”

Once Iowa State got put into the 5-on-3 situation, the Cyclones competed for a little bit by knocking pucks over to Illinois’ side of the ice. After about a minute and a half, Illinois struck with its third goal. Then, about two minutes later, the Illini struck with its fourth and final goal of the evening.

“We didn’t think we deserved a 5-on-3 there,” said senior defenseman Kody Reuter. “One penalty would’ve been fine. I think it did have an impact on the outcome.”

It was a frustrating way to end the night after a back-and-forth evening between the two teams, but the good part is that Uglem will be ready to go, according to Fairman.

“He should be fine tomorrow,” Fairman said. “Just get some stitches.”

Azevedo will be able to play on Saturday against Illinois after the ejection on Friday. Now, Reuter said the team needs to focus on the positives before Uglem’s injury.

It was a tie game prior to Uglem’s injury and senior goalie Matt Goedeke thinks that can lead into a good game for Saturday.

“We also swept them at their rink,” Goedeke said. “So, we know that’s what they’re going to be looking to do, so we just got to make sure we don’t let them do it.”

The Cyclones will continue to look to its strong defense from last weekend to make sure the sweep doesn’t happen against Illinois.

The defense allowed only one goal last week against Robert Morris and only one even strength goal on Friday night. The other three against Illinois came from power plays for the Illini.

If the defense can continue to shut out opponents and Goedeke continues his dominance around the net, Iowa State should be confident leading into Saturday’s game against Illinois.

“I think we have to look at it from the positive side,” Reuter said. “We were in the game with these guys, we can play with them. We’re going to use that for tomorrow and use it for a little bit of fire as well.”