Cyclone Hockey grabs CSCHL Tournament Championship

Junior Jake Uglem celebrates the win against Utah Friday night with goalie Matt Goedeke.

Connor Ferguson

Two down, one to go.

Cyclone Hockey had three goals in its 2016-17 campaign when the season started: win the Central States Central Hockey League regular season, win the CSCHL tournament and win the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship.

On Sunday afternoon in Bensenville, Illinois, the team accomplished its second of the three, beating the Lindenwood Lions 5-4 in the CSCHL Tournament Championship.

“We are very pleased [with the victory],” Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman said. “We accomplished two of our three goals. It was a wild game.”

Last week’s regular season championship win was the first championship any Cyclone Hockey team had won since before senior defenseman Eero Helanto played in Ames. The second was even better, Helanto said. 

“It feels great, everyone is pretty happy,” Helanto said. “Those guys who have been playing four years, like me, haven’t won anything. Now, we are regular season champions and tournament champions.”

This was the first CSCHL tournament championship for Cyclone Hockey since 2006-07.

The win completed the sweep of CSCHL season accolades for the team, which will now prepare for the ACHA tournament. 

Helanto said he thinks the two championships ahead of nationals will be huge for Cyclone Hockey, as it has been trying to mount momentum into March.

The Cyclones led Lindenwood 3-0 after the first period and looked to be well on their way to a victory. 

But Lindenwood was able to storm back.

The Lions narrowed the defecit to 3-2 after the second period.

“They got their game back going and kind of outplayed us,” Helanto said. “I think we still played pretty well as a team.”

The Cyclones went up 4-2 in the third, but after a Lindenwood goal and a five-minute major called on Jackson Graalum, the Lions went on a power play.

They scored on a deflection off of a one-timer by Ryan Carson and tied the game.

“It’s a championship game,” Fairman said. “It’s never going to be easy. They had us back on our heels.”

The game would go into overtime, but it would not last long. Colton Kramer scored 54 seconds into the sudden death frame to give the Cyclones a 5-4 win.

“That was a clutch goal,” Fairman said. “It was the biggest goal of his career, I think.”

The overtime win was the team’s second in as many games, as it had to come from behind to beat No. 9 Robert Morris in the semifinals of the CSCHL Tournament on Saturday.

“It certainly is good character building, [when you play] two games in overtime over the weekend,” Fairman said.

Before heading to the ACHA national tournament on March 9, the Cyclones will be celebrating senior night on March 4 against Midland at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.

The full bracket of the ACHA tournament can be found here.