Cyclone Hockey ends semester with sweep

Senior forward Alex Stephens faces off at the ISU vs Augustana game Oct. 30. The ending score was 11-0.

Austin Anderson

Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman walked into the locker room after the second period of the Friday night game against Dakota-Bottineau.

It had been just a single week since Cyclone Hockey lost to Ohio in one of the team’s toughest series in recent memory. Now Fairman stood in front of his team that, despite out shooting the Lumberjacks 35-12 in the first two periods, was trailing 2-1 to a junior college opponent.

“I told them they couldn’t lose this game,” Fairman said. “They had to win this game.”

The words were few, but the impact seemed to resonate immediately. The Cyclones had scored just one goal in the previous five periods combined, but a goal wasn’t the spark in that final period. 

Thirty-three seconds into the final period Friday night, defenseman Kody Reuter found himself in a scuffle with Austin Bissonnette of Dakota-Bottineau. Multiple players from both teams got involved defending their teammates before Reuter and Bissonnette were each given two-minute roughing penalties.

The scoreboard didn’t change then, but it was a spark of passion that the Cyclones needed.

“We challenged them because we didn’t see the fire in them,” Fairman said. “Kody is one of our leaders even though he doesn’t wear a letter on his jersey. He probably took it upon himself to do that. I think that helped.”

Just over one minute later, Joseph De Luca stick checked the defenseman, squeezing the puck right out to Colton Kramer, who had a one-on-one opportunity with the goalie.

It wasn’t Kramer’s first one-on-one opportunity recently. Against Ohio, Kramer was awarded a penalty shot but he lost control of the puck before he could even get a shot off.

“Don’t lose the puck,” Kramer thought.

He didn’t and the score became even at two.

Cyclone Hockey seemed to get on a roll after the passion was released following Reuter’s scuffle.

“It just kind of wakes us all up and gets us all in the game because we’re cheering for him,” Kramer said.

Thirty-seven seconds after Kramer found the back of the net, Preston Blanek gave the Cyclones the lead en route to out-scoring the Lumberjacks 3-1 in the third period and giving Cyclone Hockey a come from behind win.

“When we’re bad, we’re bad,” Fairman said. “When we’re good, we’re pretty good.”

The Cyclones were less than stellar in the first two periods of the series against Dakota-Bottineau. The third period was a different story and that trend continued to Saturday night. The Cyclones were able to pick up a 4-1 victory, giving the team a much-needed, two-game sweep heading into winter break.

“After last weekend, obviously it’s good to rebound,” said Alex Stephens, who scored two goals on Saturday night. “We’ve got four weeks to think about this until our next game so we didn’t want to come out and lay an egg. I think the guys are happy. It’s a great way to end the semester.”