Defense, Zimmerman lead Cyclone Hockey to first win in over a week


Kara Denner/ Iowa State Daily

The Iowa State hockey team played Missouri State on Sept. 27.

Zach Martin

If there’s one weakness to a stifling Cyclone Hockey defense, it would be protecting one-goal leads.

It allowed game-tying goals to both Waldorf and Missouri State before winning both games. It had a 1-0 lead against Lindenwood that was washed away.

On two occasions Friday night, that defense protected a slim lead.

The blue-liners limited 15th-ranked Jamestown to 30 shots on goal and Ray Zimmerman scored twice on the power play as the seventh-ranked Cyclones won 4-2 inside the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.

“That was definitely big,” defenseman Max Olson said. “It’s always in the back of your mind. One, two goal leads are the most dangerous in hockey.”

It’s the first time in four games Cyclone Hockey has found the back of the net multiple times in the same game to snap the three-game skid.

Leading 2-1 entering the final period, the Cyclones (5-4) picked up an insurance goal.

Max Kamper eventually found the puck off a back pass from Joey Marcuccilli and shot it high enough over Jamestown goalie Tyson Brouwer to up the lead back to two goals.

The Jimmies (2-2) didn’t go away quietly.

Brandon Schaber fired a wrister that bounced out of the glove of Nikita Kozak and just crossed the line at the 15 minute, one-second mark of the third period to make it a one-goal game again.

Olson’s confidence never wavered.

“We had a couple breakdowns, but that’s going to happen,” Olson said. “I thought it was a good all-around game. Pleased with the effort.”

In the final minute, Jamestown pulled Brouwer for the extra attacker, but the defense didn’t allow a clean look at goal.

“You need to protect leads,” head coach Jason Fairman said. “We did a really nice job the last five minutes.”

Zimmerman’s first goal of the evening came as the Jimmies were down a man.

Tyler Chavez-Leech went to the box as Jamestown was called for too many men on the ice at the 4:47 mark of the first period.

One minute and two seconds later, Payton McSharry found Zimmerman wide open cross-ice at the side of the net and the freshman fired it past Jimmies goalie Tyson Brouwer stick side at 5:49 for the 1-0 lead.

“[We] were working the puck on the other side, I was just standing over there,” Zimmerman said. “They forgot about me, so then when he passed it over, they weren’t fast enough.”

The Pekin, Illinois, native wasn’t done visiting the red light district.

A heads up play by junior captain Dylan Goggin netted the Cyclones their second power play goal of the night.

With Garret Browning in the box for roughing at the 3:55 mark of the second period, Goggin tipped the puck with the front edge of his stick to a sprinting Zimmerman and the forward made one move and shot it past Brouwer at 4:56 to double the lead.

“He saw the opening and I was in the right spot at the right time,” Zimmerman said.

Going 2-for-4 on the power play was pleasing to the eye of Fairman.

“It was nice to see them work some set plays,” Fairman said. “Our team GPA is 3.49, it plays itself out on the ice.”

Jamestown had a bunch of chances to net an equalizer in the opening period.

Its most prevalent scoring opportunity came during a Cyclones line change as Brouwer flung the puck to Aidan Potas and the defenseman fired a shot from the left side of the ice right into the glove of Nikita Kozak.

In the second — after not registering a shot on goal until the 9:05 mark — the Jimmies got on the scoreboard.

Cayle Bell deflected the puck past Kozak at 16:29 to trim the Cyclones lead in half. Cyclones players were calling for a high stick, but after a meeting for a couple minutes between the three referees, the goal was upheld.

“Gray area goals,” Fairman said. “We’re giving up too many goals like that. We don’t seem to get those goals, but we give them up.”

Cyclone Hockey will look to go for its first sweep since the season-opening series against Waldorf on Saturday at 7:30.

“I’m hoping we get a little momentum and build off of it,” Olson said. “Two in a row would be huge. Any win is a good win.”