So here's the deal, the Iowa State Cyclone hockey team is apparently playing for the ACHA national championship tonight against Lindenwood University. We are the #5 seed in the tournament and we reached the championship games with back to back upsets of #4 Illinois (3-2) and #2 Ohio (4-2). I don't know if anyone here got a chance to go see the Cyclone Hockey team play here in Ames during the season, but if you did you know that they are a very good team. I got a chance to see them play Iowa back in December as well as UNI in their last home game before the national tournament started. I think im going to recap their national tourney run after the jump.
The Cyclones faced #12 Kent State to start the tournament off. During the regular season, the Cyclones went 0-2 against KSU, but we were able to knock them off in the opening round of the CSCHL tournament 5-0. In the national tournament game, the Cyclones were able to pull off the win in sudden death overtime on a goal by Brad Kreuger. Kent State tied it late to sent the game to overtime on a power play goal by Kye Budziszewski with 23 to play. ISU goalie Erik Hudson had 25 saves in the hard fought 7-6 overtime win.
The Cyclones would go on to face #4 Illinois in the second round of the tournament. In this game, the Cyclones would be faced with yet another overtime game. ISU lead early 2-0 but the Illini were able to tie with 12 minutes remaining in the 2nd period on a goal by Tim Gilbert. After a scoreless 3rd period, the Cyclones were able to get the winning goal past the Illinois goaltender 32 seconds into the overtime period. Jordan Pascale was able to put a blistering one timer past Mike Burda for the 3-2 victory.
The Cyclones would face another CSCHL foe in the final four matchup, this time taking the ice against an Ohio University team that had beaten the Cyclones twice in the regular season as well as during the conference tournament. The Cyclones were able to pull off the second straight upset of a top 4 seeded team to reach the national championship game. ISU came back from a 2 goal deficit during the third period, to score 4 unanswered goals, with the game winner coming from Brad Krueger that was followed by an open net score with 0:02 to play to make it 4-2. Erik Hudson was able to make a brilliant save on the would have been the tying score with under a minute to play.
National Championship Game:
After the hard fought victories and upsets of top 4 seeded teams the Cyclones would take on #1 Lindenwood University for the ACHA national title tonight. The Cyclones were able to keep it tight keeping the score tied until a Lindenwood shot found its way through with 9:30 to play in the second period. The score would remain 1-0 until Lindenwood would record a second goal with 6:12 to play in the game. The Cyclones were never able to find the back of the net tonight. Lindenwood won their 3rd straight national title and the Cyclones recorded their best finish since being the runners up in 1997 to Ohio University. The Cyclones finish the season with a record of 30-12-4 on the season
I want to say congratulations to the Cyclone Hockey team on recording their best finish in 8 years. I really like going to the hockey games when I have a chance, and I can't wait until next fall when the Cyclones take the ice again. I would encourage all of you to take in at least one ISU hockey game next fall because they are one of the best teams in the league they play in and they are very fun to watch on a Friday or Saturday night during the winter when there may not be much else going on in Ames.
Official tourney recaps, past winners and brackets can be found here.