Despite amassing a 46-30 edge in shots on goal, the Eastern Hockey League champion Northern Cyclones fell to the North American 3 Hockey League champion North Iowa Bulls, 5-1, in Sunday’s semifinal round of USA Hockey’s Junior National Tier III Tournament in Simsbury, CT.
Bulls’ goalie Chris Amsden (45 saves) surrendered a tying goal to Connor Callow at 17:57 of the first period and nothing more. The Bulls put the game away with a three-goal second period, advancing to Monday’s title game where they were defeated by the USPHL Elite Division champion Jr. Bruins, 4-1.
The Cyclones finished the season with a 43-14-2 overall record after placing second in the EHL’s North Division during the regular season. They were 2-1 during round-robin play at Nationals, earning the single wildcard berth via goal differential.
The Cyclones opened tournament play with a 4-3 win against the USPHL Premier champion Springfield Pics as Jack Jenkins broke a 3-3 tie with 3:25 to play. Callow scored twice and Drew Weigman had 27 saves.
In Game Two, the Cyclones obliterated the Bellingham Blazers, 12-0, as Casper Dyrssen, Riley Christensen, Chris Zucarro and Daniil Kulikov all scored two goals apiece. The Cyclones dropped their final game of round-robin to the Flint Jr. Generals of the NA3HL, 5-2. Tim Bayliss and Kulikov had the goals.
The EHL regular-season champion New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs were 2-1 in round-robin action and finished fifth overall. They bounced back from a tournament-opening 5-3 loss to the Jr. Bruins to defeat the Marquette Royals, 8-2, and the Helena Bighorns, 5-3, to finish the season with a 46-12-1 overall record.