Sometimes, all it takes is a goaltender that’s in the zone to be the difference in a game. That was the case on Monday night as junior goaltender Derek Moser helped the Iowa State Cyclones edge Stony Brook in the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament semifinals match-up.
Iowa State ended Stony Brook’s bid for its first national title with a 2-1 victory. Moser stopped 14 of 15 shots and outdueled senior goaltender Derek Willms, who stopped 26 of 28 shots.
Moser was the best player on the ice during the second period. He robbed junior forward Justin Lazalde with his blocker in a two-on-one plus stopped junior forward John Defeo and sophomore forward Chris Stemke on breakaway attempts just minutes apart while Stony Brook tried desperately to tie the game.
“Hats off to their goalie,” Stony Brook Head Coach Chris Garofalo said. “He’s a big part of the reason they won. We just kind of couldn’t get any penetration to their net. They played very well defensively.”
Junior forward Andrew Carlson gave Iowa State a 2-1 lead when he jammed a puck past Willms 3:27 into the second period.
Stony Brook thought it had tied the game on a power play late in the second period. Senior forward Tyler Underhill’s shot got past Moser, but the referee deemed junior forward JT Hall interfered with the goaltender, and the goal was immediately waved off.
Iowa State drew first blood 4:56 into the game when freshman forward Jonathan Severson shot the puck past Willms after the Stony Brook goaltender misplayed it.
Underhill was the only Stony Brook player to beat Moser when he buried a loose puck on a Seawolves five-on-three man advantage.
Willms made several big saves in the third to keep it a one goal deficit, but Stony Brook could never find the equalizer.
Stony Brook will lose some key seniors now that the season is over. Goaltenders Willms and Todd Scarola and forwards Underhill, Matthew Gervasi and Andrew Cetola are set to graduate.
“It’s the reality of things that you’re going to lose guys because they graduate and move on,” Garofalo said. “It’s a good thing for them.”
Now the focus will shift to next season, and a big part of that is recruiting players to soften the blow of losing seniors.
Garofalo is close to recruiting two goaltenders to join the team next season, whom he says are talented.
He will still miss this year’s team. “They were a really close knit group and worked hard together,” Garofalo said. “They were very supportive of each other throughout the whole season and it was nice to see.”