Nikita Salnikov skates past his opponent

Nikita Salnikov skates toward the action. The Ice Bears split their last home series of the regular season 1-1.

The No. 14 Missouri State Ice Bears traveled to Ames, Iowa, last weekend and went 1-1 against No. 3 Iowa State.

The Cyclones jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Friday’s game, but sophomore forward Nikita Salnikov scored at the midpoint of the second period to shorten the lead.

Senior forward Jordan Bratton tied the contest at two with 13 minutes remaining in the third period.

Iowa State scored near the end of the third period to take the lead. The Ice Bears went on the power play with under two minutes left, but they committed a penalty that negated  the man-advantage.

Iowa State won the game 3-2.

Ice Bears head coach Jeremy Law said he was pleased with how the team played, regardless of the outcome.

“It was 2-2 with seven minutes to go — it could’ve gone either way.” Law said. “It was our best game up to that point.”

The Ice Bears came into the game Saturday night with a few structural changes in the defensive zone.

Those changes appeared to pay off, as the team shut out Iowa State 2-0.

Salnikov scored a team-leading fifth goal of the season in the second period to put the Ice Bears up 1-0.

That score would hold until, with 1:58 remaining, sophomore defenseman Derek Smith scored an empty net goal to seal the victory.

Senior goaltender Brady Griffin was credited with the shutout.

Law was quick to mention the maturity of the team after Saturday night’s win.

“The character that this group has is unbelievable,” Law said. “They played for each other. The passion they play with is what won us the game tonight.”

The Ice Bears have their home opener this weekend when they play Colorado in a two-game series.

The first game is on Friday, Oct. 4, and the second game is on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Jordan Valley Ice Park.