Cyclone Hockey takes on semi-professional team


Junior forward Trevor Lloyd attempts to score during the game against University of Central Oklahoma on Feb. 15 at Ames/ISU Ice Arena. The Cyclones fell to the Broncos 6-3 in their final game of the regular season.

Luke Manderfeld

While sport teams around campus will have opponents from the United States this weekend, Cyclone Hockey will take on a team from overseas: Chinese team HC Harbin.

The arrangement to play Harbin Sept. 26 and 27 in exhibition games stems back to Cyclone Hockey in the early 1990s.

Anfu Wang, an ISU alumnus and former Cyclone Hockey star on the 1992 American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship squad, played for the Chinese national hockey team before coming to the United States to play at Iowa State. He approached the Cyclone Hockey staff with an opportunity to play Harbin.

“The team is staying here for a month to train and play a few games and learn the North American style of hockey,” said Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman. “I’m not sure where they are in terms of training, so I’m not sure what to expect.”

Harbin is a semi-professional team that has been one of the powerhouses in the Chinese Ice Hockey League, winning four championships in the last 12 years. The team consists of players with ages ranging from late teens into the 30s. Some of them have previously had a chance to play for the Chinese national team, which gives them experience at an international level.

The weekend is not as much a competition as it is another chance to refine systems and lines with the heart of the ACHA schedule coming up and the first road trip of the year.

“We need to focus and use these games as building games,” said assistant captain Trevor Lloyd. “We have a good road trip coming up, which includes another series against Oklahoma that will be important, and we can use this weekend to prepare.”

The Cyclone Hockey’s Division III team took on HC Harbin on Sept. 19 and 20 and won both games 4-1, but the series came following an 18 hour plane flight for Harbin that may have resulted in fatigue. 

“They landed and played a game,” Fairman said. “Not even NHL guys can handle that pretty well. They look like they have some skill and maybe they have come off the jetlag a little bit for this weekend.”

Fairman said the team will look to give some of the injured players a chance to rest. He also mentioned that he wants to give some players who have not been playing much lately an opportunity to get out onto the ice.

Despite not all of the regular starters being in the lineup, the upcoming series should prove to be a good test for the Cyclones.

“We want to hone in on our system,” said assistant captain Nate Percy. “We want to use that to put the puck in the net, including myself. We can’t forget that they are a semi-professional team so we can’t take them lightly. They have some skills to make it a good weekend for competition.”

The Cyclones take on HC Harbin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27 at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.