Cyclone Hockey splits opening series during team tryouts

Luke Manderfeld

After splitting the team in two for tryout purposes, Cyclone Hockey split its season-opening two-game series against the Huntsville Havoc at home over the weekend.

The first squad lost the first game 4-1 and the second squad responded with a thrilling 5-4 victory in overtime Sept. 6. All of this without a practice.

“I didn’t care if we won or lost, quite frankly,” said coach Jason Fairman. “It was good for the fans, but I want them to know that the team that played this weekend wasn’t our team.”

The players certainly didn’t play like they didn’t matter. Both teams went hard after each puck, and the toughness showed in the penalty minutes. The teams registered 42 minutes in the box over the weekend.

One of those hits took out key junior defenseman Cory Sellers with a significant shoulder injury that sent him to the hospital after the game. Even though Fairman is hoping that the injury is not a longterm issue, he says that he has to try and focus on his job to select the team.

In the first game, the Cyclones came out strong but could not register a goal in the first period after shooting on net 17 times, leaving the game tied at zero.

Huntsville scored the game’s first point off a faceoff. Iowa State answered back later in the second period with Scott Antonsen’s goal.

The Havoc came out dominant in the third period, scoring three times to win in commanding fashion.

The second game started similarly for Iowa State with the players coming on strong in the first period. But this time, they found success. Putting 15 shots on net, the Cyclones scored three goals to take a big lead.

Huntsville wasn’t out of it yet, though, as they put three unanswered goals up on the board to even the score.

Freshman forward Zack Johnson took the lead in the third period on an acrobatic goal where he ended up on his stomach, but still managed to find top shelf to score his second of the night.

“Just a little puck luck, I guess,” Johnson said, chuckling. “Just taking it to the middle and putting the puck on net.”

The Havoc evened the score late in the third period, sending the game to overtime, setting up Dominic Toigo for a game-winning shot that hit the left side of the net.

“I saw the goalie cheating a bit so I thought I might as well go far side pad because one of my guys was coming up the middle and it ended up in the net,” Toigo said. “I’m just excited because I haven’t played hockey in awhile, so it was an awesome experience.”

The roster should be finalized after these two games. Fairman was happy with what he saw over the weekend.

“I’m pleased that I saw guys in a game situation, and I really got a good look at guys,” Fairman said. “There were a lot of guys that surprised me and some that disappointed me, but overall we accomplished what we need to.”

Cyclone Hockey will play Northern Iowa at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.