Cyclone Hockey members vote in assistant captains: Leaders’ unique role benefit coaches, team

Sophomore defense Antti Helanto skates after the puck during the game against University of Central Oklahoma on Feb. 15 at Ames/ISU Ice Arena. The Cyclones fell to the Bronchos 6-3 in their final game of the regular season.

Luke Manderfeld

After naming Mike Dopko the captain for the 2014-15 season, Cyclone Hockey announced Sept. 15 that seniors Nate Percy, Trevor Lloyd and Antti Helanto will be joining Dopko as the assistant captains for the season. They were voted assistant captains by their fellow teammates. 

While the main role for the assistant captains will be to carry messages from the coaches to the players, each captain has their own unique role on the team.

“I’m glad that the players and coaches look at me to be a leader and vote me to be here,” Helanto said. “It’s an honor but it comes with responsibility.”

Helanto played in all 50 games for the Cyclones last year. He tallied 22 points — six goals, 16 assists — and picked up a +23 plus/minus goal rating, good for fourth on the team. Helanto said that his role is not only to lead by example on the ice but also model how players should conduct themselves off the ice.

Percy will serve as the vocal leader of the three assistant captains, known around the team as the guy who can fire everyone up.

“I want to be the vocal leader on the bench during games and in between each period.” Percy said. “I want to lead the younger guys for the future years and keep the winning ways going.”

Percy comes off a junior season with 12 goals and 19 assists. He picked up some accolades last week when he was named Cyclone Hockey’s player of the week. He scored two goals and tacked on an assist in the North Iowa Bulls series on Sept. 12 and 13.

Percy will try to take what he learned last year under the wing of 2013-14 captain Mark Huber and assistant captains Matt Bennett, Chris Cucullu and Jon Feavel.

“It is a tremendous honor,” Percy said. “I learned a lot from [the] captains last year; they were good leaders for us and paved the way for this year’s captains. We have a great group of players to lead.”

Trevor Lloyd comes in after having worked his way onto the first few lines. In his freshman year of Cyclone Hockey, Lloyd played in 26 of the 42 games played that year. He impressed the coaches in those 26 games as his playing time jumped to 42 of 46 games in 2012-13.

Last season Lloyd scored 13 goals, third best on the team, to go along with 16 assists.

Having worked his way into the starting lineup over his four years at Iowa State, his work ethic is something he wants to pass down with his newfound role.

“I want the players to take my example and work hard at every practice and every shift on the ice,” Lloyd said. “I have the experience that I can try to pass down to the younger guys.”

The Cyclones will take on HC Harbin from China on Sept. 27 and 28 at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.