Cyclone Hockey looks to defeat newfound rival Bobcats


Miranda Cantrell/Iowa State Daily

Senior forward Jonathon Feavel celebrates after fellow senior forward Chris Cucullu scores against Illinois on Feb. 7. After going 0-2 in the first period, the Cyclones came back to score three goals in the second and two in the third to give them the 5-2 win over the Fighting Illini.

Will Musgrove

When Cyclone Hockey skates on to the ice to face Ohio this weekend, there will be no love lost.

“We don’t like them, and they don’t like us,” said junior forward Nate Percy. “It is a pretty big rivalry.”

This rivalry began last season when Ohio knocked Iowa State out of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League Tournament. It only escalated from there as the Bobcats defeated the Cyclones in their next two postseason appearances.

Now, the No. 10 Cyclones (35-9-4, 14-5-1 CSCHL) will get a chance to avenge those losses to the No. 7 Bobcats (30-7-3) on March 8 when they go head-to-head on the ice in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament.

But if Iowa State is going to beat Ohio and advance to nationals, senior forward Jon Feavel thinks the team can’t dwell in the past.

“That rivalry is there, but you got to make sure that you don’t worry about it,” Feavel said. “We have to come together as a team if we are going to win.”

To make sure that happens, the Cyclones are preparing to face the Bobcats as if it was any other team. Feavel said at this point in the season, everyone should already know what needs to be done on the ice.

“It is not like we are going to be trying to reinvent ourselves,” Feavel said. “You get out on the ice to keep yourself in shape, but it’s that time of year; you don’t need to be overdoing it with really long practices.”

Two of the last three losses Iowa State has had to Ohio in the playoffs have gone into overtime or have been a one-goal game. Percy credits this to puck management.

“We need to limit the turnovers,” Percy said. “They are a really good transition team. I’d say the biggest thing for us is to limit the turnovers and limit the mistakes that we make because they are good team and will capitalize on those mistakes.”

Conditioning will also play a role against Ohio. ISU coach Jason Fairman said the last time the Cyclones faced the Bobcats, it seemed to him Ohio’s players were having trouble keeping pace near the end of the game.

He added that this conditioning will aid the Cyclones throughout the tournament since they will have to play four games in four days if they make it to the championship game.

A win against Ohio might just be what Iowa State needs to make a run at the national championship, though.

“Since we are so familiar with one another, if we beat them, it will give us confidence. And I also think that it could create momentum for us,” Fairman said. “If we win this first game, I think there is a very good chance we get that national championship.”