Undefeated Cyclone Hockey heads south for series with Central Oklahoma


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Senior forward Mark Huber attempts to break free from two North Iowa defenders on Sept. 27 at Ames/ISU Ice Arena. The Cyclones took down the Bulls 4-2.

Jared Stansbury

When Cyclone Hockey takes to the ice this weekend against No. 11 team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings, Central Oklahoma, ISU players may have revenge on their minds.

After losing two of three against the Bronchos a season ago, Iowa State will go on the road Friday and Saturday to take on Central Oklahoma in a two game series. Iowa State enters the series 8-0-0, ranked eighth and is coming off of a sweep of conference rival No. 4 Illinois.

ISU coach Al Murdoch expects a very tough series from the Bronchos.

“They are a very, very good team.” Murdoch said. “We really owe them after they got us two out of three last season.”

Senior defenseman Matt Bennett also thinks the Cyclones are in for a challenge against Central Oklahoma.

“It seems like every team figures out a way to rise up against us.” Bennett said. “It will be a great series no matter what happens.”

Central Oklahoma was swept last weekend by top rated Minot State, but then picked up a win over North Dakota State coming into the series with the Cyclone. The Bronchos will enter the series with a 5-3-0 record including a win against then-No. 3 rated Lindenwood.

Team captain Mark Huber says that one key will be not to give in early on the Bronchos.

“We were up in the third period, and we lost last year.” Huber said. “They are a hard working team and they don’t give up until the end. We have to get on them early and then keep it going all the way through.”

The Bronchos have been led early on this season by goaltender Tory Caldwell, who was recently named ACHA goalie of the month for September.

One of the keys for the Cyclones on the weekend is getting a lot of shots on goal against Caldwell.

“We would like to have 20 shots on net during a period.” Murdoch said. “I am not happy with anything less.”

Central Oklahoma is also led by the current points and goals leader in the ACHA, Rylan Duley. Duley enters the series having scored 19 points, 13 of which have come from goals.

Murdoch thinks that physicality will be a key piece of limiting the Bronchos.

“We have to play physical. We have to be very physical.” Murdoch said. “We can’t be so physical that we spend a lot of time in the penalty box though, they have a very good power play.”

Huber says that no matter what happens the Cyclones will need to stay tough to get a couple wins.

“We just have to finish. They are the type of team that just never gives up.” Huber said.

The undefeated Cyclones will take on Central Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12.