Cyclone hockey preparing for tough rematch against Robert Morris

Junior Dylan Goggin brings the puck up the ice during Iowa State’s 3-2 victory over Robert Morris on Dec. 6 at the Ames Ice Arena.

Nash Vanbibber

After a shutout loss and a sweep of the weekend, Cyclone Hockey has its eyes set on a rematch against a team that’s eager to play the Cyclones again.

Cyclone Hockey (17-11-2) will face Robert Morris University (10-14) for the second time this year. The last time these two teams met, the Cyclones swept the Eagles 3-2 and 2-1.

The Cyclones will take on the Eagles in Bensonville, Illinois, on Feb. 7 and 8, with the puck set to drop at 7:30 p.m. on both nights.

The first encounter between these teams was physical. The Cyclones and Eagles forced each other onto the glass and slammed each other on the ice for the duration of both games. The final game between the Cyclones and Eagles in December led to the Cyclone’s second overtime game of the season.

Coach Jason Fairman believes the team just needs to focus on itself over the weekend.

“As a team we try and not worry about our opponent,” Fairman said. “That will be the strategy this weekend.”

Last week against Central Oklahoma, goalie Nikita Kozak allowed a five-goal shutout, this is the highest amount of goals Kozak has given up in a game this season.

“We will have to see if there will be a change to the lineup,” Fairman said.

Kozak may get another start this weekend as long as he stays healthy.

Aaron LaChance has been backing up Kozak throughout season and has stepped up when Kozak is unable to play. In that time, LaChance has recorded a 3-0 record for the Cyclones.

The Cyclones have three teams left to play before the CSCHL playoffs. Fairman said he tries to have variety throughout practice, such as running different drills, so the players are constantly on their toes.

Junior Dylan Goggin had a great outing against the Eagles and even secured a victory for the Cyclones. Goggin still leads the Cyclones in goals this season, he is currently at 20 goals.

“Personal accolades are nice, overall if we don’t have success as a team, stats do not matter, our goal as a team is to make the championship and win it,” Goggin said.

Goggin said he knows what the team is dealing against the Eagles and is hopeful to bounce back after a tough weekend. He also believes the team has been playing well recently and does not think the team had some bounces go the Cyclones’ way.

In his first year as a captain, Goggin was voted on to be one of the leaders of the Cyclone Hockey squad by his fellow teammates and coaches. As a captain, he enjoys taking guys under his wing and leading by example.

“This late in the season it can be taxing coming into the rink every day, I try and make sure everyone is on top of their things and coming to practice excited every day,” Goggin said.

Goggin does not take being a captain lightly and holds it to a high standard.

Coming into the weekend, the top three scorers for the Eagles are Scott Coash (29 goals), Michael Cacciato (13 goals) and Samuel Mancini (12 goals).

The Cyclones will look to lock down these three and fix mishaps from last weekend against Central Oklahoma, as well as getting back into the win column.