Fresh faces look to spark Cyclones

Head coach, Jason Fairman goes over notes with Joey Marcuccilli, freshman defensive player, at the game against Illinois State. Cyclone Hockey beat Illinois State 6 to 3 on Sept. 28 at the Ames/ISU Ice Area. This was game one of Cyclone Hockey’s weekend series against Illinois State.

Jared Bravard

A few relatively new faces have taken the ice recently for the Division I Cyclone Hockey team.

Jarett Green, Justin Callahan, Brooks Mitzel and Erik Evans are now all on the Division I roster. Two came from the Division II team, and two came from teams outside of Cyclone Hockey.

“We usually do this every year at this time, bring up a couple guys for the start of the second semester, give them a little bit of a look,” said coach Jason Fairman. “It was something that it was planned to some degree.”

Four Cyclones that started the season on the Division I roster are currently listed as inactive.

The four players were two forwards and two defensemen, which is exactly what is being brought in with the newer players.

“We had some holes at both forward and [defense], so hopefully these guys can step in and fill those holes,” Fairman said.

Jarett Green, #50, Defenseman, Shot: Left

Green is originally from Tampa Bay, Florida, and joins the Division I team by promotion from the Division II team.

Before being a member of the Division II team, he was on the Carolina Eagles — a team in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).

In 16 games for the Division II Cyclones, Green had two goals, three assists and eight penalty minutes.

“I just try to bring effort every day and try to do my part on the ice,” Green said.

His first series for the Division I team was Jan. 10 and 11 against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Green has record zero goals, one assist and zero penalty minutes in the four games he has played for the Division I team, but he has been getting consistent minutes since getting called up.

He is currently listed as a freshman and a pre-business major.

Justin Callahan, #9, Defenseman, Shot: Right

Callahan makes his way to Cyclone Hockey by way of the North Iowa Bulls, a member of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), spending just over a season and a half with the team.

During the 2018-19 season, he played 30 games recording two goals, one assist and two penalty minutes.

Callahan played 23 games for North Iowa during the 2019-20 season. He had zero goals, six assists and two penalty minutes before leaving the Bulls for the Cyclones.

He said he hopes to bring his good defense, as well as some offense, to the team.

“Hopefully, I can turn into a two-way player and just help us win a national championship,” Callahan said.

Originally from Gilberts, Illinois, Callahan has found his way to Cyclone Hockey and Iowa State University at the beginning of the 2020 spring semester, where he is a freshman pursuing an undecided business degree.

Callahan’s first game for Cyclone Hockey came on Jan. 10 against the Crimson Tide. He also appeared in the following series against Northern Illinois.

“Going from just playing hockey to hockey and school seems a little intimidating at first, but after the first week already, I felt pretty confident and [I’m] having a great time here — great group of guys on the team as well,” Callahan said.

In four games for the Cyclones, Callahan has not recorded a goal or assist and has six penalty minutes.

Brooks Mitzel, #21, Forward, Shot: Right

Mitzel is originally from Rapid City, South Dakota. He attended Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts, and played for the Salem State Vikings, an NCAA Division III member.

He played 18 games for the Vikings during the 2018-19 season and tallied three goals, one assist and 10 penalty minutes.

After a semester in Salem, Mitzel decided to transfer to Iowa State University, where he is a sophomore in criminal justice studies.

“Coach Fairman runs great systems,” Mitzel said. “Hopefully I can grow every day.”

Mitzel joined Cyclone Hockey at the start of the 2020 spring semester, making his first series on the Division I team Jan. 10 and 11. Since that series was a road game, he had not yet experienced playing in the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.

Mitzel enjoyed his first experience playing at home for Cyclone Hockey.

“At Salem, we didn’t have a band, so that was a little different for me,” Mitzel said. “That was a lot of fun, looking forward to more of them.”

He is hopeful to bring offense and defense to Cyclone Hockey and help the team reach its ultimate goal of a national championship.

Mitzel has already made an impact, registering an assist in his first game in a Cyclone uniform — on Dylan Goggin’s game-winner against Alabama. He has played a total of four games and has zero goals, two assists and zero penalty minutes.

“I like to work hard and bring a gritty style to the game,” Mitzel said.

Erik Evans, #44, Forward, Shot: Left

Like Green, Evans joins the Division I Cyclones by way of the Division II team. This is not his first spell with the higher tier team.

Evans appeared in the home series against Illinois on Nov. 8 and 9 for the Division I team. He also appeared for the Division II Cyclones that same weekend and the following week as well (Nov. 15 and 16).

He did not make another appearance for either team until Jan. 10 when the Division I team traveled to Alabama.

The Northern Illinois series on Jan. 17 and 18 marks his third series with the Division I team. In his six games for Cyclone Hockey, Evans has spent two minutes in the penalty box but has not recorded any stats during his consistent ice time.

In his 12 games with the Division II team this season, Evans had three goals, five assists and eight penalty minutes.

With being part of both teams this season, Evans has noticed a difference in play at the two levels.

“The [Division II level], there’s just a lot more space and time,” Evans said. “[Division I] is just a big step up from there. A lot of guys are just finishing hits, doing a lot of the small things that add up.”

Evans is currently a freshman at Iowa State University majoring in pre-business. However, he plans to double major in marketing and management.

He is originally from Minneapolis and played for three different NA3HL teams during the 2018-19 regular season — the Granite City Lumberjacks, the North Iowa Bulls and the Rochester Grizzlies.

For these three teams, Evans played a combined 21 games, scoring three goals, tallying eight assists and spending six minutes in the penalty box.

Evans was most recently on the Grizzlies before arriving in Ames, Iowa, and becoming a Cyclone.

He said he has been putting in the work and is hopeful to cement himself as a regular in the lineup.

Nothing is set in stone yet for these four players as Fairman is still getting familiar with how they each play.

“This is kind of like a try out for them, and we’ll see how they handle the [Division I] level,” Fairman said.