New faces, same results as Cyclones dominate weekend series with Northern Illinois

The Iowa State hockey team played Missouri State Sept. 27 and Sept. 29. The Ice Bears won both games, leaving with a 2-0 victory.

James Powell

After Friday night saw Cyclone Hockey outscore Northern Illinois 7-0, as well as outshoot them 48-10, head coach Jason Fairman decided it was time to mix up the lineups, as well as get a fresh face in net for the Saturday night tilt, Aaron LaChance.

“We try to get a look at different guys before we get into the meat of our second half schedule”, said Fairman when asked about a new goaltender, as well as have a completely new starting lineup. 

David Rutkowski, who scored twice on Friday night, as well as Ryan Zimmerman (second on the team in total points), were both in suits instead of sweaters. 

It didn’t seem to affect the team and the scoring output much, as Max Kamper put one in net out of a scrum in front of the Huskies goal two minutes into the game, and Hunter Dolan got a pass from captain Dylan Goggin with a minute and a half left to make it 2-0 at the end of one period.

Max Kamper hasn’t started as much this season for the Cyclones, but he was ready when his name was called, saying that “I want to keep it simple, and get that first shift over with and get my legs under me”.

The second period saw three more goals, with one coming on the power play for the Cyclones. Kamper also picked up his second and final goal of the night off a shot through the wickets of the Northern Illinois netminder. 

The final twenty minutes were arguably the Cyclones’ most dominant, and two more goals were the result for a final score of 6-0. 

With a 13-0 goal differential on the weekend for a team that has said it’s been a struggle to find the back of the net, the team’s confidence was at an “all time high”.

“Hopefully this weekend gave us a little more confidence, and more swagger moving into the harder teams”, said Kamper when asked about how the team (and he) felt after the goal explosion.

It was a total team effort to keep Northern Illinois off the scoreboard during their time in Ames. The big story however, was the debut of Aaron LaChance.

LaChance recorded his first Cyclone start, first Cyclone save and first Cyclone shutout of his tenure. With Nikita Kozak being a brick wall in net in the first half of the season, LaChance had some big shoes to fill.

“He’s been a big mentor to me… the way he competes in games and in practices is unbelievable to see,” LaChance said.

It could be argued that both goaltenders played equally well, each facing 10 shots and saving all of them, but it was clearly the offensive attack of the Cyclones that was the story of the weekend overall.

This could be seen as a massive turning point for a Cyclone team that had a relatively disappointing outing to Pelham, Alabama, that saw them sneak by with a win on Friday before losing in overtime on Saturday to a three-win Crimson Tide squad.

If Iowa State wants to compete with the cream of the crop, it’s important to not only beat up on the teams they’re supposed to, but also have deep team with a plethora of guys that they can count on, and this weekend helped prove that both of those things are in their sights.

The team travels to Champaign next weekend for set with the Fighting Illinis, a team they split with in Ames earlier this season. A tentative time of 7:30 has been set for both puck drops.