Cyclone Hockey hits the road again to No. 3 Ohio

Member of the Cyclone Hockey Team takes the puck down the ice during the game against Oklahoma Oct. 06. The Cyclones defeated Oklahoma 3-1.

Allyson Werner

After last weekend’s series split against defending American Collegiate Hockey Association national champions Central Oklahoma, Cyclone Hockey looks to get back on the winning wagon when they visit No. 3 Ohio.

The Bobcats, a well known rival to Cyclone Hockey, are a team that head coach and general manager Jason Fairman know all too well.

“My first year as head coach, [assistant] coach [Mark] Huber got the game winning goal in 2014, and we hadn’t won there since 2007 up until that point,” Fairman said. “It’s a tough place to play. They have good fan support, and they are celebrating their 60th year.

“We have been league rivals since the early ’70s.”

Beating them in three of four games last year, it was the first time in Cyclone Hockey history the team was able to sweep the Bobcats in a game series.

The Bobcats just came off on the wrong end of a sweep against No. 4 Lindenwood and moved their overall record to 17-6-1. In October, the Cyclones split with that same Lindenwood team. 

The Cyclones have a tough challenge as they will face guys such as Gianni Evangelisti, a highly skilled forward who has 29 points in 23 games and Ohio’s goalie, Jimmy Thomas, who has 2.17 GAA and a .919 save percentage.

A team that has been plagued with injuries since the beginning of the season, the Cyclones have had to work extra hard to pull out the much needed wins to keep their winning record of 13-10-1 as the team heads into the spring semester.

The spring semester resembles the Cyclones’ schedule from November this season and will be facing some of the top teams in the ACHA, a tough challenge that stems from the root of not having a healthy bench.

“If we bring in effort, we are usually pretty good,” Fairman said. “When you have a shortened bench, guys can’t play at the same level. We are not able to win races to pucks, or battles because they are probably tired. That’s our consistency problem.”

Fairman holds confidence that the team knows what needs to happen before they hit the road again this weekend for their last regular season road trip.

“We need to do the same thing we do every weekend,” Fairman said. “We need to look at some tendencies of the other team, but most importantly, we need to get healthy.”