Competition brings Moser and Goedeke closer together

Sophomore goalie Matt Goedeke watches for the puck during the game against Illinois State Friday night. The Cyclones would go on to beat the Redbirds 4-2.

Spencer Suckow

If you talk to enough hockey players, a good number of them will likely tell you that goalies are a different breed.

“Goalies are odd,” said senior goalie Derek Moser. “We’re kind of like a team within a team.”

So perhaps it makes perfect sense that Moser and fellow senior goalie Matt Goedeke would form a friendship that many on the outside would probably consider unusual.

You see, Moser and Goedeke aren’t only teammates, close friends and roommates, they’re also each other’s biggest threat for playing time.  The two net minders are considered 1A and 1B on the depth chart, and have been splitting time in net for the Cyclones the past two seasons.  

Coming into the 2017-18 season, there still wasn’t a clear-cut, number one guy, meaning that the starting job was anyone’s for the taking.

Through the first four games of the season, that still looks to be the case.  Both goaltenders are off to hot starts this year, and the Cyclones are currently outscoring their opponents 17-3 thanks in large part to the duo.  The two will both likely get an opportunity to further prove themselves this weekend when the Cyclones take on the Oklahoma Sooners.

While it isn’t rare to see the two play their position at a high level, what is rare is the kind of bond they’ve formed.  Head coach Jason Fairman says he’s yet to witness a friendship quite like the one Moser and Goedeke share.

“I’ve never personally seen it,” Fairman said. “For two guys to be competing for the most intense position on the team, for them to be as close as they are, roommates and all that, I give them a lot of credit.”

The friendship was first formed when Goedeke came in as a transfer from Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. Moser, having been a transfer himself from Eastern Washington University, quickly helped Goedeke get acquainted with his new surroundings.

“I was here a year before [Goedeke], so when [Goedeke] came in after [former goalies Matt] Cooper and [Scott] Ismond left, I kind of knew what he was going through transferring schools,” says Moser, “I wanted to make sure he felt welcomed.”

To make him feel welcomed, Moser approached Goedeke in their very first team warm up together and let him in on a few of the team’s secrets. Moser, knowing the difficulty of coming into a program in a nontraditional way, felt it was important to reach out and make Goedeke feel a part of the team.  

Although they were still strangers at this point, a connection between the two had been made.

Then the friendship really started to blossom, according to Goedeke, when the two started doing activities together away from the ice.  Goedeke specifically points to when the two started doing yoga with each other a couple of years ago in their free time.  

From there, their personalities clicked and the two have only gotten closer ever since, eventually becoming roommates over the summer.

“I always thought Moser was kind of like me,” Goedeke says,  “A hard working person, good friend, good teammate and very respectful of every individual.”

Moser added that he felt as if he could relate with Goedeke because they have similar drives. 

This similarity has allowed the two to get past any sort of differences that may arise when competing for the starting job.  While they’ll both freely admit that they’re competitive guys by nature and that they want to play as much as possible, they also know that what’s best for the team is ultimately most important.

“We’re both here to win,” Goedeke said. “The biggest reason that we get along is because we both understand it’s about [winning] and we both, whoever’s in net, feel that we can each give the team a chance to win each night, no matter who’s in net.”

“That’s the reason I transferred here was to win a national championship,” Goedeke said. “It’d be nice if that was me in the net, but at the same time time I came here to win a national championship, so if that’s Moser carrying us there, that’s fine with me.  I just want to win.”

This unselfishness and team-first mentality that the two possess hasn’t gone unnoticed by those involved with the team, either.  Coach Fairman points out, as an example of their commitment to the team, that the two even go as far as to help hang posters of the team around town without having to be told or incentivized.

“They’ll do anything to help out the organization,” Fairman said.  “They don’t have to do it, most guys would say ‘eh, it’s not worth it to me.’  They want to help the organization.  They have good character.”

Most important of all, the two know that no matter what, they’ll always have each other’s backs.  Regardless of who happens to play on a given night, the starter knows that other will be completely behind him and offer any help.

“If [Goedeke’s] getting the nod, I’m 100 percent supporting him,” Moser said. “And I know if I’m getting the start, I feel confidence knowing that he’s there also. I don’t have that fear to fail, because I know he has my back if I’m struggling.”