Cyclone Hockey finishes successful year with quarterfinal loss


Cyclone Hockey goal celebration during the playoff victory Colorado to advance to the quarterfinals.

Connor Ferguson

2015-16 was an up-and-down season to say the least for Cyclone Hockey, which, despite finishing 19-14-1, won the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) regular season and playoff championships.


The Cyclones started the season on a hot streak, convincingly sweeping their exhibition games and No. 24 Missouri State.

Coming off the dominant first two weekends, Cyclone Hockey saw something it hadn’t seen since 1999 — a No. 1 ranking.

“Coaches say rankings don’t mean anything, you’ve got to earn it, which I agree [with],” coach Jason Fairman said at the time. “[But] I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t have some meaning to us and to our team.”

The Cyclones had topped the charts in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and stayed there for a number of weeks.


Cyclone Hockey’s first opponents as the top team in the nation were no slouches, though. The Cyclones faced No. 11 Robert Morris and No. 6 Lindenwood during the next two weeks of the season.

They won all four games, streaking to a 6-0 record.

They split their next series with No. 8 Central Oklahoma before earning another sweep against Illinois to enter November with a 9-1 record.


Then, November happened.

The Cyclones opened the month by getting swept on the road by the same Missouri State team they dominated in September, losing their spot atop the ACHA rankings.

On the ensuing weekend, they faced off with No. 1 Ohio at home, splitting the series with the Bobcats.

After getting swept by No. 1 Minot State and then beaten by No. 9 Jamestown in a one-off game, it was clear the team was in a slump.

It finished November with a 1-5-1 record.


December was a different story for the team.

The Cyclones swept an unranked Alabama team and earned momentum toward a sweep of No. 9 Colorado to enter winter break on a four-game winning streak.


After the Cyclones got back on the right track, they started slumping once again.

The team split its series with Central Oklahoma, but was then swept by No. 17 Illinois and No. 9 Jamestown, increasing the losing streak to five.


The team started February by losing to Lindenwood, and it looked as though it was in a spiraling downfall with the postseason just two weeks away.

“They were a hungrier team,” Fairman said. “They seemed to want it more than we did.”

Then the Cyclones rattled off eight straight wins against No. 19 Utah, No. 2 Ohio, No. 8 Robert Morris and No. 6 Lindenwood to finish the season with the CSCHL regular season and playoff championship.


The Cyclones took care of senior night against No. 16 Midland before heading to Columbus, Ohio, for the ACHA National Tournament.

There, they made the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season, but ultimately lost to No. 4 Central Oklahoma 6-1 to end the season.

“I told the guys that you have some time and perspective to realize that it was a special season,” Fairman said. “And you don’t have to win a national championship to have a special season.

“We accomplished a lot this year.”