Cyclone Hockey tries to gather momentum for postseason run


Junior goalie Matt Goedeke protects the goal during the game against Colorado on Dec. 9.

Connor Ferguson

The ACHA National Tournament is just over a month away, and that means the action in the league is picking up.

No. 10 Cyclone Hockey returns to home ice this weekend, as it looks to gather some momentum before postseason play starts in March.

The team is hosting No. 19 Utah to the Ames/ISU Ice Arena this weekend after back-to-back losses to No. 8 Lindenwood.

“[There won’t be any] breaks this weekend,” senior defenseman Eero Helanto said. “We’ve got to sweep. We can’t afford to lose any more games this year.”

The Cyclones come into the game having never played Utah in franchise history. Sophomore Aaron Azevedo says they don’t really know what to look for strategically heading into the weekend.

“They are a pretty decent team, so we expect a good matchup,” Azevedo said. “Hopefully, we come out hard and ready to play.”

The team was not able to do that against Lindenwood, as it was downed 5-0 in the opening game a week ago.

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

Fairman said that the team is going to have to reverse that trend if it plans to have success at the end of the year.

“That’s part of coaching,” Fairman said. “That falls on myself and the coaching staff.”

But everything is intensifying as postseason play approaches.

In two weeks, the team leaves for Bensenville, Illinois, for the Central States Collegiate Hockey League postseason tournament.

“We’re not really too worried about where we’re at [in the rankings] right now,” Azevedo said. “We need to start focusing on where we’re going to be at in a month and the direction we’re headed going into playoffs.”

While the Cyclones have had recent success in the tournament, they haven’t won the CSCHL Tournament since 2007.

“It’s just a great momentum thing,” Azevedo said. “That’s our first goal. We’ll worry about nationals after that. We know that we can beat every team, it’s just a matter of playing a full 60 minutes every game.”

Not only would it be a momentum booster for the Cyclones to finally break through for a tournament win, but Fairman said the team takes pride in wanting to win the CSCHL Tournament.

“It’s like winning the Big 12 [in basketball],” Fairman said. “It’s part of the path to the national championship. We haven’t won it in a number of years.”

The national championship run starts this weekend. Cyclone Hockey is facing a Utah team that comes into Ames with a losing record.

Even at 5-8 in its first ACHA Division l season, Utah split its series last weekend with No. 6 Jamestown, a team the Cyclones haven’t beaten in three attempts.

“It’s playoff hockey,” Fairman said. “When you get good goaltending and guys are peaking at the right time, like Lindenwood after the last couple weekends, my hope is that we’ll be in the same situation [to make a run in the tournament].”

Last season, the team rode with the hot goalie streaking its way to the national championship game as Derek Moser took over the starting spot. 

Moser gave up five goals in Friday’s game, forcing Fairman’s hand in playing Matt Goedeke for the 12th time the season, according to

That leaves the big question of which goalie will earn his starting spot this weekend. 

“You’ll have to wait and find out,” Fairman said.