Cyclone Hockey changes preparation after downing No. 1 Minot State


Senior forward Alex Stephens and freshman forward Jon Severson play at the game Oct. 30. The ending score was 11-0.

Gina Cerrentano

After knocking off No. 1 Minot State last weekend, Cyclone Hockey could’ve spent all of this week celebrating the biggest win of the season. 

But this is the real world of week-to-week hockey, and there’s no time for a week-long celebration.

Instead of celebrating, the Cyclones have gone back to work. They’ve laced up their boots, taped their sticks and have gotten ready to take on Illinois this weekend at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena for a two-game series. 

It might be tough for a team coming off of its biggest win of the season to prepare, but the Cyclones aren’t going to change anything. 

“We’re not getting away from anything we normally do,” said Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman.

The Cyclones are continuing to do what they normally do because they’ve found something that works and produces wins. And it’s not by looking into the future, but looking into the past.

After last weekend’s 7-3 loss Friday night against Minot State, the team had a long film session before Saturday’s game. The result was Cyclone Hockey’s highest ranked win of the Fairman era.

Now the Cyclones decided to continue that trend by having their first mid-week film session of the season Wednesday night.

“It’s easier when you watch the game and see what [you’re] doing and what we need to adjust for the next game,” said defenseman Eero Helanto.

Because the Cyclones have already gone toe-to-toe with the Illini earlier in the season, the film they’re watching is especially important.

The Cyclones traveled to Champaign, Ill., in November, ending both games in extra minutes and extra shots — one in a shootout win and the other with a shootout loss.

Coming into this matchup, the Cyclones want to settle the score and come out on top. And after handing Minot State its first loss of the season this past weekend, the team can revel in that excitement but still needs to keep focused.

In a game decided by inches and seconds, looking at the film and how to work the corners and get the pucks to the front of the Illini’s net is what’s going to help the Cyclones win.

With the American Collegiate Hockey Association tournament quickly approaching at the beginning of March, the Cyclones are taking the road to it one step at a time. They are focusing on the singular opponent ahead rather than the possibilities of numerous opponents.

“[We] just take it like any other week,” said forward Tony Uglem. “[We] get to practice, work hard and go from there.”