Goedeke risk paying off for Cyclone Hockey

Cyclone Hockey sophomore goalie Matt Goedeke blocks a goal during the game against Illinois State. The Cyclones would go on to beat the Redbirds 4-2.

Austin Anderson

Matt Goedeke stares out over the ice from the top row of the Ames/ISU Arena. His viewpoint is different on this night, the Saturday of homecoming.

He’s suited up, but not in his typical Cardinal and Gold No. 35 jersey. Instead of crouching in the goal for Cyclone Hockey like he does most weekend nights, he’s watching his team easily handle Augustana through the lense of a camcorder that rests securely on a tripod.

Goedeke has the night off from playing — and he deserves it.

The sophomore has transferred in this season from Midland University, a private school in Nebraska with an enrollment of roughly 1,300 students, and solidified a goaltender position that posed the most questions for Cyclone Hockey going into this season.

“[Goedeke] does all the right things,” said Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman. “He’s respectful, he’s always on time and he works hard.”

Goedeke’s hard work is evident through not only his camera duties on his off night, but the effort he’s put into becoming the player he is today. Goedeke wasn’t a consistent starter throughout high school and junior leagues, was cut from multiple teams he tried out for and has spent a majority of his hockey career being overlooked.

But that same kid, who turns 22 at the end of the month, has become Cyclone Hockey’s starting goaltender. Goedeke has the sixth best save percentage in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, on a Cyclone Hockey team that has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country.

But the leap of faith he took to end up at Iowa State in the first place might be the most impressive of all.

Goedeke was the starter at Midland last season for a team that was made up entirely of freshmen and included players who quit the wrestling and bowling team to join. The team went 10-29 in the ACHA.

He knew he wanted more and when he saw the atmosphere of the Ames/ISU Ice Arena when Midland came to play the Cyclones. He knew that’s what he wanted.

Goedeke, an Ankeny, Iowa, native, decided he wanted to play for a contender in front of capacity crowds near his hometown. He was granted his release from Midland and after enrolling at Iowa State, showed up at tryouts in September as one of seven goalies vying for the same starting spot — with no guarantee of anything.

But it wasn’t a problem for Goedeke. He’d never been guaranteed a starting spot since he started playing hockey in the fourth grade, yet somehow has ended up starting about 150 games during the last five years. The same scenario has played out for Goedeke in Ames, and he has allowed just 15 goals in 9 games.

“I know any game could be my last game, so I have to go about it like it is my last game,” Goedeke said.

His mentality and effort continue to prove true. In Goedeke’s last game, he held No. 2 Lindenwood off the scoreboard for the entire game in a 1-0 shutout.

Goedeke has taken control of the starting position, but Fairman said it’s important in hockey to have the next guy ready and lined up. That guy for the Cyclones is Derek Moser, who was the third-string goaltender on last season’s team.

Moser was considered by some to be the front-runner to open the year as the starter before an injury delayed the start of his season. Despite the competition between the two, there has never been a rivalry — only a desire to see each other succeed.

The hockey team recently went to a required yoga session, but Goedeke and Moser have voluntarily gone back to yoga on each of the last two Thursdays. The duo has also done cycling together, and their goaltending bond extends beyond friendship to a goalie brotherhood.

“Goalies are kind of weird, but we all stick together,” Moser said. “With goalies, there’s this automatic connection. It’s kind of bizarre.”

Whether it’s the yoga or the skill of protecting the net, things are working out for the Cyclones, who sit with a 12-2-0-1 record as they head into the middle of the their schedule.

Robert Morris is up next for Cyclone Hockey, and Goedeke will almost certainly not be up filming. Instead, he will be residing at home between the pipes.

On Saturday night, as Cyclone Hockey pummeled Augustana 18-2, Goedeke was putting in work on his off day behind the camera. His father Mike stood just to his son’s right. The family has always attended all of Goedeke’s games, but now the drive is just 20 minutes away.

“[Leaving Midland] was a tough decision, but I definitely made the right decision,” Goedeke said. “I know that now.”