Cyclone Hockey sweeps series with offensive burst


Michael Rowley/Iowa State Daily

Senior forward J.P. Kascsak forward scored the fourth goal of the first game of Cyclone Hockey’s series against the Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines. The game took place Oct. 24 at the ISU/Ames Ice Arena, and the Cyclones won 4-2. 

Luke Manderfeld

For Cyclone Hockey, its offensive luck may start to change.

After dropping 19 spots in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings over the season, Cyclone Hockey grabbed a much-needed sweep against the No. 13 Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines on Oct. 24 and 25.

The sweep may be a sign that the team has found a breakthrough.

“We needed something like this for our luck to change, but it is still too early,” said Cyclone Hockey coach Jason Fairman. “We will have to see how we do over the next couple of weekends — if we do consistently well and grab a couple more sweeps it’s a good sign and a good start for us.”

On Oct. 17 and 18 against Lindenwood University, the No. 24 Cyclones (4-4-2) out shot Lindenwood 79-54 but only scored three goals. In the series against the Wolverines, the Cyclones outshot their opponent 89-56 and put 13 goals on the board. In the first period of the second game, the Cyclones scored seven goals alone.

The offensive outburst does not come as a surprise to Fairman, who said that this result could have been in any number of series on the year.

Goaltender Scott Ismond echoed that statement.

“We made some changes in practice, and it’s great to see results,” Ismond said after shutting out the Wolverines on Oct. 25. “We hope we can carry the confidence moving forward, and it shows what we are capable of. I don’t know if we are setting the bar high, but it’s something that we have been waiting for; we just haven’t had the pucks bounce our way.”

One of the changes made in practice was moving Eero Helanto, usually a defenseman, to the forward position.

He responded with three goals and an assist on the weekend. He played forward when he was younger in Finland and never had the chance for the Cyclones.

“It’s fun to play forward, it’s kind of like getting back into it,” Helanto said. “I’ve been playing with J.P. Kascsak and Nate Percy, and they have been a great help for me getting familiar to the position.”

Perhaps one of the biggest keys that the coaching staff addressed for the weekend matchup, and one that may be crucial to changing the team’s recent woes, is the team playing well from period to period, something it hasn’t been able to do consistently this season.

“We are starting to find ourselves as a team. I think everybody has an understanding of who we are,” Fairman said. “There haven’t been many close periods; we are consistently dominating periods. We addressed it after last weekend because we have a history of dominating periods but not playing well the next.”

The Cyclones made that adjustment overnight against the Wolverines. The Cyclones scored three goals in the first period Oct. 24 but allowed two goals in the second period to make the game close. On Oct. 25, the Cyclones scored seven goals in the first period but did not allow the Wolverines back into the game in the other periods.

Overall the big Oct. 25 win reflects the team’s ability to score and may carry Cyclone Hockey’s confidence into future matchups.

“You know getting that many goals is something you can even dream about,” Ismond said. “Hopefully we can carry the confidence into next weekend. It was something we needed.”