The Cyclone Hockey team will face the Lindenwood Lions at 7 p.m. Friday in the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.
The Cyclones recently took on the Illinois State Redbirds and split the weekend, and are looking to get back on track offensively with a tough Lindenwood squad.
Head coach Jason Fairman is looking forward to the challenge of facing a championship-caliber team in Lindenwood.
According to Fairman, Iowa State and Lindenwood have been longtime rivals.
“Seems to me like every year we are competing for a championship with them," Fairman said. "Close to 90 percent of our games are one-goal games as long as I have been the head coach."
For Fairman and his squad, it is too early to be discussing being ranked No. 3, since it is not even in the computer rankings quite yet.
Last week against Illinois State was a low-scoring series compared to other weeks, but according to Fairman, the team has always played this way — a low-scoring offense with great defense on the other side.
“We doubled Illinois State in shots; there is no problem on offense," Fairman said. "We didn’t finish our chances — not being able to finish concerns me. The coaching staff has drills to stimulate game situations and I think we’ve been generating offensively.”
Freshman Dom Varallo had a last second goal at the end of the first game against Illinois State, which won the game for the Cyclones.
According to Fairman, he was very pleased for Varallo and hopes it is a motivating factor for him going through the rest of the season.
“Anytime you can have a new player and get a big goal like that is a big motivator,” Fairman said.
During last weekend there were two freshmen who got their first goals of the season in Varallo and Max Kemper.
Lindenwood is coming off an overtime win against University of Michigan-Dearborn and is second in the nation. The Lions only lost two games last season.
“Every weekend is going to be a challenge, especially playing your league rival," Fairman said. "We have played in championship games together, but it is no different from any games from week to week."
Fairman said he is pleased as a whole with the team and believes the team will be in the Championships in the end.
“This is a hardworking team,” Fairman said.
Varallo said he wanted anyone to get a shot during the game and did not want the game to go into overtime.
“I always envision a scenario where I sneak in a game winning goal, you want to have that feeling and excitement," Varallo said. "This by far was one of the greatest moments of my career.”
According to Varallo, the season so far is going well. He believes the team is very young and feels that it is a rebuilding year for the future.
“We seem to be clicking; there is a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we will be in the conference finals in the end,” Varallo said.
Varallo has personal goals this season, such as working on his hockey IQ. Varallo said he wants to think more before he makes a play about where to be on the ice at all times.
Varallo’s goals for the team are to finish on opportunities and to score whenever necessary.
“We have a ton of opportunities, we just need to get the puck in the net,” Varallo said.
According to Varallo, the Lindenwood Lions are a fast team and he is excited for the challenge that this weekend brings to him and to the team.
“We have enough speed and skill to go against anybody; I am excited for this weekend to show what we are capable of,” Varallo said.
All results of the Cyclone Hockey game will be posted on the Iowa State hockey twitter account, @CycloneHockey, and on the Iowa State Recreation Services website at cyclonehockey.recservices.iastate.edu.