Hockey v Illinois State

Nick Sandy, senior defenseman, handles the puck during the game against Illinois State.

Post-season is in full swing for the Cyclones, as they started things out with the CSCHL Playoffs last weekend. The Cyclones matched up against the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday, where they lost 2-1 to the Ohio team that ended up falling to Lindenwood in the CSCHL Championship game.

Postseason will continue for the Cyclones as they travel to Frisco, Texas for the ACHA Men’s Division I National Tournament, which is being hosted at Comerica Center.

The Cyclones will be facing off against the No. 12 Stony Brook Seawolves in their first matchup of the tournament. That game will be starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The National Tournament is something that the Cyclones are very familiar with. Their senior core took part in Cyclone Hockey’s run in the 2015-16 season, where they fell short of the national championship, losing in the championship game. The whole team has gone through the preparations and got a little taste of playoff hockey with the CSCHL Playoffs, so the team knows what to expect in Texas.

“It’s playoff hockey," said coach and general manager Jason Fairman. "They know what it’s like during playoff time."

For the Cyclones, having the CSCHL Playoffs before the National Tournament allows them to make any last-minute adjustments. While not getting the outcome they wished for, Cyclone Hockey knows that they have to keep moving forward.

“The weekend before is in the past," said senior forward Trevor Sabo. "You can learn from your mistakes from that weekend and keep building."

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Cyclone Hockey's Trevor Sabo takes a shot against Alabama Hockey's Garret Kingsbury during the game Oct. 5 at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena

The Cyclones look forward to their Saturday game against an unfamiliar team in the Seawolves.

The Seawolves finished out their regular season with a 20-9-3 record, where they jumped from No. 15 to No. 12 in the final ACHA Men’s Division I rankings. The start to their post-season played is similar to the Cyclones, as they fell in their semifinal round in the ESCHL.

Unlike the CSCHL Playoffs, where the Cyclones played four regular season games against Ohio before playing them in the postseason, the Cyclones are going to go into Saturday without having played the Seawolves recently. Despite this, the Cyclones will be prepared for their matchup.

“[We’re] looking forward to it, because that way we can just focus on ourselves,” said senior defenseman Nick Sandy. “Don’t get so caught up in strategy, we can just go there and play our game.”

The winner in the Saturday matchup between the Cyclones and the Seawolves will go on to play Sunday at 10 a.m. against the winner of matchup between No. 4 Ohio or No. 13 Nevada-Las Vegas/No. 20 Robert Morris Pennsylvania. The winner of the UNLV and Robert Morris PA game will face Ohio.

Despite a recent string of bad luck for the Cyclones, excitement is high going into the National Tournament. The Cyclones hold high confidence in their ability as they get ready to battle in the National Tournament.

“I think we’re all really excited going into nationals because we think we’ve got something special in that room,” Sandy said. “It’d be a hell of a way to cap off a good year.”

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