ACHA Nationals 2.JPG

Iowa State and Minot State face off in the ACHA National Championship game March 26. Minot State won 3-1 to capture the national title.

Cyclone Hockey Coach Jason Fairman is looking forward to the challenge of facing Missouri State at the beginning of the season.

Iowa State and Missouri State normally duel things out in the latter half of the season, making this season's matchup on Friday and Saturday an opportunity for the Cyclones.

“If we’re prepared to go — and I feel good on how we’re playing — we’ll be pretty successful," Fairman said. "It is going to be a big test for us."

Fairman said he would prefer not to play them in the season.

“This is not a team I want to play early,” Fairman said.

Last week was a test for the Cyclones. The Cyclones traveled to Albert Lea in a tough road match and they defeated the Warriors 2-1 in an overtime showdown.

“There were some lessons; in defense of the situation, we haven’t covered half of how we play the game,” Fairman said. "We learned some lessons, but other than that, it shouldn’t have been that close.”

The Cyclones will have to buckle down and prepare to face a veteran team in week two.

“Missouri State does not need as much preparation,” Fairman said. “We’re starting with more than half of the team is all new, so that is definitely concerning.”

Newcomer Ray Zimmerman contributed to the first home game of the season last Friday by scoring a goal in the first five minutes of the first period.

Zimmerman said he trusts the Cyclone defense, especially from the tough and grueling game at Waldorf.

“We have a lot of returning defensemen who have played Missouri State before and beat them,” Zimmerman said. "They will be able to play at their speed and shut them down.”

According to Zimmerman, playing Missouri State this early on in the season will be a unique opportunity to see how the team stacks up to a good all-around team.

“A proven team like Missouri State with a lot of returning guys — they know they’re going to be good, they know what they have,” Zimmerman said. “It’s good to see how you size up.”

Zimmerman said playing Waldorf on the road was a slight test of what is to come later in the season. Zimmerman believed the Cyclones fought well and responded as a team. He explained that there might be more situations of blowouts and grind-out games.

“We just play our game hard and fast and it usually turns out pretty well for us,” Zimmerman said.

Cyclone hockey will host Missouri State at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

All results of the Iowa State hockey game will be posted on the Iowa State Twitter, @CycloneHockey, and on the Iowa State Recreation Services website at cyclonehockey.recservices.iastate.edu

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