The Cyclones are coming off a tough weekend that saw them get swept on the road by Illinois. Now, the Cyclones aim to bounce back in a big series at home against the No. 9 University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos.
The Cyclones and the Bronchos matched up earlier in the season when the Cyclones traveled to Oklahoma City in early November. That matchup saw the Cyclones sweep the Bronchos, winning 3-1 in their first game and 5-3 in their second game.
With the success they saw on the road earlier in the season, the Cyclones feel confident about their upcoming matchup and hope to sweep the Bronchos again.
“That’s the goal,” said coach and general manager Jason Fairman, “I’m sure they’re a very different team, they’re always tough.”
After the weekend series against the Bronchos, the Cyclones have the CSCHL Playoffs and the National Tournament to look forward to. The CSCHL Playoffs are March 15-17 and the National Tournament is March 21-26.
The matchup against the Bronchos provides a good way to get some last-minute preparations done for the CSCHL Playoffs and National Tournament, which are just weeks away.
“The playoffs are the ultimate goal, so this weekend is kind of a dress rehearsal for us,” said senior forward Adam Alcott,” This is the type of team we’ll see at nationals and at CSCHL, so if we can play well against this team, we know we can compete well in the playoffs.”
The Cyclones have hit a rough stretch since the beginning of February. They were swept at home by Lindenwood, split with Colorado State and were swept on the road against Ohio and Illinois. Despite this, the Cyclones are fully confident in their ability closing out the season and looking to postseason.
“We’re not playing that badly,” Fairman said, “So we have as good a chance as anybody at nationals.”
Fairman also mentions that they’ve encountered some bad luck, but the team is still ready to go.
Not only is the upcoming series against the Bronchos the final games of the regular season and important for preparing for postseason, but it will also be the final home games for the Cyclones' strong senior core.
Seniors that are playing their final games at home include forwards Tony Uglem, Aaron Azevedo, Colton Kramer, Trevor Sabo and Adam Alcott, defensemen Nick Sandy and Kurt Halbach and goaltender Matt Goedeke.
With this being their last time playing at home, the seniors know how important this game is for them. Fairman described it as a bittersweet moment for those seniors.
“Obviously we want to finish strong, we’ve had a lot of success here at home over our time,” Azevedo said, “Big group, but it’s been a fun ride, a special ride with this group and hopefully our plan is to finish it off the right way with a couple wins this weekend against UCO, who’s a tough opponent.”
The puck will drop 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday inside the Ames/ISU Ice Arena.