Cyclone Hockey Announces 2017-18 ACHA Men’s Division 1 Schedule
Cyclone Hockey Announces 2017-18 ACHA Men’s Division 1 Schedule
Marketing slogan for 2017-18 campaign also released
Aug. 8, 2017 – Ames, Iowa – With the organization’s scheduling for the upcoming season complete, Cyclone Hockey is pleased to announce its schedule for the organization’s American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Division 1 team and also the marketing slogan that will define the team’s efforts throughout 2017-18.
The Cyclones enter the new season as the defending Central States Collegiate Hockey League regular season champions and the CSCHL Tournament champions, having picked up its first road sweep of Ohio in Athens last February and then taking the Easton Cup in Bensenville, Ill., eight days later on February 26, 2017, with an overtime victory over Lindenwood. All five teams from the CSCHL last season—Illinois, Iowa State, Lindenwood, Ohio, and Robert Morris–return again in 2017-18 and Cyclone Hockey Head Coach and General Manager Jason Fairman has his sights set for the team to defend both titles.
“Last year we achieved two goals that Cyclone Hockey had not achieved in a number of years, winning the regular season championship and the tournament championship,” said Fairman, alluding to Iowa State’s tournament title in 2007 and regular season championship in 2002. “We’ll look to defend both of those titles and those will be two of our priorities in our four goals for the season.
“It’s not easy, as we do play in the toughest conference in the nation and anything can happen any given weekend and you’ve got to be prepared. It’s a battle each and every game, regardless of who the opponent is.”
The third goal Fairman holds for the team is equally as lofty and the fourth is as high as it gets for any one season.
“We haven’t, since I’ve been the head coach, secured that national tournament bye by finishing in the top four at the end of the season,” said Fairman of the third team goal. “We’ve been ranked number one and had a high ranking at times; but, at the end of the year, we have not been able to get that top four seed to give you that day off, which I think is crucial.
“You earn that over the course of the year, so I’m not disagreeing with that. It’s a good reward for the teams that are able to earn those top four positions. So, that’s one of the goals we have and, of course, our ultimate goal is to win a national championship. Central Oklahoma was certainly deserving of winning the national title, but we certainly feel disappointed with what happened last year and we want to get back to where we were two years ago and play in that national championship game and, ultimately, win the championship, and that’ll always be our number one goal. ”
Playing the other four CSCHL teams in two-game series both home and away will account for 16 games in Iowa State’s 38-game regular season and, given all four made the 2017 ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, those games should help ensure Iowa State has one of the toughest schedules in the country. In fact, Iowa State has become known for playing one of the toughest schedules in the entire ACHA.
“I think the prior two seasons, we had, based on the computer strength of schedules that are included with rankings, we had either the first or second strongest schedule and I’d anticipate it’d be the same this season, based on the teams we have on our schedule,” said Fairman.
Amongst the strongest teams on the schedule are the defending national champions Central Oklahoma, which Iowa State hosts November 10 and 11 and which the Cyclones play on the road January 5 and 6, and perennial powerhouse Minot State, which the Cardinal and Gold play on home ice December 1 and 2. They’re two teams that are on Iowa State’s schedule every season and for good reason.
“Minot State and Central Oklahoma are great programs year in and year out and I have a lot of respect not only for those programs, but their coaches,” said Fairman. “It’s a good test for us.
“I think the teams enjoy the rivalries that have developed and they’re good game s and it makes sense to continue those rivalries.”
Another perennial national tournament team back on Iowa State’s schedule is Oklahoma. The Cyclones haven’t skated against the Sooners in regular season play since playing Oklahoma in Oklahoma City October 3, 2014, but both teams will continue the rivalry to pomp and circumstance October 6 and 7 in Ames.
“It’ll be an exciting weekend playing a fellow Big 12 member school,” said Fairman. “They have a strong program that, year in and year out, a national tournament team.
“You combine that with our Hall of Fame and Alumni Weekend, it should make for a great weekend series.” Cyclone Hockey will be announcing its Hall of Fame Class of 2017 within the next few weeks.
One significant change to the Cyclone Hockey schedule is that alum Glenn Detulleo will not be bringing the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League up to Ames for an exhibition series that corresponded with a tryout for the Havoc. The camp had marked the beginning of Iowa State ’s season five of the last six seasons, but Iowa State will not play Huntsville this September.
“The Huntsville Havoc is looking at taking a year off from our annual series with them to start the season,” said Fairman. “They’re focusing on their main camp and doing that rather than having the camp in Ames and then having the main camp as well.
“So, I think they’ll re-evaluate after this upcoming season and that may continue the following year; but, for this year, we’re taking a year off from that series.”
Cyclone Hockey will, however, kick off the 2017-18 season with the Cardinal vs. Gold intrasquad game Friday, September 15. It figures to feature many, if not all, of the returning veterans from the organization’s ACHA Men’s Division 1 team from last season, a number of the top players from the ACHA Division 3 team that’s moving up to ACHA Division 2 this year, and a bevy of talented incoming freshmen and transfers as all nearly all vie for a spot on the Division 1 team.
The following week, Iowa State welcomes Illinois State to town to truly begin the regular season September 22 and 23. That Friday’s game will make it almost two years since the Cyclones played the Redbirds in October of 2015 and there’s a real chance it’ll mark the beginning of more regu lar meetings in subsequent seasons.
“Illinois State is a big-name opponent and I think they have ambitions to join the CSCHL and we’d like to see that program develop,” said Fairman. “With their ambitions, they’ve been doing a lot of recruiting and that’ll be a tough opening weekend test for us.”
After the series against Illinois State, the Cyclones will move on to play a home-and-home series against a much smaller school in Waldorf University, but the Warriors have a big future.
“Waldorf has had some interesting developments with their program,” said Fairman. “They’re moving to the NAIA Division I scholarship division.
“I imagine their program is just going to get stronger and stronger year after year with the ability to offer scholarships to their players.”
On December 8 and 9, to close out the first semester, Iowa State will host another team that will start offering scholarships in 2018-19—Indiana Tech. Fairman had high praise for the Indiana team also known as the Warriors.
“Indiana Tech is in the same situation as Waldorf,” said Fairman. “I have a lot of respect for their head coach, Frank DiCristofaro.
“We’ve been trying to get another series with them, so it wasn’t a lack of wanting to play them, it was just tough to fit them into the schedule last season. So, we’re going to host them this year and we’ll travel to them the following year. That’ll probably be a great series in Ames this year.”
Two other up-and-coming teams on Iowa State’s roster this year are Arkansas and Nevada -Las Vegas. Arkansas is in its third year of ACHA D1 hockey while Nevada-Las Vegas is in its first. The Razorbacks’ recruit list reads like an organization that’s trying to add a third team, as Arkansas also maintains an ACHA D3 team, and the Rebels have also been aggressively recruiting to hit the ground running.
Fairman is looking forward to both teams coming to the Ames/ISU Ice Arena the second half of October.
“Arkansas and UNLV are two very ambitious programs,” said Fairman. “They both have well-run organizations and seem to be growing at a rapid pace.
“Looking at some of the players they’re bringing in, they’re going to be a challenge for us. We’re looking forward to adding two teams with high name recognition to Ames for our fans.”
Another tough, ambitious program Iowa State hosts this year is Missouri State, which will play in Ames February 9 and 10 and break up a string of CSCHL series the Cyclones play leading up to the CSCHL Tournament in Athens, Ohio. The Ice Bears dealt the Cyclones what was likely a fatal blow last November—at least in terms of possibly holding a top-four national ranking at the end of the regular season—by sweeping the Cyclones in Springfield. Iowa State knows painfully well not to underestimate the nearby ACHA D1 rival.
“Missouri State is a relatively close opponent for us, geographically, and they’ve done a great job building their program,” said Fairman. “We had trouble playing at their place last year. “We’re playing them in Ames this year and traveling there next year. So, that’s a rivalry that’s developing, too.”
Iowa State will close out the regular season, following the CSCHL Tournament, in a home-and-home series against Midland March 2 and 3. The Cyclones will head to Midland to take on the Warriors —yes, a third Warriors team— on Friday and then will play the final regular season game of 2017-18 in Ames, which will mark the always emotional Senior Night and should give the Cardinal and Gold a good test heading into the national tournament.
“Senior Night is always a special night at Iowa State,” said Fairman. “We get great crowds and people come to recognize the final home game of our seniors and Midland has really grown their program.
“They made the national tournament this year and they’ll continue to grow their program. It’s our closest opponent other than Waldorf this year, so it’s natural to continue to build a rivalry with Midland University.”
The ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Tournament is in Columbus, Ohio, again, after the city and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League hosted all five ACHA national tournaments last March in what became a celebration of college hockey. Iowa State hopes to hoist the Murdoch Cup, named after the now-retired Cyclone Hockey Head Coach and General Manager Dr. Alan Murdoch, in Columbus this coming March; but, almost as exciting is the fact that the ACHA is on the radar of the world’s top hockey league.
“I think it’s great that the NHL teams and cities are vying to host the ACHA’s national championship ,” said Fairman. “It’s a testament to the development of the ACHA over the years and I think it will continue to grow and get better year in and year out.
“We could be playing the ACHA national tournament in other NHL facilities in the coming years.” Iowa State has played in the ACHA since its founding in 1991, as Dr. Murdoch was wonder of the primary architects of the association. But, Cyclone Hockey’s tradition goes back much further. Although the early semblance of Cyclone Hockey started in 1965, when Cyclone Track and Field Coach Chris Murray started organizing a group of Iowa State students to play hockey on an outdoor rink near Beyer Hall, the group did not become a student organization with the university until 1967, making 2017 the 50th anniversary of Cyclone Hockey. Thus, in light of that 50th anniversary, the marketing slogan for the 2017-18 campaign is, simply, “Fifty Years of Excellence.”
Cyclone Hockey Assistant General Manager Kevin Wey, who played for the organization’s ACHA D3 team from 2001 to 2005, and who is entering his seventh season on the Cyclone Hockey staff, noted that while the organization is continuing to build for the present and the future, that it was right to recognize the organization’s storied history.
“Cyclone Hockey is reaching great new heights, coming off a sweep of the CSCHL regular season and tournament championships and the construction of our new hockey office located in the old arena, but where we’re at in 2017- 18 wouldn’t be possible were in not for Chris Murray and that original group in the late 60’s and especially not without Dr. Murdoch and his 44 years of building not only Cyclone Hockey but the ACHA,” said Wey. “A 50th anniversary really makes you think about all the people who have given thousands of h ours of their lives over years, even decades, to Cyclone Hockey—some of them aren’t with us anymore.
“I really hope we can honor the efforts and dedication of all the alums—be it players, coaches, staff, cheerleaders, volunteers, and pep band members—with an exceptional season that gives everyone associated with Cyclone Hockey and Iowa State University a reason to celebrate.”
The entirety of Cyclone Hockey’s ACHA Men’s Division 1 schedule is listed below:
2017-2018 Cyclone Hockey ACHA Men’s Division 1 Schedule
Date Opponent Game Time
Sept. 15 Cardinal vs. Gold 7:30 PM
Sept. 22 & 23 Illinois State University 7:30 PM
Sept. 29 Waldorf University 7:30 PM
Sept. 30 at Waldorf University 7:00 PM
Oct. 6 & 7 University of Oklahoma – Hall of Fame/Alumni Weekend 7:30 PM
Oct. 14 & 15 at Lindenwood University (CSCHL) 7:00 PM & 2:00 PM
Oct. 20 & 21 University of Arkansas 7:30 PM
Oct. 27 & 28 University of Nevada-Las Vegas 7:30 PM
Nov. 3 & 4 at University of Illinois (CSCHL) 7:00 PM
Nov. 10 & 11 University of Central Oklahoma 7:30 PM
Nov. 17 & 18 at Robert Morris University (CSCHL) 7:30 PM
Dec. 1 & 2 Minot State University 7:30 PM
Dec. 8 & 9 Indiana Tech University 7:30 PM
Jan. 5 & 6 at University of Central Oklahoma 7:30 PM
Jan. 12 & 13 at Ohio University 6:30 PM
Jan. 19 & 20 Robert Morris University (CSCHL) 7:30 PM
Jan. 26 & 27 University of Illinois (CSCHL) 7:30 PM
Feb. 2 & 3 Lindenwood University (CSCHL) 7:30 PM
Feb. 9 & 10 Missouri State University 7:30 PM
Feb. 16 & 17 Ohio University (CSCHL) 7:30 PM
Feb. 23 – 25 at Central States Collegiate Hockey League Tournament (Athens, Ohio) TBD
Mar. 2 at Midland University 7:45 PM
Mar. 3 Midland University 7:30 PM
Mar. 8 – 13 at ACHA Men’s Division 1 National Tournament (Columbus, Ohio) TBD
As always, start times can be subject to change and Cyclone Hockey encourages fans to follow the organization online at www.cyclonehockey.com, on Facebook at /CycloneHockey, and on Twitter at @CycloneHockey.
Cyclone Hockey will soon be selling season tickets and flex packs for the upcoming season. The organization will be keeping the same slashed ticket prices it’s had the past three seasons and will also be maintaining the same incredibly low group rates for 2017-18. Fans can learn more about Cyclone Hockey’s extremely affordable ticket prices at the organization’s website at www.cyclonehockey.com and will be able to purchase tickets from any Cyclone Hockey player on campus and in the community come late August or by calling 515.294.3498. Cyclone Hockey…Fifty Years of Excellence.