By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
For the third straight weekend, the Cyclones will face a team with the mascot of a warrior. Cyclone Hockey (5-1-0) faces the Midland Warriors (4-0-0) this Friday and Saturday.
Head Coach Jason Fairman is excited for the two games.
“They should be good games. I’m looking forward to it,” Fairman said. “We’ve had some good battles with these guys in the past.”
These two teams last met in March 2018 for a home-and-home series. The teams split with each winning its road game. The Cyclones won 4-2, and the Warriors won 3-2.
Midland’s four wins this season come by way of a road sweep and a home sweep of the Waldorf Warriors. Four more Midland games this season have already been postponed — one against Waldorf and three against Jamestown.
The Warriors enter the series with a 5.5 goals per game average and 1.75 goals against. They average 26.5 penalty minutes per game as they have 106 penalty minutes through the first four games.
Last weekend, the Cyclones capitalized on a power play in Saturday’s game. They scored twice during a five-minute major on Indiana Tech. Those two goals gave the Cyclones the lead, and they never trailed again in the game.
The Cyclones are averaging 4.83 goals per game, 1.83 goals against per game and eight penalty minutes per game.
Now that the team has three series under its belt, Captain Max Olson is seeing some chemistry develop between the players.
“I think the team is coming together. Guys are getting a hold of the systems,” Olson said. “We’re playing within our game now.”
Two goalies have made appearances for Midland so far this year. Angus Laing has a save percentage of 0.896 and a goals against average of 2.5 in his two appearances. In Jaden Gardner’s two games, he has recorded a save percentage of 0.956 and a goals against average of 1.0.
In five appearances, Cyclone goalie Greg Moon’s save percentage is 0.936 with 1.8 goals against per game. Cyclone Alex Neverve appeared in the net for one game so far this season. He recorded a save percentage of 0.909 with two goals against.
After a slow start last week, the Cyclones are hopeful for a better start this Friday.
“Not to hex it, but traditionally, we’re not a first period team on the road,” Olson said. “It’s going to come down to playing tight and playing within the systems but that’s not to say we can’t come out and score five goals in the first period.”
Game one is at 7:45 p.m. on Friday in Fremont, Nebraska. A live stream of that game is available through Midland’s website (link: https://www.midlandathletics.com/schedule/0/40.php). Game two is at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in Ames, Iowa, and a stream will be available through Stretch (link:https://portal.stretchinternet.com/isuhockey/).