By Jared Bravard, @JaredBravard
In their final regular season series, the No. 10 Cyclones (12-7-1) will play the Midland Warriors (8-15-1) this weekend, with each team hosting one game.
Head Coach Jason Fairman knows the officiating situation is usually complicated when the Cyclones travel to Midland but doesn’t blame the Warriors’ coach. Regardless, Fairman said the team needs to be ready.
“They are always a dangerous team,” Fairman said. “[…] Anything can happen on Friday. We need to have a sweep.”
With the conference tournament and the national tournament approaching quickly, Fairman knows the importance of games at this point in the season.
“I expect a complete game from everybody,” Fairman said. “We need to make sure we’re winning all our games from here on out.”
The Cyclones and Warriors last met Oct. 30-31. Iowa State picked up the sweep, winning 6-2 and 4-2. Similar to this series, Midland hosted game one while the Cyclones hosted game two.
Brooks Mitzel knows that all teams are making a push for nationals, especially with the reduced tournament size this season. The Warriors will be fighting hard just like the Cyclones, according to Mitzel.
“I’m imagining two tough games,” Mitzel said. “They are definitely an opponent we can’t overlook.
The Warriors enter the series with a goals per game average of 4.13 and 4.83 goals against. The Cyclones average 3.9 goals per game and 2.5 against.
Mitzel is looking for consistency and a full 60-minute performance instead of just 30 minutes at a time.
“Hopefully, it will help us get some confidence going into our conference tournament,” Mitzel said. “It’s a big weekend for team chemistry and working towards that final goal.”
The puck drop is 7:45 p.m. Friday from Fremont, Nebraska. A live stream of the game is available through Stretch (link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/midland/). Game two’s puck drop is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena in Ames, Iowa. A limited number of tickets are available at the door. The game will also be streamed through Stretch (link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/isuhockey/).
“The end of the season games, you need to be making sure you’re sharp and taking care of the details,” Fairman said.