Cyclone Hockey Report: Who Are They?

So last week, you got a chance to find out what Cyclone Hockey really is. So I guess that means that this week, you can find out who Cyclone Hockey is. The players, the coaches, the staff, and all of the volunteers are really what make the team what it is.

First of all, Dr. Alan Murdoch has been the coach since the team's inception 38 years ago. There is no doubt that he is the face of Cyclone Hockey. In his tenure, the Cyclones have bounced from a rink in Des Moines, to Hilton Coliseum, to the old Ames Ice Arena, and finally to their newest home, Ames/ISU Ice Arena, a place to call their own. It's a place for the both the Iowa State and Ames community to converge on Friday and Saturday nights to get their hockey fill.


Until the team began playing, hockey was foreign to most of the state. Now, Iowa has its own pro hockey team and the state houses the finest teams in American Junior Hockey. Young men from all over the nation have come through the state to begin their junior hockey careers. None of that would likely have happened if not for Al Murdoch and Cyclone Hockey.


So with all of that tradition and all of the success, none of it would be possible without the young men who don the cardinal and gold jerseys every weekend. For most of the players, it's just another chance for them to play the sport they love most at a highly competitive level and get a great education at the same time. Most hockey players are fiercely competitive and proud individuals.


That said, these young men would love nothing more than to bring home a national championship to a champion hungry school. With all of that pride they put into their play, they also take pride in playing for their school and the student body that they represent every time they put on that jersey.


So who are these kids? They are your typical student-athletes, with a few exceptions. First, they don't get scholarships. Secondly, they have to help raise money just as any marketing staff would. The cost of hockey is high and that is probably one of the many reasons that kids don't pick up the sport. So without scholarships and actually paying to play, why on earth do they work as hard as they do?


Again, it comes back to pride and love of the game. These guys are on the ice at least two hours every day. They get up early throughout the week for strength and conditioning training. Lifting weights, running, and even some serious training from former military men are all part of the gig. Cyclone Hockey players take pride in being in pique physical condition, just as any player on the football team would.


They have to devote time to team meetings at any time. They also have to review game film in order to learn from their mistakes. Above all else, they have to commit to the program and to each other in order to succeed on and off the ice.


The hockey players follow a lot of the same rules any NCAA athlete does. They have to make the grades to play. With Coach Murdoch being a professor at ISU, grades are extremely important. He expects his team to make the all-academic team and has many players that do. You don't make grades, you get suspended, simple as that.


All they have to motivate them to adhere to all of these rules without the benefit of a scholarship is that competitive drive necessary to be a student-athlete. The desire to succeed is just about the best motivator for most players.


The team is made up of 26 players. There are 25 American-born players and one from Sweden. Seven of those players are Iowa-born. They come from Colorado, Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and Kansas. There are three seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores, and 12 freshmen.


This is one diverse group of young men. All are talented and ready to take this team to the next level. They have one goal and that is to bring back a national title to Ames.


The last time the Cyclones won the ACHA National Championship was 1992. The team has been to the national tournament every year since then giving the team the reputation of a winner. It's no secret that the Cyclone Nation is hungry for a winner. There's been a winner right under their noses for nearly 40 years.


Yet these young men, aged from 19 – 25 years old, walk around campus almost anonymously. They have no letter jacket to recognize them as varsity athletes nor do they have a multi-million dollar stadium, but they have the will and determination to bring glory to the program.


Cyclone Nation, I think its time to give these boys their due. Come on out to see them every once in a while over at Ames/ISU Ice Arena or somewhere on the road. I can write until my fingertips fall off about how great of a team this is and how hard these guys work, but until you see it for yourselves, it's just not the same.


Cyclone Hockey News and Notes


Junior Allen Raushel was named ACHA National Player of the Week for his 3 goal, 1 assist performance against Central Oklahoma. The Cyclones fell to 5-2-1 after two tough road losses to eighth ranked Michigan-Dearborn this past weekend. They are currently 0-1-1 in CSCHL conference play. Next week the #5 Cyclones take on #7 Arizona State at Ames/ISU Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm.


Coming up next week: We'll start looking at the team as it is right now with player and coach interviews as well as some in depth analysis of their season so far and where it is going.



You can listen to all of the exciting Cyclone Hockey action from your very own home! Iowa State Hockey games are now broadcasted by TEAMLINE every Friday and Saturday night. For more information and a link to all of the broadcasts check out!

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