BY TERRY BRIDGE
LISTOWEL – The Listowel Cyclones experienced the best and the worst that the Western Conference has to offer.
The Cyclones took a 6-3 decision at home on Friday, Nov. 9 against the Lambton Shores Predators, the west’s last-place team with just five wins in 20 Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League games played this season. Goderich’s Sam Feagan scored the game-winner 1:04 into the third period, unassisted.
Two days later, Listowel lost 4-1 on the road to the Chatham Maroons. The conference’s top team, featuring a 15-5-1 mark, out-shot them 40-18.
The weekend split gives the Cyclones (10-9-1) 21 points and sole possession of fifth in the Midwestern Conference. They return to action against more familiar foes this weekend, first at home on Friday, Nov. 16 to the Caledonia Corvairs (14-5-1). On Saturday they’re off to the Sleeman Centre to challenge the Guelph Hurricanes (2-17). Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
Listowel constructed a three-goal cushion in the first period against the Predators. Defencemen Kyle Ellis and Mac Nichol both scored with power-play wrist shots, and sandwiched between those markers was Brett Thompson’s first as a Cyclone. Thompson, a 19-year-old forward from Sarnia, added his second of the game and the season into an empty net in the contest’s final minute.
Adam Arseneault scored two power-play goals in the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. After Feagan restored the two-goal lead early in the third, Tanner Ferguson again made it a one-goal game at the 12:34 mark.
Following Thompson’s empty net goal, Dylan Sayle also scored into the open cage with 22 seconds to play.
The Predators won the shot clock battle 50-39 and went 2-for-4 on the power play. Listowel finished 2-for-3.
Goalie Daniel Dekoning improved his rookie record to 5-2 with a 3.10 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.
Predators netminder Brandon Campbell was saddled with the loss.
On Sunday at Chatham Memorial Arena, the Maroons scored just once in the opening frame on an Alexander Morgan goal, but dominated in shots 17-2. Eric Palazzolo made it 2-0 four-and-a-half minutes into the second.
Cyclone’s forward Jacob Robitaille, a 20-year-old from Penetang who’s been a mainstay on the top line with captain Caleb Cameron and fourth-year winger Patrick Bell, cut the lead in half with his 16th of the year. He’s currently in a six-way tie for eighth for the GOJHL goal-scoring lead. Niagara Falls forward Cam Stewart tops the list with 24.
Trevor Richardson and Blake Blondeel both scored in the third period to the put the game away. Chatham captain Sean Myers assisted Blondeel’s goal for his 200th career point.
Darien Ekblad picked up the win, while Drew Reinhardt took the loss.