Cyclones falter over weekend triple test
Juniors look to get back on track in home-and-home versus Brampton
BY DAN MCNEE
LISTOWEL – Just as the Listowel Junior Cyclones seemed to be hitting their stride, they ran into three hot teams over the weekend that effectively halted them in their tracks.
Listowel fell 5-3 to the defending Midwestern Conference champion Cambridge Winter Hawks (7-4-1) at home on Friday before dropping road tests to both the Thorold Blackhawks and Waterloo Siskins on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The Cyclones (5-6-3) had won three in a row before losing in a shootout to the Elmira Sugar Kings on Oct. 6.
“Really a tough weekend for us,” said Listowel head coach Mark Uniac. “The game against Cambridge wasn't bad, credit to Cambridge. There are things we could have done better but Cambridge was full marks and we failed to match their intensity shift to shift.
“It's the old 60-minute adage, and they were the better club.”
On Friday, Jonathan Langford and Dylan Sayle scored back-to-back power-play goals to give the Cyclones a 2-1 edge heading into the second period, but were unable to hold the lead for long. Powered by Adam Dauda’s hat trick, the Winter Hawks scored three unanswered goals to gain a 4-2 advantage late in the game.
Derek Elliott brought Listowel within one near the halfway point of the third, but a Cameron Pentsa empty netter put the game out of reach for Listowel. Scott Pawson registered two assists to add to his team-leading 18 points.
Daniel Dekoning (3-2-2) took the loss in the Cyclone net, making 42 saves. Despite the setbacks over the weekend, Dekoning’s .922 save percentage is still good for ninth in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Jacob Keogh stopped 39 shots in the Cambridge net to pick up the win.
On Saturday, the Cyclones traveled to Thorold for their only inter-conference game of the regular season, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Blackhawks.
Tanner Topham (2-4-1) got the start for Listowel, turning aside 23 shots to record the loss. Elliott scored the lone Listowel goal, with assists going to Langford and Ben Shelley. The Cyclones went scoreless on the power play going 0-7, while Thorold went 1-5.
The Listowel blue line suffered another setback on Saturday, as Connor Shaw went down with an undisclosed injury. Defencemen Riley Robertson and Tanner Mighton have already missed time this season due to injuries and remain out of the lineup.
“Saturday we played one of our best periods of the year in the first,” said Uniac. “Thorold is one of the most talented offensive teams in the GOJHL and when pressed too hard we made mistakes and they countered. If we had been a little more patient and stuck with what was working in the first period we should have seen a better result.”
Things only got worse for Listowel on Sunday, as the Cyclones were shut out by the Siskins, 6-0.
Former Sugar King Matt Schieck tallied two goals and two assists for Waterloo, who went 3-10 on the power play. Dekoning allowed five goals on 32 shots before being replaced by Topham at the start of the third period.
“I think Sunday was more of the same frustration and maybe a little bit of fatigue,” said Uniac. “We are not a team to make excuses though and the result is unacceptable, but as we reach the quarter pole of the season, we find ourselves in the thick of the battle in the standings.
“We have been happy with the progression of our young team and although we have lots of work to do to improve we think we will continue to get better as a team and become a team that no one wants to play against.”
The Junior Cyclones return home to Memorial Arena this Friday, Oct. 18 to meet the Brampton Bombers in the first game of a home-and-home set. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore forward Brandon Priestap has been transferred to the Western Junior ‘C’ League’s Kincardine Bulldogs at his request.
Forward Nick Arcan traded to the Brampton Bombers in exchange for cash.
Defenceman Chad Lemire acquired from the St. Thomas Stars in exchange for cash.
Affiliate winger Reid Simmons has been signed to a junior card and will join the Cyclones full-time.