BY DAN MCNEE
LISTOWEL – Eleven games is a long stretch to go without a win.
The Listowel Junior Cyclones know this truth all too well, but the team was finally able to get the monkey off its back last Thursday night. The Cyclones (6-12-5) topped the Brantford 99’ers (6-17-1) on the road 5-1, ending a winless skid that dated back to early October.
“It was somewhat of a relief to get a win,” said Listowel head coach Mark Uniac. “But more importantly we have been starting to play a more complete game and guys are getting confident again.”
Kenny Huether had two goals and an assist, Scott Pawson returned from a shoulder injury to register two helpers and Kevin Gergely and Ted Nichol also had two assists in the victory. Goaltender Tanner Topham made 46 saves for his third win of the campaign, while Derek Elliott, Mac Nichol and Tim Nauta all had single tallies for Listowel. It was Nauta’s first regular season goal in a Cyclones uniform.
Scotty Penwarden got the lone marker for Brantford, which sits four points back of Listowel for the final playoff spot in the Midwestern Conference. Andre Keire made 19 saves for the loss.
“Confidence is everything right now and guys are starting to believe in themselves and in each other,” said Uniac.
The Cyclones were unable to keep the momentum going the following night at home, dropping a 4-2 decision to the third-place Waterloo Siskins (14-6-3).
The Siskins scored four second-period goals en route to the victory, Waterloo’s fourth in a row. Evan Kearns powered the visitors’ offence with two goals, while Ryan Hergott picked up the win in net with 32 saves.
Mac Nichol scored his second goal in as many nights and Huether potted his team-leading 12th goal of the season to make a game of it in the third period, but Listowel was unable to complete the comeback. Topham made 27 saves in the losing effort.
The Cyclones complete their brief two-game home stand versus Brantford on Friday, Nov. 22 at the Memorial. Listowel has won all three meetings between the two clubs this season. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Scott Pawson was pulled out of last Friday’s lineup just prior to game time with soreness in his shoulder and is considered day-to-day.
Tanner Mighton (shoulder) may return to action this weekend. Mighton has been out of the lineup since Sept. 21.
Defenceman Riley Robertson (undisclosed) underwent surgery and is likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Goaltender Daniel Dekoning will return to the Listowel lineup this Friday after being recalled by the Erie Otters (OHL) in early November.