Minor Midget Record: 11-19-3 (9th Place)
Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns
Major Bantam Record: 14-16-2 (8th Place)
Major Bantam Result: Lost in quarter-finals to London in 5 games
After an injury plagued season saw the Chatham-Kent Cyclones finish on the outside looking in last year, the Cyclones will return a very familiar team to the ice to try and return to postseason play.
The 2001 Chatham team had some very solid players on their team. Led by first round pick of the Kitchener Rangers Grayson Ladd, Chatham showed some promise early on in the season with forwards Cole MacKinnon and Lucas Fancy also showing promise. Injuries to all three derailed the team leaving them just outside the playoff picture.
At the Bantam level last season, the Cyclones got off to an incredibly slow start. Chatham began their year 0-6-1 and didn’t grab their first victory of the season until October 1st. Despite the slow start, Chatham found their groove and finished the year with a completely opposite run, going 6-1 in their final seven regular season games.
Heading into this season, Chatham will return 13 of their 17 players. Included in those 13 are top defenseman Craig Spence and goaltender Brett Bochu. Seven forwards will return for the Cyclones including All-Star Tate Bowden and Jordan Gualtieri.
There are a couple of question marks heading into the season for Chatham. The first one will be between the pipes. Joining Bochu is Rhett DeVries, so it will be interesting to see how solid the goaltending will be. In addition, Chatham lost forward John Ulicny, who joined Sun County for this season. Ulicny was a large part of the offense so there will need to be some Cyclones who step up in his absence.
The defense should be just as solid this year as it was last season. The offense will be the big key to the teams success. It will be up to the likes of Bowden, former Chief Matthew Gough and Gualtieri to push their team over the top. If the offense can excel, there is a good shot Chatham will be in the mix for one of the final two spots in the playdowns come January.