2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 12-16-5 (8th Place)
2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Cambridge Hawks in 5 games
2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 15-10-7 (5th Place)
2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Windsor Jr. Spitfires in 5 games
This past season, the 2002 born Cyclones proved themselves to be a tough opponent for any team in the Alliance. This year, the team looks to be on the same projectile.
Last season, Chatham-Kent came in as an underdog to many of the other teams in the Alliance. While they struggled to consistently put up offensive numbers, it was on the back end that the Cyclones shined. It all started in goal as Brett Brochu played his way into the conversation of the best goaltenders in the Alliance. In addition, both Craig Spence and Spencer Lecot played shutdown defense while also chipping in offensively from time to time.
The bantam team played in a fairly tough western division last season and found themselves just four points out of first place once the year was complete. Sporting an offense that was in the top five of the Alliance, Chatham would take eventual finalist Windsor all the way to game five in their quarter-final series before bowing out.
This season looks to be a good one for the boys in Chatham in my mind. The name you will hear all season from this team is Deni Goure. Goure played one game up with the 02’s last season and he made the most of it, tallying a goal and two assists. In terms of preseason talk, Goure is definitely in the conversation for top player in the association. Alongside Goure are two more all-star forwards Daniel Fraleigh and Jett Morningstar. This three-man attack up front will give a lot of teams fits when planning their defense.
Five new players will wear the Cyclones jersey this season and no changes are bigger than between the pipes. Chatham will welcome two new goalies this year and they aren’t strangers by any means. Joining the Cyclones are Ty Cirillo and Ethan Labbe, who both played their bantam hockey with the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs and got all the way to the bronze medal game the OMHA Championships.
A lot of things about this Cyclones team intrigue me. Nobody can question the offensive capabilities of this team but the success they have this season will come down to defense and goaltending. You can go far winning shootouts, but it won’t last forever as we saw with last year’s Sun County Panthers. If they put it all together, they could the surprise team of the upcoming year.