2018/19 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Season Preview

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2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 15-13-5 (6th Place)

2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Sun County Panthers in 5 games

2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 9-16-7 (9th Place)

2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Sun County Panthers in 4 games

Last season, the Minor Midget Chiefs were arguably the best team in the Alliance in the second half of the season. In this upcoming year, the chemistry of the team will be key to determine where they end up come playdown time.

The 2002 born group got off to a slower start to their season but as stated above, there wasn’t a hotter team down the stretch than Elgin. Elgin ended the year on an 8-2-3 run that catapulted them into the 6th spot, just a point out of 5th. A tough series against Sun County saw them fall in the opening round of the playdowns, but they would go on to win the consolation title over Waterloo. Rylan Bowers was the offensive leader for the Chiefs while first year player Michael McKnight shined. Mix in an underrated defense with Bryce Walcarius stealing the show in goal and the Chiefs were a team many overlooked in my opinion.

It was the opposite occurence at bantam last season for the Chiefs as the 2003 born Elgin team ended the year on a disappointing 1-8-4 run that saw them fall to 9th overall and second to last in the West division. An unfortunate end to a season that saw Elgin in the upper half of the league in terms of goals allowed.

There will be lots of new faces when the season kicks off for Elgin. Of their 15 skaters on the roster, eight of them will be new faces that weren’t apart of the bantam team last season. Ryan Burke will be leaned on heavily for offensive output and he will be joined along with Anahalihs Doxtator, Eric Smith and Garrett McCabe as the lone returnees up front. The loss of forward Austin Connors to Brantford will definitely be felt early in the year.

Difficulties in holding opponents to low scores shouldn’t be a massive concern for the Chiefs. Ethan Mackinnon returns to his post on the blueline and he will now be joined by former Lambton player Christian Kyrou, who is a great addition to the team. The Chiefs will also return both Max Beckford and Omar Hage in goal.

A nearly 50% turnover for a team in their minor midget year isn’t unheard of, but it definitely isn’t an easy obstacle to overcome. There will need to be lots of preseason work done to avoid a slow start to the regular season and the Toronto Titans tournament should work out most of those bugs. With that said, Elgin will need to find consistent offensive options to solidify their standing as a playdown team because with the defense they have, it will be a task for any team looking across the ice at them.

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