2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 14-15-4 (8th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Brantford
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 7-21-4 (10th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to London
Followin a bantam season that saw the Cyclones surpass expectations and make an unexpected postseason run, Chatham is once again hoping to surprise some and secure a postseason spot.
At the beginning of last season, I was one person who was very high on the 03 Cyclones. Led by dynamic forward Deni Goure, I felt like Chatham could be a dark horse team that could even challenge for home ice in the opening round of playdowns. A very slow start by the team seemingly dashed that thought, but a resurrgence in November and December and the Cyclones were making moves. A sweep at the hands of eventual champions Brantford was nothing to scoff at, but injuries to both goalies Ethan Labbe and Ty Cirillo didn’t allow for the Cyclones to truly show what they may have been capable of.
We have finally made it to the holiday break, which actually isn’t much of a break for many teams. 10 of the 12 Alliance squads will be participating in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, with just the Chatham-Kent Cyclones and the Lambton Jr. Sting skipping out on the tournament.
The new year will bring plenty of battles and lots of exciting play in the Alliance loop. While the eight teams that will be advancing to the playdowns seems to get clearer and clearer every day, it is the battle for positioning that should take us down to the wire. Add in the new postseasons twist of the “consolation” playoff winner having a shot at an OHL Cup Wildcard spot and there is lots of meaningful hockey ahead.
With only a month left to play, here is what I think the opening round of the playdowns will look like.
Brantford vs Huron-Perth
London vs Chatham-Kent
Windsor vs Cambridge
Kitchener vs Waterloo
Now here is the final team rankings for the year of 2018.
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.