Cyclones Win 8th Straight And Remain Undefeated

The Listowel Cyclones just can’t stop winning.

At least that’s what starting a season 8-0 makes it feel like. The Cycs continued their dominant opening to the 2016-17 Junior B season with a 5-1 win home-ice win over the Guelph Hurricanes last night. It might be 9-0, but last Friday’s game was cancelled due to the ammonia leak at Listowel Memorial, but who knows, maybe they would have lost to Kitchener on that night. But as it stands, Listowel is still sitting perfect.

The 1st period last night was sloppy both ways, and the puck was bouncing a lot. Listowel opened the scoring courtesy of Caleb Warren, but Guelph tied it, and got their lone goal, off a turnover a few minutes later. Jason Stachelbeck scored Guelph’s goal.

In the 2nd, after a slow 1st, the Cyclones came alive. Head Coach Jason Brooks cited after the game that 1st periods have been slow for them so far. But the Cyclones always seem to overcome any sort of slow start and run away with games. Three goals, including 2 by Ryley Cribbin, sparked another big middle frame for the home side. D-man Ben Derough added the other 2nd period marker.

Guelph had opportunities in the 3rd, with a few power-plays, and there were a number of penalties both ways all game. But 1st-year goalie Brock Baier was rock solid again for Listowel. Baier is a Listowel native and played last year with Junior C Mitchell. In the summer he was taken in the 10th round of the OHL Priority Selection Draft by Windsor, but with a loaded crease there, he was sent to Junior B for seasoning. Well, the adjustment has been swift and simple so far. Everyone knew Baier was a talent, but to start 5-0, with a 1.00 GAA and .961 save percentage is just unreal. Coach Brooks said he’s been really impressed with Baier’s game.

“You know what, did I expect him to start 5-0 and play this good? No. But I knew what a great talent he was coming into this year. Brock is a confident kid, he plays very calm, and when we do need the big save, he’s there all the time, and it’s a huge part of his success.”

The fifth goal to cap off the night was put in by Max Coyle for the Cycs, as they skated off the ice with a still unblemished record. Coach Brooks was asked if he thought the team’s improved 5 0n 5 play over last year’s start was the biggest reason for the 8-0 start this year.

“Certainly, I think that’s a good thing to point out. Last year we started a little bit slow and figured it out down the stretch. We still have some issues getting started, and I’d like us to have better 1st periods. But the biggest thing right now is we are burying chances, and creating a lot of good opportunities. You wanna see that continue, because you never know when it will stop.”

Listowel can go for 9-0 on Sunday at 1:30 in Waterloo, the team that swept them in the 1st round of last year’s playoffs.