The Waterloo Siskins continue to battle through an excess of injuries while keeping their eye on the prize-first place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Mid-West Conference.
Saturday night, Waterloo hosted the Brampton Bombers for the last time this season. Waterloo opened the scoring 44 seconds into the game when MATT PRUCHA redirected a cross ice pass into the top stick side on Brampton goaltender David Giancola (See Photo #1 of Feb 9, 2019 Album). Waterloo penalties late in the first period lead to the Brampton equalizer at 16:47 of the period. Brampton scored twice early in the second frame before Waterloo responded with two of their own before the periods end. ALEX CIMINO somehow batted in a goal mouth scramble in a sea of jerseys at the 6:52 mark of the second. SAM CHERRY tied the game 5 minutes later with a power play marker.
There was no scoring in the third period forcing overtime. Waterloo held the edge in overtime play and was rewarded when SAM SPAEDT scored while on his pants somehow squeaking a curling shot through a maze of bodies giving Waterloo a 4-3 victory. Waterloo outshot Brampton 47-28 in the game.
Sunday had Waterloo hosting the first place LISTOWEL CYCLONES at the WMRC. This marks the 6th meeting between the two teams this season. Waterloo has won 3 of the first 5 matches.
The ambiance had the feel of a playoff game with great competition for every puck battle. Waterloo held the edge in play during the first period despite having to kill off 3 penalties.
Both goalies were impressive keeping the score tied at ZERO. BENTON HAYES scored at the 8:17 mark of the second frame to give Waterloo a 1-0 lead. HAYES used line mate OWEN LANE as a decoy with LANE driving the far post burying a shot high to the short side while cutting towards the middle of the slot. Four minutes later SAM CHERRY scored a power play marker short side through a partial screen on Cyclones goalie Evan Morrison. Listowel scored with less than two minutes left in the frame to bring them within a goal.
The highlight goal of the game and maybe the season came at the 11:13 mark of the third period when WINSTON CESTNICK recently off the IR undressed a Cyclone defenseman coming out of the corner and went forehand-backhand-under to the bar (WOW! – See this YouTube video https://youtu.be/LnauGI0OR84) to give Waterloo a 3-1 lead they’d never relinquish. There were several highlights of the game that are general points for the record. Waterloo had 6 key regulars out of the line up and many players stepped up taking on big roles in the Waterloo win. Waterloo showed a real flare for team defense in this game limiting the Listowel chances. This will become ever more important as Waterloo has to be in “playoff mode” from here on.
Waterloo travels to Listowel Friday night for a rematch with first place in the balance before returning home Sunday at 1:30 for another “must win” bout against the Stratford Warriors at the WMRC. Monday Waterloo hosts Brantford for a FAMILY DAY tilt at 1:30.