The Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs have been hot right out of the gate this year and are riding atop the Golden Horseshoe Conference with a perfect 4-0 record heading into this coming weekend’s games.
Saturday night, the Corvairs took the second leg of a home-and-home series against the
Port Colborne Pirates, 7-2. The night before, they handed the Pirates a 7-3 slap in the face in Port Colborne in taking all four points.
Head coach Mike Bullard is somewhat surprised at how quickly this year’s team has begun to gel.
“At camp, we gave everybody who came out a good chance to make the team,” he says.
“But our bar is pretty high, with the success we have had. We finally trimmed our roster down and these guys are gelling already.”
One area in particular that is well ahead of last year’s team at this juncture is the power play and penalty killing situations. In four games, the power play percentage is 25.93%
and the successful penalty kill is 89.47. Both are respectable and better than last year when the special teams were a bit hot and cold at times.
The Corvairs are also playing in a new division. Bullard is happy with the move to the
Golden Horseshoe Conference from the Mid-Western.
“It’s a lot better for us in travel,” he says. “In the Midwest there are longer road trips, but
here in the Golden horseshoe, everything is pretty close.”
He believes the closer distances will reflect at the box office as well.
“Being so close to these other teams, we would expect more out of town fans coming to watch their teams and more of our fans will the following us on the road too” said Bullard. “It should start a few good rivalries.”
Mitch Brown put the Corvairs in the drivers seat early Saturday night with a goal at 3:40, assisted by Ryan Moran and Jeffrey Marlott. He then added another for good measure at 12:04, from Matt Quilty and Justin Abraham.
With Scott Dorian in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct, Mack Steele took advantage on the ensuing power play and cut the Caledonia lead in half before the period ended at 2-1.
Port Colborne soon found out that giving the Corvairs an extra man is not a good idea.
The Caledonia power play was connecting like it was mid-season, especially in the
second period when the Pirates started to get frustrated with the Corvair’s speed.
An altercation began in front of the player’s benches, which resulted in a mini melee with
Brier Jonathan, ejected for a checking from behind call and a Fighting Aggressor major.
That set the tone for the second period. But Port Colborne seemed to be taking all the penalties while the Corvairs were getting all the goals.
Spenser Gourlay, Connor Patton and Connor Murphy all got power play goals to increase the Caledonia lead to 5-1. Murphy scored again at 15:03 to complete the second period leading 6-1, and in complete control of the game.
Patton opened the third with his second goal of the game to make it 7-1, before Mack
Steele netted for the Pirates their second goal of the game at 18:12 with Dorian off for a “Head-check.”
Former Kingston Frantenac, Colin Furlong was confident and solid in the Corvairs goal standing against any Pirate attacks and turning away 28 of 30 shots.
Friday night, in Port Colborne, it was a third period outburst of five unanswered goals that sunk the Pirates, 7-3. Patton led the Corvairs with two goals and two assists.
The game had an explosive start when Corvairs’ JC Thieving got a bit too aggressive with a body check and was charged with a Head Contact penalty at the 17-second mark.
The teams were relatively toe-to-toe for 40 minutes with Port Colborne taking a slight 3-2 lead.
Booker Muir scored first for Caledonia from Kyler Nixon and Patton, but the Pirates managed to get two goals late in the period to lead the Corvairs 2-1.
Matt Quilty evened up the score at 9:16 of the second frame before Liam VanBuren took the lead back at 12:09.
It was the Caledonia power play unit that seemed to turn the game around in the third period with two extra attacker goals.
Mack Steele was given a tripping call late in the second which spilled into the third.
Quilty didn’t take long to make him pay, and at 44 second, he tied the game at 3-3 from Nixon and Gourlay.
Four minutes later, Connor Patton handed the Corvairs the lead with the 4-3 goal on a powerplay, assisted by Gourlay and Quilty.
The puck remained in the Port Colborne zone for most of the rest of the period with Jeff Marlott, Patton, with his second, and Gourlay pilling on more Corvairs goals to finish the
This coming week will see only one game, that against the Buffalo Regales, Sunday nightin Buffalo.
By Jim Windle