CALEDONIA – After tripping over the starting gate in the GOJHL semi-finals by dropping Game #1, 3-2, in Caledonia on Tuesday Mar. 11th, and requiring OT to win Game #2, 2-1, the Pro-Fit Corvairs began looking more like the team they have been all season on Sunday night in Caledonia.
By Sunday, the Corvairs knew they were not facing the same Thorold Black Hawks they saw this season. This is now a team that cannot be given an inch. They are skating hard, working hard along the boards and not giving up on plays, and are suddenly the stiffest competition the Corvairs have faced so far.
Sunday night, in Thorold, the Corvairs were more ready for the Black Hawks than in Games #1 and #2.
Thorold’s Kevin Lavoie threw a further scare into Corvairs fans with the only goal of the period, although Colin Furlong held his ground against 28 Black Hawk shots, making 27 saves in the first period alone.
But everything turned around in the second with captain Matt Quilty leading the way by scoring the tying goal scored at 4:57 from Connor Murphy and Todd Ratchford.
Mitch Brown chipped in at 6:49 to take the Corvairs’ lead. Chance MacDonald and Kyler Nixon assisted. But Owen Sobchak cashed in on a Thorold powerplay at 12:59.
Quilty scored his second of the second period with less than a minute remaining, assisted by Murphy and Cody Brown.
Murphy grabbed a powerplay goal, from Cody Brown and Nixon, at 3:23 to begin the third period, but Joe Mitchell responded with a powerplay marker of his own at 7:20.
Cosimo Fontana scored the final goal of the game at 17:46 to end it with Caledonia winning 5-3, and leading the series 2-1.
Saturday night it only took 15 seconds of O.T. to decide the hard fought and fast skating game.
Thorold scored first after the puck hopped over Cody Brown’s stick at the blue line and sent two Black Hawks in on Furlong with one man back.
Kevin Lavoie tied the game at 14:49 of the second period.
Furlong may have made the game preserving save with about three minutes remaining in the second period. Thorold’s Joe Mitchell picked a path through the Caledonia defense and turned on the speed. He got in tight on Furlong but the Caledonia netminder stoned him.
Then, with 55 seconds remaining in the period, Caledonia thought they had the go ahead goal, but it was disallowed because the whistle had blown the play down a nanosecond before the puck went in.
Although the Corvairs outshot Thorold 14-5 in the third period, the score remained tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation play as Thorold goalie Brendan Polasek kept his team in it.
That meant an extra, sudden death period. It took 15 seconds for Connor Murphy to decide the 2-1 winner, assisted by Quilty and Cody Brown.
The series opened in Caledonia Tuesday night, March 11th, and the Corvairs did not look ready.
Matt Quilty scored the lone first period goal from Jeffrey Malott and Connor Murphy at 10:15, But Thorold shocked the Corvairs with three unanswered second period goals scored by Owen Sobchak (2) and Zach McQuade.
The Corvairs flooded the Thorold zone in the third period with 23 shots, but could only get one of them past Polasek, that being scored by Fontana from Mitch Brown and Jordan Peacock as the Black Hawks held on for the confidence building 3-2 win.
Game #5 will be played Wednesday, March 19th, in Caledonia.