CALEDONIA/ELMIRA – There may be few Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs fans still sitting in a catatonic coma at the Dan Snyder Memorial in Elmira.
Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Sugar Kings, suddenly turned the lights out on a very successful regular season and a dominating playoff run. That is, until they faced the Elmira Sugar Kings in the GOJHL semi-final round.
Since switching divisions, the Corvairs and the Sugar Kings lost touch with each other, and in that time, the Kings improved greatly and were worthy of the series win.
However, part of this year’s Sutherland Cup story has to include the sudden collapse of the three-time consecutive Cup champions, favoured to win its fourth at the end of a yet another divisional title.
“Elmira was simply better than us,” was the short answer from Corvairs general manager, Brian Rizzetto.
But breaking the disappointing loss down further, Rizzetto was blunt in his assessment of the collapse of his team.
“I think we took Elmira too lightly in Game No. 1, and ran into a hot goaltender in Game No. 2,” he says. “I was pleased with Game No. 3 (which they won 2-0), but we ran into penalties in Game No. 4. We won Game No. 5, but in Game No. 6 we had about a 10-minute brain-fart where we lost focus.”
Rizzetto tips his hat to the Elmira team while admitting to being disappointed with the attitudes and effort of some of his players in particular, especially in Game No. 6, but would not name names.
Despite the disappointment, Rizzetto endorsed the work of head-coach Mike Bullard and is not expecting any changes in that department over the off-season.
“No, Bully is our guy,” he says.
Elmira will now face the London Nationals for this year’s Sutherland Cup, beginning later this week.
Every horse was needed to carry the Caledonia Corvairs past the strong Elmira Sugar Kings 2-0, Friday night at the Haldimand Centre Arena in Caledonia. This time they got it.
Down 3-1 in the series, there was no margin for error against a very talented Elmira team. Caledonia’s powerplay unit proved to be the heroes scoring the only two goals of the game.
The Kings seemed to be a little too stoked to take out the favoured Corvairs and set themselves up for the loss with costly penalties.
Zack Cameron was given two-minutes for boarding at 3:52 of the first period, which comes along with a 10-minute misconduct. On the ensuing powerplay, Adam Craievich scored for Caledonia from Brandon Lindberg and Quentin Maksimovich.
Another Elmira penalty at 12:51 of the second period resulted in Quentin Maksimovich adding the insurance goal from Trent Mallette and Zachary Core.
From there, it was all on Daniel Chenard and the Caledonia defense to hold the fort, which they did well. Facing elimination, they had to. Unfortunately for Corvairs, they were unable to repeat the task the next day in Elmira.