Corvairs enter Sutherland Cup without Captain Quilty

CALEDONIA – The last leg of the Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs quest for the Jr. B Holy Grail, the Sutherland Cup, begins Wednesday night, April 23rd, at the Haldimand Centre Arena in Caledonia against the St. Catharines Falcons, beginning at 7:30 pm.

The Corvairs ate up the Waterloo Siskins four games to one in the semi-finals, 4-1, 4-0, and 5-4 before dropping a 3-1 decision in Waterloo. They returned to form in Game #5 with a 4-1 win to take the series.

Meanwhile, the Falcons were doing the same to the Leamington Flyers, winning that series 4-1 as well.

These same two teams battled it out earlier this post season in the first round of the playoffs with Caledonia coming out on top. But the Falcons made it through to the Conference final by way of a wildcard win.

The Six Nations owned franchise won the Sutherland Cup in the 2008-09 season when they were the Brantford Golden Eagles. They hope to bring the cup to Caledonia for the first time as the Pro-Fit Corvairs.

At the end of the regular season it appeared that the Falcons won the league title by one point, however, it was discovered that they played a non-eligible player and a game was taken away from them putting Caledonia in first place on a technicality.

It comes to no surprise to Corvairs coach Mike Bullard that they would see the Falcons again in the final round.

“I think it’s good for both teams,” he says. “They were the best two teams all season long. I called it right from the get-go that we’d be playing them again.”

The other side of that coin is that the Falcons will know the Corvairs just as well.

“There is no question that they are going to have something to prove. They got humiliated the first round, but every game was close one-goal games,” says Bullard.

“I watched them in the Leamington series and are getting some great goaltending from Knick Dawe like we are getting from Furlong.”

They will be going into the Sutherland Cup without captain Matt Quilty, one of the main reasons the Corvairs got there. Quilty received a serious eye injury against St. Catharines with an accidental high stick that ended his season.

“Matt is doing really good,” says Bullard. “His vision is starting to come back to him, and he is feeling better. In his world, he is probably thinking he can play. But when you are talking about an eye, it’s not something you take lightly.”

Quilty’s jersey hung behind the Caledonia bench throughout the series with Waterloo and will remain there as inspiration to the club.

Quilty may even be able to attend the Sutherland Cup finals as a spectator and help keep his team up in the dressing room. He was bed ridden for almost a month and was unable to attend the Waterloo series.

“We miss him a lot,” says Bullard. “He’s our captain. He’s our heart and soul and was playing absolutely unbelievable.”

Game #2 of the Sutherland Cup final is set for Friday night, April 25th, at the Jack Gatecliff Arena. Game #3 returns to Caledonia Saturday, April 26th with Game #4 slated for Tuesday, April 29th in St. Kitts. Game #5 comes back to the Haldimand Centre Wed. April 30th. Games #6 and #7 if necessary, will be played in St Catharines May 2nd, and in Caledonia Saturday May 3rd.

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