CALEDONIA – Welland goalie Blair Coffin kept it a close game for two and a half periods but he couldn’t do it all and that made the difference in the Caledonia Corvairs’ 4-2 win over the Welland Canadians, Saturday night at the Haldimand Centre Arena in Caledonia.
Outshot 47-18 in the game, the Canadians and Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs were tied at 4-4 at the end of the second period where it stayed until Ryan Punkari broke through Coffin’s wall from Trent Mallette and Jamey Lauzon at 14:26. Mallette added an empty netter to salt the game, 6-4.
Daniel Chenard was on light duty facing only three shots in the third period. Brandon Lindberg kept his scoring machine running with a goal and two assists and Adam Craievich punched in two goals. Zach Core scored as well for the win.
Welland goals were tallied to the accounts of Drew Nesbitt (2G), Bradley Boudreau, and Nicholas Boehmer.
Outshooting opponents by massive numbers is the M.O. for the Corvairs and has been for several years under the hand of coach Mike Bullard and general manager Brian Rizzetto, including their unprecedented three Sutherland Cups in succession.
Sometimes this season it has appeared that all the Corvairs had to do was to show up and pull on a jersey for the win, and that is exactly what happened Thursday night in Thorold when, for the second game in a row, and third time this season they could not ice a minimum number of players due to sickness and suspensions. The Corvairs were awarded the two-point forfeit win. Friday night, the Welland Canadians were also gifted two points by the Blackhawks inability to play.
Thorold has already qualified for the playoffs as seventh seed in a field of eight in the nine-team conference and is lobbying the league to have these games rescheduled. The Blackhawks carry a very light bench to start with and with four players out, could not seem to manage even with AP call-ups.
Owners of the team insist they will be OK when everyone gets back, but there may be league disciplinary action in store.
For the Corvairs, they are now 45-1-0 good for first place with 81 points. Tuesday night the Corvairs face the hapless Buffalo Regals who have one win in 45 starts this season. Saturday Feb. 18th, Caledonia visits Fort Erie. The Pro-fit Corvairs will close the regular season at home with games Monday, Feb. 20th against Ancaster before hosting the Pelman Panthers next Saturday, Feb. 25th, that is if the league does not grant Thorold the rescheduled games they forfeited.