SIX NATIONS – The Gaylord Powless Arena became “home” for the Six Nations owned Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs Jr. B’s, Saturday night and produced an exciting 5-4 win over the visiting Welland Canadians.
“We try to give a little back to the Six Nations community every year with a game or two at the GPA,” according to general manager Brian Rizzetto. “This time was out of necessity. There is a big tournament being played at the Haldimand rink and we were able to work out an arrangement to bring that game here.”
It was the first of a home and home series against Welland this past weekend, which the Corvairs took both legs of. Sunday, in Welland, the Corvairs won 6-4.
There were many great scoring chances throughout the first period at both ends. But late in the period, Brandon Lindberg scored at 15:24, followed 25 seconds later by Guy Polillo, and Lindberg’s second of the night came on a powerplay at 17:54.
As a show of solidarity and camaraderie, after Lindberg’s first goal, he was swarmed like he just scored the Sutherland Cup winner in OT by his teammates.
Lindberg has been dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of his girlfriend and Saturday marked his first goal since returning to the club. To show their support, to a man, everyone left the bench to congratulate him. Lindberg responded by scoring his second to close the first period with Six Nations ahead 3-0.
Christian Polillo accounted for the 4-0 goal scored from brother Guy and Josh DeFarias at 5:44 of the second.
But holding a lead, is an area Rizzetto and coach Mike Bullard are concerned about with their “new” team, after losing most of last year’s Sutherland Cup roaster after going overage between seasons.
Welland opened the third period like a different team and applied significant pressure to the Corvairs’ defence. Steven Farano and Ryan Miotto chipped away at the Corvairs’ lead in the third.
Austin Ulett broke the Welland chain but only temporarily as Ryan Donovan and Ryand McBurney brought the Canadians’ close with last minute, powerplay goals with Christian Polillo and Trent Mallette drawing penalties very late in the game.
“It was like the ‘Tale of Two Cities,” said Rizzetto about his team’s near collapse late in the game. “We have to learn how to win and to hold a lead.”
He is also concerned about the special teams to date, but despite all that, the Corvairs are still in first place with 23 points however they have played three more games than second place, St. Catharines.
The back-to-back losses to the Pro-Fit Corvairs has dropped Welland into a tie with Niagara Falls, but they too have played a few more games along the way.
Sunday in Welland the Corvairs took a 4-0 lead as well before having to hang on for the 6-4 win.
Morino Moro, and Lindberg put Caledonia up 2-0 after 20 minutes while Lindberg and Josh DeFarias adding two more to start the second. Everything was going Caledonia’s way until a rash of Caledonia penalties opened the door to Welland who were pleased to take advantage with three straight powerplay goals.
Fortunately the Corvairs, Kyle West and Adam Craievich closed the second period with Caledonia still clinging to a 6-3 lead. Steve Farano scored for Welland 31 seconds into the third, with a Welland powerplay.
This week, Fri. 21st, the Corvairs take on the Niagara Falls Canukes in Niagara, then Friday Oct. 28th to let the rest of the league catch up in games played.