In the first round of playoffs, the visiting Niagara Falls Canucks couldn’t get out of Caledonia fast enough after Game #4, of the Conference semi-finals against the two-time Sutherland Cup Champion, Caledonia Corvairs.
With little or no gas in the tank left after losing 7-3, 5-2 and 8-1, the Canucks threw in the towel, as it were, by hardly showing up for the 13-2, deciding game. At the same time, it certainly appeared the Corvairs wanted to finish the Conference Semi-final in front of their own fans in Caledonia.
After a little shadow boxing, the Corvairs exploded with five straight goals, three on powerplays and a short hander, just to add insult to injury. Matthew Hore with two, and single markers by Mitchell Fitzmorris, Tyler Hill, and Davis Brown.
Canucks’ Andrew Barbeau completely lost his cool at 13:44, ending up with a five minute fighting major, a game misconduct, an instigator and an aggressor call. In doing so, he got to take his shower early.
Blake Luscombe added a fourth powerplay goal 20 seconds into the second period and followed that with a short hander at 2:53 from Hill. Quentin Maksimovich put in another shorthanded goal at 4:14 and it was virtually all over for Niagara at 8-0.
There was a brief reprieve when Niagara scored its first goal of the game. But rather than provide a platform to rally on, the goal only served to make the Corvairs even hungrier. Jordan Brown, Hill and Maksimovich made it an official blow out at 11-1 by the end of the second, with 20 minutes left to play.
Taggart Ledyard scored Niagara’s second and last of the game before Fitzmorris and Bailey Fletcher closed out the scoring for Caledonia.
If there has been any criticism against the Corvairs this year, that might be the question of discipline, however, on this day it was Niagara giving up too many man advantage situations, which the Corvairs capitalized on four times.
“We got a lot of help from Hagersville Hawks Jr. C call ups,” said general manager Brian Rizzetto. “Everyone will be needed with three more series ahead of us.”
After compiling a truckload of goals in both series the Corvairs have been engaged in so far, it is little wonder why Caledonia Corvairs players occupy the first five spots in the playoff scoring race. Cory Pawley leads the league with nine goals, 21 assists for 30 points in eight playoff games to date. Matthew Hore is next with 22 points by way of 10 goals and 12 assists, followed by Blake Luscombe with 21 points, Michael Fitzmorris with 20 points in the six playoff games he dressed for so far, and Quentin Maksimovich has 19 points.
Meanwhile goalie Mark Sinclair leads league goaltenders so far this post season with a goals-against-average of a stingy 1.29 and a saves percentage of .943.
The Corvairs will now face the St. Catharines Falcons for the Conference Finals after the Falcons took their series against the Ancaster Avalanche four games to two. At this moment, it appears that round will begin Wednesday night at the Haldimand Centre Arena.
In other series, Stratford will be facing Waterloo and the Leamington Flyers will take on the London Nationals.
LEAD: Caledonia Corvairs celebrate one of 13 goals they scored in Game #4 to sweep the Canucks. Next up are the St. Catharines Falcons. That series is expected to open in Caledonia Wednesday, March 30. Photo by Phil Armishaw
Top: Oh that feels good. The Caledonia Corvairs cleared another hurdle in their quest to make Jr. B history by winning the Sutherland Cup, three seasons in a row. The Corvairs closed the season for the Niagara Falls Canucks Saturday night and await the St. Catharines Falcons. Photo by Phil Armishaw