CALEDONIA – The Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs’ “Brantford Connection” is already paying dividends with only a handful of games played in the 2016 GOJHL Jr. B hockey schedule. The line of Guy Polillo, Christian Polillo and Evan Bidenti, all acquired from the Brantford ‘99ers, have been lighting it up for the Corvairs so far.
Corvairs’ general manager Brian Rizzetto is very familiar with the Polillo name. Living in Brantford during the early 1990s he was well acquainted with the Toronto Maple Leaf and Calgary Flames affiliate, Colonial Hockey League, Brantford Smoke. The steady star of that franchise was Paul Polillo, Guy and Christian’s dad. Both boys literally grew up in arenas and around a high level of hockey.
Paul was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1988 but chose instead to go to university, attending classes at the University of Western Michigan and playing for their hockey team. While at UWM, he scored 82 goals, 189 assists for 217 points. As a part of the Brantford Smoke, Polillo Sr. scored 295 goals, 628 assists for a Colonial Hockey League record 923 career points.
One thing both of Paul’s boys have that he didn’t is size. Twenty-year-old Guy at 6’2” and weighs in at 180 pounds, while his 18-year-old brother is also 6’2” and comes in at 175 pounds.
That’s the kind of pedigree the Polillo boys bring to the table every game, and as Rizzetto has said, he also knows what kind of young men they are, on and off the ice.
Evan Bidenti completes the Brantford connection where he scored five goals and assisted on six playing a limited role in 2014 to 2015. 2014 to 2015 saw him playing in the NOJHL with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners gathering 26 points in the regular season and six more in the playoffs.
“Oh, yah the atmosphere here is really good,” said Guy following Friday night’s 4-4 tie against the Thorold Blackhawks. “It’s completely different here. It’s a winning atmosphere and we got a pretty good team this year, there’s some really good talent here and the coaches have a positive mindset. There’s higher expectations here, having won the Sutherland Cup for the last three years and its fun to play that way. I’m really enjoying it so far.”
Chris is glad to be playing on a line with Bidenti too.
“I played with Evan all the way up through minor hockey,” he said.
The Brantford Connection isn’t the only good news in a 2016 to 2017 lineup made up of pretty well all new faces. There are several other diamonds in the rough who promise to be emerging more and more as the chemistry begins to jell. Despite all the new blood, the Corvairs are already focused on keeping the Sutherland Cup in Caledonia for a few more years.