CALEDONIA – It shouldn’t have been so hard, but the first place Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs defeated the surprising Thorold Blackhawks by the narrowest of margins at 2-1 Saturday night at the Haldimand Centre Arena.
The difference between a win and a blow-out was Thorold goaltender Fraser Kirk who turned away all but two of the 47 shots levelled at him by Caledonia shooters. But narrow or not, the Corvairs earned the two points due partially to the work of Bradley Van Schubert in the Caledonia net who faced 21 Blackhawks shots.
Newcomer Troy Henley scored the his first goal as a Corvair at 15:38 on a Caledonia powerplay assisted by Ryan Punkari, Trent Mallette. Thorold’s Dylan Latty evened the score shorthanded in the second despite his team being outshot 21-6.
Trent Mallette scored what would stand as the game winner from Griffin Roubos and Van Schubert at 18:12. There was no scoring in the third period but lots of action as Caledonia outshot Thorold 13-7 as Kirk gave his team a chance to win. But Van Schubert was on hand to keep that from happening.
The game featured a dust-up at the eight-minute mark of the third when Punkari and Thorold’s Caleb Mussat were tossed for fighting.
Heading into this week’s games, the Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs hold down first place with a 33-4-1 record for 67 points, eight points ahead of the second place St. Catharines Falcons who hold two games in hand. One of those games was made up Sunday afternoon with a matinee game against the third place Niagara Falls Canucks, in the Falls and what should be a “gimme” against the 9-23-0-4 Panthers.
There are a few new faces in the Caledonia lineup starting with Troy Henley who comes from the OHL, six foot two inches tall defenseman Mitchell Devins-Cann, Griffin Roubos a six foot one inch tall defenseman, six foot tall defenseman Griffin Roubos, six foot three inch tall forward Mike Baird and six foot one inch tall forward Eddie Schulz. This goes to show how the Corvairs general manager Brian Rizzetto is never one to stand pat even with a first place lineup.