Corvairs stun Falcons in opener
One game into their Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League best-of-seven semifinal playoff series versus the Caledonia Corvairs and it’s already gut check time for the St. Catharines Falcons.
The Caledonia Corvairs stunned the Falcons 5-0 Friday night at the Seymour Hannah Sports Complex and the defending Sutherland Cup champions now must quickly find a way to regroup for Game 2.
“It’s an interesting piece of adversity,” Falcons coach Tyler Bielby said. “We haven’t been down in a series in three or four years.”
“As coaches, we need to regroup and find a way to bounce back tomorrow.”
The Falcons took six of seven games from the Corvairs during the regular season and went the entire schedule without being shut out, but Bielby didn’t sound like anyone in the Falcons camp was about to panic after such a startling and unforeseen defeat.
“That’s all it is, one shift, one game at a time. You have to win four. It’s a best-of-seven for a reason and this is just one,” he said. “We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Veteran forward Kyle Glenney agreed.
“You can’t win a series in Game 1,” he said. “We know that and we know they know that too. We just have to show up tomorrow, play our game, and take care of business as best as we can.”
The Falcons have been off for 10 days since sweeping the Pelham Panthers and displayed a considerable amount of rust in the first period.
“I thought we were a little flat-footed in the D zone in the first period in particular and got caught puck watching,” Bielby said. “They had a little more desire, a little more compete in their game in the first period getting to the net and they were putting those pucks in that were sitting around the blue paint whereas we weren’t.
“They got up 3-0 and the game changes at that point.”
Bielby called a time out following the third goal and was pleased with the push back.
“I thought the boys were able to respond to that,” he said. “I thought in the first 10 minutes of the second period we took it to them. That’s a good sign when we’re down. It’s about how we react and unfortunately we gave up that fourth goal and that was enough for the night.
“We weren’t ready to go and that was difference. That’s where the game was won tonight, in the first period. I thought after that it went back and forth.”
Bielby liked what he saw during the week leading up to the game.
“I thought we practised hard, I thought we worked hard. The guys had the right attitude,” he said.
Bielby appeared calm following the game, despite the shocking outcome.
“It’s easy to get upset but it’s not about my feelings, it’s not about my emotions,” he said .”It’s about the process and how we respond. There’s no time to have a big pity party or scream at the guys because they have to get up and be ready tomorrow.”
The Falcons were without three key components — captain Jonah Boria and forwards Chris Reid and Cam Lowe — but Glenney wasn’t going to fall back on that as a factor.
“We think we can win with the guys that are here no matter who’s here, no matter why people are here. We have confidence with who we have playing,” he said.
Boria will be back in the lineup Saturday after serving a two-game suspension.
Falcon facts: Jonah Boria, Cameron Lowe and Chris Reid were scratched for the Falcons . . . Cooper Warrington, Cam Kay, Alec Stewart and Zach Ladd did not dress for the Corvairs . . . Stephen Toltl replaced started Aiden Berry in the second period for the Falcons after the Corvairs went up 4-0.
Corvairs 5 Falcons 0
Caledonia forward Dylan Dekoe with two points.
St. Catharines Falcons: No scoring.
Caledonia Corvairs: Dominic Mufarreh (4); Brayden Russell (2); Clark Dunford (1); Noah Baltzer (1); Dylan Dekoe (1).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Marek Pavlas (25), by Caledonia on Aiden Berry/Stephen Toltl (30); Power plays: St. Catharines 0/4, Caledonia 0/4; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 8, Caledonia 8.
Up next: The Falcons visit Caledonia Saturday for Game 2. Game 3 is Monday in St. Catharines.
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