April 21, 2013

Five Ex-67's Win German League Title

For most OHLers, it’s a dream to play professional hockey in North America.  If that dream doesn’t come to fruition, plenty make the trip over to Europe to pursue their dreams.  The dream was realized today for the Eisbaren Berlin Polar Bears of the Deutsche Hockey League, as they won the league championship with five ex-members of the Ottawa 67’s.

Eisbaren defeated the Kolner Haie Sharks 4-1 on Sunday, taking the series in a four-game sweep to capture their seventh league title.

The team was assembled by General Manager Peter Lee, who still holds the 67’s all-time record in goals (213) and points (444).  The Ellesmere, England native played with the Barberpoles from 1972 to 1976. 

He finished his professional playing career in 1996 with Berlin, and joined the team as an assistant coach the following year.  He took on the manager position in the 2005-06 season.

Vince Malette was an assistant coach to Brian Kilrea for eight seasons, before taking shorter stints in Peterborough and the CJHL.  Lee hired him as an assistant coach in 2010, a position he still holds.

Julian Talbot followed the footsteps of older brother Joey very closely, playing four years with the 67’s, five years of minor-pro hockey in the United States before heading to Europe to continue playing.  The younger Talbot put up 220 points in his 67’s career, only eight less than his brother, and had 30 points for Berlin this year.

In winning a championship together, Matt Foy and Corey Locke were able to do today with Berlin what they were unable to as teammates ten years ago.

In 2002-03, Foy and Locke played alongside the now-retired Scott Sheppard to form the league’s most potent forward unit.  Foy scored 132 points, while Locke put up 151.  Ottawa lost in five games to Kitchener in that year’s OHL finals.

Also of note on this Berlin team were Philadelphia Flyers forwards Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, who started the year in Germany before the end of the NHL lockout, and starting goaltender Rob Zepp, who played his last junior game as a member of the Plymouth Whalers, in Ottawa, a 2-1 loss to the 67’s that gave Ottawa the 2001 OHL championship.

Several years after making their mark at Ottawa’s Civic Center, ex-67’s are now making their mark around the world.  If Berlin wants to add even more of a 67’s contingent, perhaps they can make a deal with last-place Duesseldorf, where former Ottawa captain Marc Zanetti currently plays.

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