October 17, 2014

They Call Him Killer; An Emotional Night At Civic Center

There was a time when Brian Kilrea considered it an inexcusable embarrassment to lose on home ice on a Friday night, and for one night, he had the chance to help maintain that expectations with the modern edition of the 67's.

Photo courtesy of Robert Lefebvre at icelevel.com

Celebrating his 80th birthday on an emotional night, Kilrea joined Jeff Brown, a player Kilrea coached against in the 80's, behind the bench for a hard-fought 6-3 Ottawa win.

"I liked the effort tonight, anytime you win it's a good feeling," said the legendary bench boss.  "I didn't need to do much, by the time this season is through, (this coaching staff) will be well-seasoned."

While Kilrea harped on the usually-sold-out Friday home games, it was a staple of his time with the Barberpoles to have a solid home record overall.

Despite treading water as a middling team in the East, Ottawa improves to 3-0-0 on home ice in their new-old stomping grounds.

Upon his many successes in the junior circuit, Kilrea was instrumental in bringing the umbrella-style powerplay to North America after coaching the 1984 Canadian national team that was torched by European teams who played a 1-2-2 on the man advantage.

In fine fashion, the 67's of today went 3-for-3 on the powerplay to honour a man who helped shape modern powerplays.

In 2001, Kilrea coached defenceman Brendan Bell to an OHL Championship.  Tonight, he watched as his modern namesake went off for a slash less than a minute into the game, leading to an early Mississauga marker.

Artur Tyanulin, who may as well be a carbon copy of Jakub Petruzalek in his days playing under Kilrea, potted his first career goal to tie the game.

Erik Bradford, whose cousins Jamie and Tye McGinn played for Kilrea, gave Ottawa their first lead of the game.

Liam Herbst made 33 stops while Dante Salituro and Travis Barron had a pair of goals each.

While he had already defeated every franchise in the OHL, Kilrea's 1,194th win was his first against the newly-named Mississauga Steelheads.

If he wants to notch a win against every modern OHL team, the North Bay Battalion are in town in less than a month.

Kilrea's memory will never end, and the next two games will be a reminder of his two biggest recent underdog successes.

The 67's stay at home Sunday to host Plymouth in a re-match of the 2001 finals before heading to London, the home of the 67's last appearance in the finals in 2005.

Game sheet here.

A few pictures courtesy of Robert Lefebvre icelevel.com

The Arena at TD Place

Travis Barron - 1st star

Dante Salituro - 2nd star
Jeremiah Addison - hardest working  67's

Liam Herbst

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