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March 31, 2009

Recommended reading: "One of a kind Kilrea"

Brian Kilrea's Ottawa 67's just lost in Game 7 against the Niagara Ice Dogs. It was a close one - 4-3 in OT. So that's it, Killer has coached his final game with the 67's.

There were lots of great stories and photos of "Killer" published a couple weeks back after his last regular season game. The best one we read was from Gare Joyce on Sportnet.ca: "One of a kind Kilrea". Here's the start:
Brian Kilrea stood at centre ice and the Ottawa 67's lined the boards as he put them through a Saturday morning skate recently. Things had gone well the night before, a win over Barrie on this same patch of ice, but to his mind things weren't going well enough this a.m. Kilrea blew his whistle in the middle of line rush that had devolved into bad shinny.

"Fourth line," he shouted, his rasp carrying to the farthest reaches of the empty Civic Centre. "You took two bad (expletive) penalties and were on for a (expletive) goal against ... the (expletive) puck is supposed to go in the (expletive) corner ... could you at least do the (expletive) drill?"

I covered Kilrea's teams for several years, made it dozens of games, rode the Ottawa bus and saw this scene play out hundreds of times. If you were wandering into the arena this Saturday morning and catching a 67's practice for the first time, you might think you had witnessed a form of child abuse. And that the fella at centre ice was so irritated that he couldn't take much joy from his job and must have despised the adolescents who kept on screwing up drills. I can assure you that this was not the case. Not even close. In fact, just the opposite. Read more...
Related: Ottawa Hockey Guide

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