'It's not a great town'

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

Ottawa 67's winger Bryan Bickell has taken the first shot of the OHL Eastern Conference championship.

His target: The city of Peterborough.

"It's not a great town. There's not really a lot to do there," said Bickell who's from Orono, located 45 km southwest of Peterborough.

"I really don't like Peterborough, to tell you the truth," said the second-round draft pick of the Chicago Black Hawks.

Brave words, coming from a young man who will begin the best-of-seven series tonight at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

He has significant ties to the town he dislikes.

His mother, Anne Bickell, owns a Carquest auto parts store just off Lansdowne Ave. in the Liftlock City, down the road from the Petes' home arena.

She has decorated her shop with 67's posters, which are regular targets of vandalism.

"Some of my employees keep putting Petes stickers on my Ottawa stuff," she said yesterday from Peterborough. "There's a lot of excitement here, and it should be a good series regardless of what happens."

She has a bet with an owner of a NAPA auto parts shop next to hers.

Greg Walsh, the NAPA store owner, will be forced to display a Carquest banner in his shop for 24 hours if the 67's win the series.

If the Petes take the final, Bickell will have her competitor's logo in the front window.

"I told her to put her money where her mouth is," said Walsh, who came up with the idea.

"It's called community pride, and I'm batting for my community right here," he said. "I have a big NAPA sign that's just poised and ready to be displayed in her building."

Not if Anne Bickell and her son have a say in it.


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