Bonello exits on a sour note

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

LONDON -- The waning minutes of Brad Bonello's Ontario Hockey League career wound up being an exercise in frustration.

The 67's forward was in the penalty box after a controversial call by Quebec referee Richard Forest when the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic scored to go up 5-3 in what turned out to be a 7-4 victory.

It was a crucial turning point, coming just over a minute after the 67's had scored to pull within a goal. The crowd at the John Labatt Centre and the momentum seemed to be on their side.

The 67's thought they were getting a power play when Bonello went hard to the net and was dumped on his butt.

But Forest sent Bonello off, bringing a hail of boos from the crowd. It might be the first and last time a penalty to the 67's is booed here.

DROVE TO NET

"I was just going to the net for a rebound. Their guy, I saw him put his stick up to block me out, so I put my stick up and blocked him out so I wouldn't get hurt," said Bonello. ''The referee calls me for a penalty. I'd love to say so much about the officiating, but the team could still get fined.

"I just want to leave it as whoever picks the referee for the final needs to check up on the credibility of the official."

Bonello, who closed out his junior career along with fellow 67's Jeremy Akeson and Brad Staubitz, said he would like to see the Memorial Cup go back to having the games officated by a referee from the league not involved in the game.

"We should have had the WHL official tonight. Once you go out on the ice and see the Quebec referee in the most important game in the tournament so far, obviously it puts the thought in your mind that we're behind the eight-ball already."

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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