Kilrea adds to his legend

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

Three decades of coaching the same team sure is something, eh? More than 2,000 games and 1,100 victories? Unbelievable.

Brian Kilrea's most impressive accomplishment, however, just might be the fact he has brought the 67's to the playoffs in all but one of his 30 seasons behind the bench.

With the ever-changing rosters in junior hockey, that would be a feat of gargantuan proportions.

"Sometimes we've had a loftier position in the standings, but the big thing is getting there," Kilrea said after yesterday's 3-1 loss to the Barrie Colts in front of 7,598 at the Civic Centre. "Sometimes you can sneak in and surprise a team, and sometimes you get in and don't do as well as you should. But it's always nice to make it."

Appearance No. 29 was assured Saturday night, when the Peterborough Petes dropped a 3-1 decision to the Oshawa Generals, making it mathematically impossible for them to catch the 67's.

"We did ourselves a favour Friday," Kilrea said, referring to the 4-1 win over the Petes at the Civic Centre. "I think we took a lot out of Peterborough with that one ... I'm sure we made them think it was going to be impossible to catch us."

Yesterday's game was decided in the second period, when Ottawa took four consecutive penalties after having to kill off the leftover 1:10 of a Derek Joslin sentence in the first.

In that middle 20 minutes, the Colts outshot the 67's by a whopping 30-1 count, but only outscored Ottawa 2-0.

Overall, Barrie wound up with a 45-29 edge in shots.

"Brady Morrison played an exceptional game," Kilrea said of his goaltender.

The lone Ottawa goal was scored by Jakub Vojta in a third period during which the 67's outshot the Colts 15-6. It was the sixth goal of the season for the Czech defenceman.

Ryan Bellows, Cory McGillis and Hunter Tremblay scored for Barrie.

The 67's wrap up their regular season schedule in rather bizarre fashion. After visiting the Belleville Bulls Wednesday, they play their three final games in three days at the Civic Centre. The Oshawa Generals provide the opposition Friday, then again Saturday, while the Sudbury Wolves are in town for the finale, next Sunday.

The playoffs can't begin before the following Thursday at the earliest, and unless the 67's can make a strong surge this week, it's looking like they will draw Belleville in the first round.


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