By Darryl G. Smart
There were many reasons why Brantford 99ers owner and general manager Darren DeDobbelaer was very happy to acquire Kyle Bollers before the Ontario Junior Hockey League season began.The obvious reason was his offensive ability. The other was his character and leadership.
“Kyle is an incredible guy with a great hockey IQ,” DeDobbelaer said. “He has an amazing eye for the net. Our job is to get him the piuck”
Bollers shone all season long as the 20-year-old from Oshawa led the 99ers to the playoffs for the first time since the team moved to Brantford. After scoring a goal and four assists in his team’s 8-2 regular season finale win against the Mississauga Chargers, Bollers ended up with 86 points and ended up in a tie with the Oakville Blades Junior A Hockey Club Harrison Israels for the league lead in that category
.In that same Saturday game against the Chargers with one goal already, the 99ers added an eighth goal, and Bollers appeared to have scored his 40th of the season, which would give him the OJHL scoring title.After the game, the leader that Bollers is, told his coaching staff he wasn’t the one that scored the goal.
Bollers and Christos Rodis, of the Boyer Auto Group Pickering Panthers Jr. A Hockey Club ended up with 39 goals each, tying for the OJHL title.
“It’s fine with me. I’ll take a tie with Rodis,” Bollers said to the OJHL’s Ron Valentine. “I’m not the kind of person to take a goal away from a teammate who earned it. All that matters to me is that we are in the playoffs and we don’t have to worry about a crossover game. It’s a unique accomplishment for me and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. We are a veteran club and look for a good playoff run.
“We were on the power-play late in the third period,” he said. “The rebound came out in front and Curtis Abbott was able to put it home. I had an assist on the goal but didn’t score the goal itself.”
While Bollers led the way with his five point night against the Chargers, the 99ers also got scoring from Liam Stevens, Eric DeDobbelaer, Abbott, Alexander Dameski, Nick McHugh, Nick Abbott, and Jake Partridge.Colton Incze made 32 stops in the win.
With a 29-24-0-1 record, the 99ers earned the fourth playoff spot in the OJHL’s West Division. They will now take on the first-place Oakville Blades in a best-of-seven division semifinal.
99ers vs Blades
Best-of-seven OJHL West Division semifinal
Game 1 in Oakville, Friday, 7pm
Game 2 at Gretzky Centre, Sunday, 6pm
Game 3 in Oakville, March 3, 7:30pm
Game 4 at Gretzky Centre, March 5, 7:30pm
Game 5 in Oakville, March 6, 7pm
Game 6 at Gretzky Centre, March 8, 6:30pm
Game 7 in Oakville, March 10, 7:30pm