We were up three goals after just six minutes of the first period. And then we let it all slip away as the Leamington Bantams, led by Gerry Bradbury, stormed back and it ended in a 4-4 tie in the opening game for the All-Ontario championship.
I had two goals and an assist in this game and was voted third star. The reporter wrote that “Dennis Kane, no great heavyweight on skates either, scored twice.”
He also wrote, “A crowd of only 500 was on hand for the game. For an Ontario-finalist team, Orillia fans could have shown a bit more respect.”
Leamington won the next game and claimed the title, and I’m saying here and now that if they didn’t have Gerry Bradbury, we would’ve won. Although I can’t remember how he did in game two.
Gerry Bradbury was one of those chosen few, one of those ringers who come along once in a while. We’d heard about him prior to the series, and he didn’t disappoint as he scored three of their four goals and assisted on the other in this first game. He seemed a shoo-in to go far, maybe even all the way to the NHL, and I’m sure scouts drooled.
I know he made us nervous, and he lived up to his billing in a big way.
Gerry Bradbury went on to play three seasons of Junior A in London, looked to have a fine but brief stay with Bowling Green, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings. He was a great young player, and although he never played a game in the bigs, at least he can now tell friends and family about those days when he was one of the best young players in Ontario, almost made it to the NHL, and how he and his bantam team beat Orillia to win the All-Ontario.
|1970 NHL DRAFT PICK|
Selected in sixth round
No. 73 overall by Los Angeles Kings
Born June 15, 1950
|BEFORE THE DRAFT|
|Never played in NHL.|
|Post-Draft Teams: Bowling Green (MCHA/CCHA)
NON-NHL AWARDS AND HONORS
Bowling Green Cooper Trophy (Top Scorer): 1970-71
Bowling Green Outstanding Forward: 1970-71
Cleveland Cup Outstanding Forward: 1971 (Bowling Green)
Cleveland Cup All-Tournament Team: 1971 (Bowling Green