By Tristan Marks
The Peach Kings had a special guest at Friday, Jan. 10’s game at the West Lincoln Arena. Former owner Lyle Killins dropped the game-starting puck and was honoured for his leadership during a pivotal time in the team’s 98-year history.
These days the Grimsby Peach Kings are at the top of their game. Not only is the team at the top of its division in the Provincial Junior Hockey League, but it’s also won all but three of the past 17 Junior-C championships.
The story was very different when Killins bought the team in 1997.
“They were on life support for sure,” he said.
As an “avid fan”, Killins chose to buy the team at their most desperate hour.
“I wanted a team that the town could be proud of,” Killins explained. “I surrounded myself with good people who really worked hard to turn the team around.”
Among these good people would be long-time coach, Dave Brownridge, who would earn the OHA Roger Neilsen Coach of the Year award twice while coaching the team: once in 2005 and again in 2014.
Killins said he feels that the team’s new owners are doing a good job continuing to push the team and its players to new heights.
“The ownership group is very enthusiastic and I am very, very proud and pleased with how they’ve taken things to the next level,” Killins said. “They’re doing a great job and have also been good for West Niagara. The team has done a lot to bring recognition to the area.”