Brett Kelleher was the Belleville Bulls’ best player during the 1980-81 championship season and was recognized as the league’s most valuable at the end of the year.
He scored 41 goals and 85 points in just 31 games and was the playoff MVP after adding 26 postseason points.
Kelleher’s dream season nearly turned tragic. After playing the entire season with Provincial Jr. A-mandated full shields, the team was permitted to play without any facial protection during the OHA finals.
In the first game against Thunder Bay, Kelleher was hit in the face with a shot and took five stitches near his eye. He was in the hospital with both eyes bandaged when the team flew to Thunder Bay for the third game against the Kings. Kelleher missed the final three games against Thunder Bay, but was cleared to play with a half visor against Gloucester.
Intelligencer photo courtesy Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County
Excerpt from 25 Years with the Belleville Bulls (Bell, Aaron 2005)