By Ken Pagan
For the second straight season, Hamilton Kilty B’s head coach Ken Peroff is the recipient of the Tom Kelly Memorial Award as the Coach of the Year in the GOJHL’s Golden Horseshoe Conference.
Peroff, 29, in his second season as the bench boss of the junior ‘B’ club, guided the Kilty B’s to a 35-12-1 record, tied for the third-best mark in the 25-team GOJHL.
Starting the season with a rookie-laden lineup and just four returning veterans from an Ancaster Avalanche club that relocated to Hamilton’s Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena., the Kilty B’s got out to a 15-8-1 start in the first half before reeling off a couple of lengthy winning streaks as the club came together. They finished 20-4-0 over the second half.
Backed by the solid rookie goaltending tandem of Marco Costantini (Hamilton Bulldogs draft pick) and Cal Schell (property of the Oshawa Generals), Peroff fostered an environment in which contributions were required from all four forward lines and all six defencemen each night.
There were just two 20-goal scorers (TJ Hughes and Marino Moro) but the Kilty B’s had 11 skaters reach the 20-point mark (Hughes, Tanner Brennecke, Moro, Derek Raposo, Luke Croucher, Anthony Pinelli, Holden Rogers, Noah Bollert, Mark Duarte, Eric Mondoux and Nick Cordeiro) and 18 players register double-digit point totals.
Peroff, who played as a defenceman professionally in Europe after four seasons in the OHL and four more at the University of Guelph, also won the conference’s Coach of the Year honour in 2017-18 with the Ancaster Avalanche during his first season behind the bench. Peroff guided the 2017-18 Avs to a 38-10-2 record in the regular season before bowing out in Game 7 of the second round to the St. Catharines Falcons.
Over his two seasons at the helm, Peroff’s teams have compiled a 73-22-3 record (.753 winning percentage).
The Kilty B’s will open the highly anticipated second-round series against the Falcons on the road in St. Catharines on Friday. Game 2 of the series is Monday at 7 p.m. at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena.