DIEPPE – Kyle Tibbo may have been a rookie playing in his first junior A playoffs, but he showed the presence, and scoring touch, of a veteran.
Truro Bearcats forward Kyle Tibbo finished tied for the lead in goals in the MHL playoffs.
Tibbo finished tied for the Maritime Junior Hockey League lead in playoff goals with Dieppe's Joel Blanchard, notching 11 markers in 14 games while helping the Truro Bearcats claim the Kent Cup championship.
The 17-year-old from Conception Bay South, Nfld., notched his final goal of the MHL post-season on Thursday, a third-period marker in Truro’s title-clinching 5-2 win over the Commandos.
“I’d just like to thank my linemates. Most of my goals were just tap-ins; I was just driving to the net,” a modest Tibbo said on Thursday, amid celebration.
Tibbo, a left-winger, played on a line with Tyler Morrison and Brandon Pye for most of the playoffs. He was on with Morrison and Mitchell Robillard on Thursday and for a portion of Game 5 on Tuesday.
Pye (6G, 18A, 24 Pts.), Morrison (4G, 18A, 22 Pts.) and Tibbo (11G, 5A, 16 Pts.) were Truro’s top three playoff scorers.
Tibbo, five-foot-11, 195 pounds, finished second in MHL rookie scoring in the regular season with 21 goals and 48 points.
In the post-season, however, he took his game to even greater heights.
“I think I turned it around in the playoffs,” said Tibbo, whose Quebec major junior rights are owned by the Moncton Wildcats. “I had a great playoffs – better than I’ve been playing, and it paid off.”
Tibbo, who scored goals in the final four games of the Kent Cup final, was selected by the Bearcats in the second round of the 2012 draft, 14th overall.
“When we drafted Kyle two years ago it was because he could score goals,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “He certainly did that for us in the playoffs, but his grit and his 200-foot game all season long was a pleasant surprise. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”