Hector Joseph "Hurricane" Kilrea - Born June 11, 1907 in Blackburn, Ontario – Died (Sept ?) October 8, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan was a Canadian / American ice Hockey left winger.
- Stanley Cup Champion 1927 with Ottawa Senators and 1936, 1937 with Detroit Red Wings.
- O'Brien Trophy Champion 1927 with Ottawa Senators and 1934, 1935 with Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Prince of Wales Trophy Champion 1936, 1937 with Detroit Red Wings.
- F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy Champion 1940, 1942 with Indianapolis Capitals.
- Calder Cup Champion 1942 with Indianapolis Capitals.
Kilrea made his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators on December 3, 1925 vs the Boston Bruins at Ottawa Auditorium in a 2-0 Ottawa win.
Kilrea scored his 1st NHL goal vs Roy Worters of the Pittsburgh Pirates at 4:25 of the 2nd period at Duquesne Garden in a 5-0 Ottawa win.
Kilrea played 7 seasons for the Senators, helping them win the 1927 O'Brien Trophy as NHL playoff champions and the 1927 Stanley Cup championship. The Senators suspended operations for the 1931–32 season because of financial difficulties, and Kilrea was sent to the Detroit Falcons for 1 season, where he helped them reach the 1932 Stanley Cup quarter-finals.
Kilrea returned to Ottawa for the 1932-33 NHL season, and was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he helped them win the 1934 O'Brien Trophy as NHL Canadian Division champions, and then reach the 1934 Stanley Cup semi-finals. He and the Maple Leafs again won the O'Brien Trophy in 1935 and reached the 1935 Stanley Cup finals.
Kilrea was then traded to the Detroit Red Wings, who were previously the falcons. In Detroit, Kilrea helped the Red Wings win back to back Prince of Wales Trophies as American Division regular season champions and also back to back Stanley Cup Championships in 1936 and 1937. He was the hero of the fifth and deciding game of the 1937 opening round playoff series vs the Montreal Canadiens when he scored the winning goal at 11:49 of the third overtime period that won the series for Detroit. Kilrea and Detroit reached the 1939 Stanley Cup semi-finals.
Kilrea also set up Mud Bruneteau for the goal that ended the longest game in NHL history at 116:30 of overtime (6th overtime period) vs the Montreal Maroons on March 24, 1936.
Kilrea started the 1939-40 season in Detroit, going pointless in 12 games and was sent down to the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League / AHL where he helped them win the 1940 F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy as AHL West Division champions.
Kilrea and Indianapolis again won the F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy in 1942 and also their 1st Calder Cup championship in 1942.
While playing in Indianapolis, Kilrea became a naturalized American citizen and joined the U.S. Army, and after the 1942-43 AHL season, he was sent overseas, being assigned to Company K, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, Seventh U.S. Army.
Hec Kilrea would then become a American War Hero, being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross ..... the second highest military decoration of the U.S. Army. In addition, Kilrea received the Purple Heart and French Croix de Guerre with Palm. He also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Pin and Silver Star, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and a Presidential Unit Citation.
Kilrea was wounded twice in WWII. He saw action in Italy including the bloody Battle of the Anzio beachhead, also fighting in Northern France, where Kilrea used a M-1 rifle and bazooka gun on a Mark VI German tank, exposing himself to enemy fire, as he had to run to his ammunition base to reload his bazooka many times, which forced the tank and German troops to withdraw. The next day, Kilrea snuck close to the tank and with 3 well aimed rounds, took the tank out of action. Kilrea's calm and deliberate actions not only saved K Company from serious threat, it helped the 36th Division to hold the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket
Hector Joseph Kilrea is a member of the Military Hall of Honor
Rank - Staff Sergeant / Honoree ID 314389
Kilrea played 633 regular season NHL games, scoring 166 (33 GWG / 4 OTG) goals, 130 assists and 48 NHL playoff games, scoring 8 (1 GWG / 1 OTG) goals, 7 assists.
Kilrea got his nickname "Hurricane" from his speed on the ice, and once won a speed skating race in the Montreal Forum in 1928, while he was playing for the Senators.
His brothers Ken Kilrea, and Wally Kilrea, and nephew Brian Kilrea all played in the NHL.