Veteran Petes goalie David Currie headed into the 2002-2003 season with high expectations being placed upon him. It is now Currie’s second season as the number 1 man. The 01-02 season saw him post 23 wins, along with a 3.63 Goals Against Average and a .907 Save Percentage. Good numbers for a first year starter. Currie was spectacular at times last year, but also suffered through some rough stretches. He is expected to move into the top tier of OHL goalies this year, and has done so early on.
The Petes have a strong goaltending tradition. Beginning in the mid 1980’s, the Petes have had an impressive string of goaltenders. Both Kay Whitmore and Ron Tugnutt earned OHL first team all star places during their years in the maroon and white. They were followed up by Todd Bojcun, who won the F.W. “Dinty” Moore award as being the rookie goalie with the lowest GAA (2.93) in 1987-88. He also teamed with John Tanner to win back-to-back Dave Pinkney trophies, for having the lowest combined GAA in bothe 87-88 and 88-89. Bojcun was named an OHL second team all-star in 1990. He was also drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1990. Most importantly, though, Bojcun helped guide the Petes to the 1989 OHL Championship, and a berth in the Memorial Cup.
Andrew Verner was the next great Petes goalie, posting 22 wins in 90-91 and 34 in 91-92. He was picked in the second round, 34th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1991 NHL draft. He also earned back-to-back OHL second team all-star selections in 91 and 92. After Verner, Chad Lang became the Petes number one man. He had an impressive 92-93 season, helping make the Petes the number one ranked team in the CHL and winning an OHL championship. He was awarded the OHL second team all-star spot in 1993. Lang was draftred by the Dallas Stars, and would be stuck on weak Petes teams in 93-94 and 94-95 before moving on to Pro hockey.
Langs departure gave Peterboorugh native Zac Bierk a chance to shine, and he did just that. In 1996, Bierk helped lead the Petes to the OHL crown, and a birth in the Memorial Cup held in Peterborough. His great size and mobility prompted the Tampa Bay Lightning to draft him in the ninth round of the 1995 draft. In 96-97, Bierk was named the OHL’s goalie of the year, as well as the overage player of the year, and a first team all-star.
With the graduation of fan favorite Bierk, the Petes had a tough time finding goalies in the 97-98 season, as Chad Lynch, Josh Evans and Mark Cairns were all used. In 98-99, Joey MacDonald, a free agent who joined the Petes from the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads earned the starting job, and had a very impressive three year career in Peterborough. MacDonald will be forever remembered by Petes fans for his heroics in a seven game loss to the St. Michael’s Majors in the 2001 playoffs. His performance earned him a try-out with the Detroit Red Wings, and he has been climbing their depth chart rapidly.
As you can tell, the accomplishments of previous Petes goalies provide a daunting task for the current goalie. Currie, however, is a Peterborough native and knows all about the fine traditions of Petes goalies. He is says he is up to the challenge of leading the Petes past the first round of the playoffs, and early in the season, he has been as good as any goalie in the OHL. Let’s hope for Petes fans that he continues to shine, leads the Peterborough squad into the playoffs, and earns a much coveted pro opportunity.