T.J. Aceti goalie award

Randy Russon
March 12, 2020

Six years after his sudden passing at age 31, Sault Ste. Marie native T.J. Aceti is being honoured and recognized by the Sault Major Hockey Association with an award that will bear his name.

Born on June 13, 1982, Aceti passed away in his sleep from heart failure on March 14, 2014.

A quiet, likeable young man, Aceti rose through the ranks of the Soo Pee Wee Hockey League and Sault Major Hockey Association as a goalie who became exceptional enough to be picked by the Oshawa Generals in the third round of the 1999 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

He spent parts of three seasons with Oshawa and parts of two others with the Erie Otters.

After being acquired by Erie from Oshawa early in the 2001-2002 season, Aceti would help the Otters win the 2002 OHL championship. He was then voted as the top goalie at the 2002 Memorial Cup tournament after posting a 1.91 goals against average and .942 save percentage in back-stopping Erie into the semi-final match, which the Otters lost in overtime.

Aceti went on to play minor pro hockey before a knee injury ended his career.

At any rate, through the efforts of one of Aceti’s many friends, Joey Biasucci, Sault Major will for the first time this year — at its annual year-end banquet next month — hand out the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award.

Biasucci — a former OHL goalie himself — will, along with his family, sponsor the award on an annual basis.

The criteria of the ward is intended to mirror the qualities that T.J. possessed. Namely:

— Dedicated to the game.

— Hard working and focused but also knowing how to have fun.

— Respect for his or her coaches and teammates as well as being respected by his or her coaches and teammates.

— Does that extra work after practice.

— Has a strong mindset, is confident, focused and disciplined.

— Understands the importance of school.

Sault Major invited all AA and AAA coaches from all of the teams at the atom, pee wee, bantam and midget levels to submit a written submission as why they feel their goalie should win the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award.

While not all coaches acted on the request of Sault Major to nominate their particular goalie(s), nine considerate coaches did take the time and effort to do so.

Those nominated by their coaches for the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award are as follows.

— Levi Inch, atom minor AA.

— Gavin Zuccato, atom major AA.

— Maija St. Pierre, atom major AA.

— Cash Rowswell, pee wee major AA.

— Dalton Hoornstra, pee wee minor AAA.

— Cameron Boville and Charlie Burns (in tandem), bantam minor AAA.

— Terry See, bantam major AAA.

— Odysey Hopkins, midget major AA.

— Trevor Renard, midget major AA.

A four-person committee consisting of T.J.’s parents — Tony and Rose Aceti — as well as a member of the Sault Major executive and a member of the local sports media are entrusted to choose the first-ever winner of the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award.

T.J. Aceti.

What you think about “T.J. Aceti goalie award”

  1. Randy, I’d like to provide some additional information if possible. Cameron Boville and Charlie Burns, both part of the Bantam Minor ’06 Jr Greyhounds this season, were also nominated for this award. Both are deserving based on the criteria, as agreed upon by myself and our entire coaching staff – the reason we nominated them. Their nominations were submitted, but it’s my understanding (clarified with SMHA) that they were not brought forward to the selection committee, unintentionally (mistakes happen). Regardless of whether or not either of these boys won the award, I’d like them to both be recognized as nominees because, as I already mentioned, I feel both of these young men were very strong candidates and exemplify many, if not all, of the qualities that T.J. possessed.
    Appreciate the opportunity to recognize these two additional goalies.
    Alex Cruise
    Head Coach, ’06 Jr Greyhounds

  2. Much appreciated, Randy. Congratulations to ALL goalies nominated for this new award, and a “thank-you” to those involved in creating the award, as well!

  3. Congratulations to all the goalies on the nomination for this very special award. Congratulations to all goalies who played the position this year, not an easy position to play to say the least. Thank you to all the families, coaches and staff, associations, sponsors, teammates and goalie tandem partners that supported those that play in net. A huge thank you to those behind the development of this wonderful award.

  4. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Joey Biasucci for his hard work to get this award. TJ is my nephew and he truly is deserving of this award being offered in his name. He demonstrated all of the characteristics that make a successful goalie and an admirable man. Thanks To all who worked to get this award off the ground. I am so happy that a goalie will win this award and keep the hockey dreams alive! I look forward to a deserving goalie to win this and know that it will be awarded yearly to recognize goalies for the hard work and dedication they devote to their sport!

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