Good old Greyhound goalies

February 10, 2016

The number of goalies who have tended twine for the Soo Greyhounds since they entered the Ontario Hockey League in 1972 stands at just over 80.

Yes folks, even if they played only a game, 80-plus net-minders have stood between the pipes during regular-season play for the Red and White from that initial 1972-1973 season until now.

Many of the goalies have gone on to play multiple seasons in the National Hockey League, guys like Greg Millen, John Vanbiesbrouck, Dan Cloutier and Kevin Hodson — and the still-active Ray Emery and Robin Lehner.

Who were the best during their time with the Greyhounds?

Well, I have been talking and writing about the Greyhounds since 1975 and I have watched a lot of good goalies come and go.

And in the case of two former Greyhound goalies, I think they were actually better NHL net-minders than they were OHL puck-stoppers and on that short list I put Vanbiesbrouck and Cloutier.

A select few had the ability to win game after game on their own and it is based mainly on that trait that I have my list of those who were the best while playing for the Greyhounds.

Of all the goalies who I have seen in a Greyhound uniform over the years, my top 5 list is as follows.

1. Kevin Hodson. Not only did Hodson backstop the Hounds to the 1993 Memorial Cup championship but in his three seasons in the Soo, playoffs included, he stole more games than former general manager Sherry Bassin told fibs.

2. David Legree. He led the Greyhounds to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 1975-1976. And he did so on a team that was often playing shorthanded due to either penalties or suspensions. Legree literally won a first-round playoff series on his own and helped take the underdog Hounds to Game 7 in the second round before losing that season.

3. Marc D’Amour. Quick as a cat with a glove hand that could snag a puck in the blink of an eye, D’Amour was the aforementioned Vanbiesbrouck’s goal-tending partner during the early coaching days of Terry Crisp and his contending teams.. And for my money, D’Amour was a more-clutch and more-dependable OHL goalie than Vanbiesbrouck.

4. Kyle Gajewski. Small in stature but big in big games, Gajewski aka Juice, led the Hounds to a playoff revival under coach Craig Hartsburg, particularly during the 2007-2008 season when cries of “Juuuuuice” could be heard throughout the Essar Centre following one big save after another.

5. Greg Millen. The future NHLer joined the Greyhounds late in the 1977-1978 season and sensationally back-stopped them on a playoff run under coach Paul Theriault that finally ended in defeat in the final minute of Game 8 — yes Game 8 — in the second round of the playoffs.

What you think about “Good old Greyhound goalies”

  1. We had seasons tickets back then. Section 24 Row E Seats 13, 14, 15. It was a tough time to be a goalie. I remember game scores routinely in the double digits. Great times….

  2. Definitely a great list there! Remember the acrobatic Billy Thompson who saw more rubber than the proverbial skunk on the 401! Loved when Scott Mosey wrote about the fan banners on the legendary 33-0 run of 1984-85! I used to walk in Saturday morning and the Hounds were practicing after the Friday game! As the wins would mount and reached the 20’s, the players would stop practice, much to the chagrin of Terry Crisp!tThey would wait until I crossed out the previous night’s victory with my brush from a can of red paint I carried with me! They would slap their sticks in unison in salute! I loved the noterioty ! Great memories!

  3. Seems like yesterday when that picture was taken. The days in Sault Ste Marie were among my finest in my hockey career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *