When it comes to producing professional grade hockey goaltenders, often it is Quebec’s QMJHL that is the world leader. The Ontario Hockey League does still produce some top notch goalies, though. Many OHL netminders move on to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Four of these OHL grads have made a mark for themselves in the ECHL record books.
Darryl Paquette played for three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1988-89 to 1990-91. His OHL career was split between the Cornwall Royals (the present day Sarnia Sting) and the Sudbury Wolves. Paquette is in the ECHL record books as the goaltender to go the longest time without a goal scored against. With Hampton Roads in 1997, Darryl went 236 minutes and three seconds without allowing a single goal. During this streak, Paquette played three shutout games which ties him with two other ECHL goalies for the most consecutive shutouts.
Jeff Weber played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2001-02 to 2004-05. During that time, Jeff played for four different teams. He began his career with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds then made appearances with the Plymouth Whalers and Barrie Colts before ending his OHL career with the Saginaw Spirit. Unfortunately, Weber’s name is in the ECHL record books for a less than desirable reason. Jeff holds the ECHL record for the longest winless streak by a goaltender with 22 games. This forgettable experience occurred in 2005-06 with Stockton.
Greg Hewitt played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1996-97 to 1999-00, all with the Sarnia Sting. Although Greg’s ECHL record is not as dubious as Jeff Weber’s, it’s probably just as forgettable. Greg is the goaltender with the most ties in a single season with 15 in 2001-02 with Mobile. Because the league has moved to an overtime / shootout system and a tie no longer occurs, Hewitt’s record will most likely stand for eternity unless rules are changed in the future.
One of the greatest goalies in the history of the ECHL is Nick Vitucci. Nick played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, 1985-86 and 1986-87, with the Toronto Marlboros (the franchise that would become the present day Guelph Storm). Nick played 14 seasons in the ECHL and holds the record for the goalie with the most career games played (479), goalie with the most career minutes played (27,291), most career wins by a goalie (265) and most career losses by a goalie (150). Vitucci is also credited with a goal which, of course, is very rare for a goaltender. Nick accomplished this on March 6, 1996 while playing with Charlotte.