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O’Brien appears content with Chiefs’ goaltenders

By MIKE MASTOVICH, THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT October 16, 2002 Johnstown Chiefs coach Toby O’Brien is in an enviable position.

His team opened the East Coast Hockey League season with a 2-0-0 record and leads the Northwest Division. His rookie goaltender Peter Aubry played with poise, stopping 68 of 73 shots.

Despite Aubry’s strong start, O’Brien doesn’t consider his goaltenders in terms of numbers, such as a No. 1 or No. 2 goalie. The first-year head coach believes Aubry and rookie Dany Dallaire are equally capable of helping the Chiefs win.

“Both goaltenders will play this weekend. I look to them to challenge each other, practice to practice, game to game,” O’Brien said yesterday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena. “This early in the season, I can’t say I have a No. 1 or a No. 2. I think it’s great because they get along so well.”

The Chiefs will visit Toledo, Ohio, at 7:30 Friday night, play host to Cincinnati at 7:30 Saturday night, then travel to Dayton for a 6 p.m. game on Sunday.

Aubry had an impressive professional debut, making 35 saves in a 5-1 road victory over the Dayton (Ohio) Bombers Friday at the Nutter Center. He followed up with a 5-4 overtime win over visiting Toledo on Saturday. In that game, Aubry kept his cool even after a four-minute Toledo power play enabled the Storm to erase a two-goal deficit and force overtime.

“My hat’s off to Peter and the way he’s started,” said O’Brien, a former Chiefs goaltender. “My hat’s also off to Dany Dallaire. People might not know this, but they’re actually roommates. Often, goaltenders have a bittersweet relationship. These guys seem to be hitting it off and helping one another. Because of that, they both will get better.

“This past weekend was Peter’s weekend. I’m sure there will be many weekends throughout the season that will be Dany’s weekend.”

At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Aubry fills a lot of net. He went 19-7-2 with a 2.28 goals against average at Mercyhurst College last season.

“Peter is big. He’s a little bit older even though he’s a first-year pro,” O’Brien said of the 25-year-old goalie. “He maximized his junior eligibility and didn’t go into college until he was 20. He competes. He follows the puck extremely well. He communicates with our defense very well. He’s very intelligent for a first-year pro. He hates giving up a goal, even in practice.”

Dallaire, 5-11, 180, was among the top goalies in the highly-touted Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, going 35-23-8 with a 2.62 goals against average for Halifax.

“Dany Dallaire was the No. 2 goalie in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League,” O’Brien said. “He played so well in Halifax that he forced Halifax to trade Pascal LeClair, a first-rounder who’s pegged to play in the NHL this year with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“He didn’t come out to be the quote, unquote No. 2 guy. Peter just got out to a good start. You tend to go with the hot guy. They can help each other improve. That is only good for our hockey team. They’re both great team guys.”

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