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GOALTENDER SUPERSTITIONS

So as not to jinx anyone, the superstitions listed here will be kept anonymous, unless they were told to me by the goalies in their surveys or their rituals were recorded in print elsewhere. To show an example of how messing with a superstition can affect the goaltender I'm going to start with a story told to me by a friend of mine. Her cousin isn't an ECHL goalie, but I got a kick out of this and thought it was appropriate:

"... my cousin drives me nuts whenever I go see him because he has his little routine of stuff he has to eat and I ate one of them (oops!). How was I supposed to know that a caramel chocolate bar and grapefruit juice were the secret to his success? That candy bar sure was good though...hope my eating it didn't really affect him that much- he got pulled from the game :)"

Oops is right! Now on to the ECHL goaltender superstitions.

Frederic Cloutier: "I have this whole routine," Cloutier said. "When I was younger, I would start by not stepping on any of the lines on the ice, the blue line, or the red line. Here, the first game, I went to the bench and coach (Dave) Farrish gave me my water bottle, and I won. Now, before every game, he has the water bottle in his hand. I guess that means that it's both of our superstitions."
From NHL.com

Jure Penko (when he was with the USHL Green Bay Gamblers): "Usually I don't talk about my superstitions. But mostly I do the same things. When we're at home I take a nap at the same time, eat the same food, go to the rink thinking the same thing and stretching the same way." Crease cuisine is "mac and cheese".
Marty Magers (USHL/Omaha Lancers): In fact, there is only one item Magers really needs on game day, a chewed-up yellow Lego he affectionately calls "Six Dot," named for the plastic bumps on top. The Lego, he explains, was "acquired in Ft. Erie last year. I was in a slump, so I tried it. And it worked." Magers game-day ritual looks like this: "I get up, go to the rink, come home from the rink. I might do something in between. I usually go to bed for an hour, and eat three pancakes. Before warm-ups I eat a thing called 'Goo.' It's orange, some carbohydrate thing. "Then I chew on a yellow Lego. It's a skinny Lego, not a fat one. I chew on it until halfway through warm-ups when I give it to our equipment manager, Danny Bouska." "Six Dot" is also emblazoned on Magers undershirt and stick. And until some scorer can dent Magers' Gatorade bottle, we expect him to continue to gnaw on his Lego retainer and "always be the last one off the ice."
The Junior Hockey News/5 Hole

Derek Gustafason: Indeed, in the Terriers-Saints marathon, Dyment blasted a slap shot that hit the left post with 2:48 left in the first overtime. After that scare, "I gave the pipe a tap with my stick," said St. Lawrence freshman goaltender Derek Gustafson, apparently a superstitious athlete. When asked why he refused an offer from his bench of a water bottle, the ECAC Rookie of the Year replied, "I don't like water bottles on top of the net." After cramps buckled his legs, however, he accepted the bottle, wet his whistle, and slid the bottle back to his bench.    from Boston University Sports archives

Bujar Amidvoski: Kraft dinner before every game

Anonymous: This player would leave the tv on a certain channel at his apartment. He would eat certain food before the game and chicken after. His girlfriend had to carry a puck in her purse. He had a certain order he had to go on the ice; he would hit the pipes in a certain order. He wouldn't do anything the day of a game.

Anonymous: Doesn't have superstitions because he doesn't think that's the proper mindset. However, he does have routines that help him get ready mentally on game days. All he would say, however, is that he eats pasta as his pre-game meal, and he always dresses left side first.
(NOTE: Dressing left side first seems a common ritual)

Anonymous: Uses "lucky" stick just for shoot-outs

Anonymous: At the start of the game, will tap the left side, then center, then right side of the goal posts. Through-out the game he'll hit the left side of the goal with his stick's blade then hit the right side with the tip of the stick. This is done twice in quick succession. Often this is followed by taping his left, then right leg pads with the stick's blade.

Brent Belecki: (From Oregon Live)...Like many goalies, he has superstitions. "A lot of them I can't divulge," he says. "A lot have turned into routine -- the way I put my equipment on, my stretching patterns, the way I do my warmup. And throughout the game I have different rituals.
"I have to prepare differently than my teammates. They have to get their adrenaline pumping. I have to stay more relaxed and focused and calm."
Belecki's teammates talk among one another. They leave Belecki alone. He is in his own world.

David Brumby: Eat at 12:30, sleep until 4:00.
also; (From the Columbus Dispatch/Nov. 1, 1977)...Personalizes the goal posts by giving them names, such as Terry (for his mother) and Samantha (because he likes the name).

Luciano Caravaggio: Dress in same sequence every game, eat same meal, sleep 2 hours, chew two pieces of gum before game, shower, brush teeth, comb hair, don't let anyone touch my stick

Trevor Koenig: Listen to Garth Brooks

Randy Petruck: After anthem skate to net (facing it), tap cross bar 3 times from centre of net to left; do splits centre, right then left; get up and hit pads then hit ice with toe of stick.

Mark Richards: (This is taken from the program from a PRIDE game)
"I probably have at least 100 things I do on a game day. It starts when I get to the rink, Richie said. "I put my left skate on before my right and my left pad on before my right. I always get dressed 15 minutes before warm-ups. I put the same amount of tape on all of my sticks."

The netminder said that he has gone through these rituals throughout his hockey career. Others include never sitting with the team between periods, leaving the National Anthem early and when the PRIDE score he will go this left side and hit the post and then to his right side and hit the post. He also starts to stretch during the pre-game warm-ups when there is a seven on the clock.

Jeff Salajko: (From the Columbus Dispatch Friday, Feb. 13, 1998)...Salajko has his own rituals. He will change to a dry t-shirt and put a new sweatband in his goalie mask after each period. "It's something that I like to do. if I don't, it's on my mind," he said.

Travis Scott: eat spaghetti; sleep for at least 2 hours.

Steve Valiquette: 20 minutes cold tub full with ice; watch previous game; juggle.

Nick Vitucci: Pasta or TV dinner; 1/2 knap and a good stretch

When Tripp Tracy played for Richmond he said one night that the only time he drank coffee was right before a game

I'll end with another non-ECHL goaltender ritual:

(From the Columbus Dipatch/Friday Feb. 13, 1998)...That doesn't stop players from getting dressed the same way every day. It may be lacing the right skate before the left or putting the left sock and skate on before addressing the right side.
In the case of Kansas City Blades veteran goalie Pokey Reddick, it's his undressing that leaves others amazed.
"He takes his equipment off after every period," Chill player-assistant coach Mark Turner said of his former teammate. "After warmups, the first period, second period. I couldn't believe it."
Chill goalie Jeff Salajko witnessed the Pokey Shuffle earlier this season with the International Hockey League team.
It's no easy task considering the 30 or so pounds of protection goalies wear.
"Every period he strips right down," Salajko said. "He takes all the equipment off and puts dry equipment on. It would take me about 10 to 12 minutes to get the equipment off. He does it pretty fast."