Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Goalie Switch Started Career

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Goalie Switch Started Career

Article excerpt

IT WAS dad who turned a young Andrew Verner from a defenceman into a goalie and shaped an international career.

"Everyone skates in Canada from an early age but I wasn't on blades until I was six years old," said Andrew.

"There were six teams in the Weston region and I played as a defenceman.

"However, we were short of a goalie this day and dad volunteered me.

I played baseball as a catcher, so he thought I'd be a natural - and a career was born.

"No-one played hockey in our family - I'm an only child - but I loved it.

"The only trouble with being a netminder is that it's a stressful position for parents, I guess, because if you make a mistake it's a goal, but I didn't mind a bit."

At 16, Verner entered junior hockey with Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League.

"You are drafted just as you are with the NHL later," he explained.

"That means you go where you're told. I left home at 16 to pursue a hockey career and have never been back since. …

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