Pat Payton, Gazette sports editor
Stratford Cullitons strengthened their goaltending position with the acquisition of an experienced Junior netminder this past weekend.
Cullitons obtained the GOJHL rights to goaltender Michael Pesendorfer from Midwest rival Listowel Cyclones in exchange for the rights to Scott Coghlin and cash.
Pesendorfer is a 19-year-old from Novi, Michigan who played for Listowel last season. He started this season with Michigan Warriors in the North American Hockey League.
“We’re in the process of completing the appropriate USA Hockey\Hockey Canada Player Transfer form in order to have Pesendorfer become eligible to play for the
Cullitons,” said Jason Lott, Stratford’s director of hockey operations/GM. “We hope he’ll be in the line up this coming weekend.
“My plan is to try and have two goalies who are able to play at the Jr. B level and give us quality starts. Michael played in our league last season and he has that experience. I also wanted to take some of the pressure off Nick Caldwell and be able to have two guys who are Junior-experienced goalies.
“It’s been something that I’ve been working on for a bit now. And because Michael played in Listowel last year, he’s not an import,” the GM added.
The 5 ft., 10 inch, 180 lb. Pesendorfer handled the bulk of the puck-stopping duties for Cyclones last season. In 35 starts, he was 12-18-1-1, with a 4.31 goals-against average.
Rookie goalie Joe Metzger, meanwhile, has been sent by the Cullitons to Mitchell Hawks, their Jr. ‘C’ affiliate. The 18-year-old Metzger was 3-5-1, with a 4.06 G.A.A., in nine starts with Stratford.
“The plan all along was for Metzger to be in Mitchell for a year to get that year of Junior experience and develop towards being a member of our team in the future,” Lott said.
“We had to move that ahead. It’s a lot to ask of a kid coming out of Midget hockey to play net on a regular basis with our team. In turn, this gives Joe a chance to play on regular basis and develop more.”
Coghlin, meanwhile, hasn’t played hockey to date this season. The 18-year-old defenceman from St. Marys, a Peterborough Petes’ draft pick, is attending the University of Guelph.
• Last Friday, Cullitons released one of their three 16-year-old players, Stratford native Garrett James.
James has joined the Huron-Perth Lakers Midget ‘AAA’ team, but will continue to practice with the Cullitons and be used as an affiliate player.
“I think going forward, it’s the best thing for him,” GM Lott said. “He needs to play more, and get his confidence and get his scoring going again.”
In 24 games, James had two goals, seven points and 22 penalty minutes.
Stratford now sits with 21 players, with no import cards left.
• Cullitons found out last Thursday afternoon that defenceman Liam Maaskant has mononucleosis. The 18-year-old from Clinton joined the Stratford team just the previous week, and had played in two games since returning from the Ontario Hockey League.
Maaskant sat out all three games this past week.
• Defenceman Jordan Currie, out with concussion symptoms, had a doctor’s appointment last Friday. Cullitons are hopeful he will work his way back into the line-up sometime early this month. Currie has missed the last seven games.
Lott said Monday that both Currie and Maaskant will again be out of the Stratford line-up this weekend.