Fifteen years ago, Ryan Venturelli (photo credit - Steve Poirier/HHOF Images) of the Muskoka Bears did what no other goaltender has ever done by scoring two unassisted goals in one game, and now that record is preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
February 21, 1997 proved to be one of the most unique days in Ontario Junior ‘A’ Hockey history, if not the entire history of the game itself. That night the stars aligned for Muskoka Bears netminder Ryan Venturelli during the club’s Metro Junior ‘A’ Hockey League game at the Bracebridge Memorial Arena versus the Durham Huskies. At first glance, the 11-6 Bears victory doesn’t appear to be of any significance, however, with Huskies fighting for their playoff life and trailing Muskoka in the 3rd period, history would be made. Trailing 9-5 with just over 11 minutes left in the game, Durham pulled their goalie and after making a save, Venturelli would fire the puck the length of the ice to become one of just a few netminders in hockey history to score a goal. Just over a minute and a half later, once again with the extra attacker on the ice, Venturelli steered a shot into the corner where a Huskies player would attempt a pass to the point, missing the defenceman and scoring on his own net. With Venturelli the last player to touch the puck on the Bears, he was awarded his second unassisted goal of the game. Fifteen years after the accomplishment, Venturelli, through the assistance of historian Ken Veitch Sr., turned up a copy of the original game sheet. It, along with the jersey, stick (coincidentally borrowed from his back-up for the 3rd period that night, Craig Williamson), both goal pucks and a variety of testimonials and print materials were all donated to the Hall of Fame to mark the truly historic moment. Look to see some of the new Hall of Fame artifacts on display in the New Acquisitions Exhibit in the very near future.