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'You don't need to follow a certain path': Taya Currie on breaking barriers in Canadian hockey

Last Updated Jun 8, 2021 at 3:12 pm PDT

Elgin Middlesex Chiefs goaltender Taya Currie (Photo courtesy: Krista Schnittker/Elgin Middlesex Chiefs)
Summary

Taya Currie is the first female player drafted into the Ontario Hockey League

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An ice ceiling was shattered this weekend, as Taya Currie became the first female player to be drafted into the Ontario Hockey League. The 16-year-old goaltender from Parkhill, Ont. was selected 267th overall by the Sarnia Sting.

Even at such a young age, Currie knows the impact of her selection.

“I just want to inspire everyone younger than me, and older, everyone,” she told Sportsnet 650’s OT with Caroline, Lindsey and Lina. “Especially females. I think I can teach them to believe in themselves and follow their dreams, and you don’t need to follow a certain path in your life.”

Currie just wrapped up her minor league career with the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs and is ranked one of the top goaltenders in the Alliance Hockey league. In 16 games last season, she recorded a shutout and a 3.19 goals-against average.

“She’s been playing AAA now for seven years, so this isn’t a one-off. She’s been playing with the best boys all the way up through the system – she’s definitely earned her spot there,” said Darrell Woodley, director of OHL Central Scouting.

Sarnia Sting General Manager Dylan Seca shrugs off suggestions this is merely a PR move by the team. Seca says they are obviously cognizant of the barrier-breaking scenario, but she is a “great goalie” who won huge games for her team, and drafting Currie was an “easy hockey related decision.”

Since her selection on Saturday, Currie has had messages of congratulations from both male and female hockey players. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno shared his excitement on Twitter, while Max Domi of the Columbus Blue Jackets also sent words of encouragement.

Currie also heard from her goaltending idols Shannon Szabados and Manon Rhéaume, who made history themselves, by becoming the first females to play in WHL and NHL exhibition games, respectively.