Obscure No More
No One Wanted John Curry; Now the BU Junior is a Top Goalie
by Matthew Conyers/CHN Correspondent
BOSTON Three years ago, Boston University took a chance on a skinny netminder from Shorewood, Minnesota.
His name was John Curry.
Weighing in at a scant 183 pounds, Curry was anything but your average goalie. He was quick and agile and had the numbers to back it. But there was a problem. The charismatic kid from the land of 10,000 lakes was slightly smaller than the standard keeper. This put him at a disadvantage. In fact it was such a disadvantage that several suitors stayed away.
Oh well, their loss.
Now more than 156 months later, Curry is a hot commodity.
But BU knew that all along, right?
"For the most part I wasn't really recruited that highly by anyone, not only Midwest schools but anywhere" said Curry. "It so happened that BU was one of the first schools that offered me just a spot on the team. I figured it was the best opportunity I had at the time. I knew it was a great school and a great city to be in for hockey."
Curry was right. After sitting out for most of his freshman year, he emerged as the Terriers' No. 1 man last year. For Curry it was a year to remember as far as statistics went. Posting an impressive record of 18-11-3 record along with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage placing him among the best in the country. However, those weren't the most astounding accolades of the year for Curry. No, further down the line Curry shut up the skeptics for good by registering back-to-back 2-0 shutouts against Providence in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament. With that stretch included Curry had set a league record with 168:01 shutout minutes. The achievement catapulted him atop the Hockey East world and helped him become the runner-up for Hockey East Player of the year.
And to think, he was only recruited by one team after graduating Breck School in Minneapolis and spending a year at Taft School in Watertown, Conn.
"It was more of a lack of options but it obviously it worked out perfectly," said Curry. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
With so much doubt about his skill circulating early on, one would imagine Curry to harbor some ill feelings. Not so.
"I don't have any animosity towards me not being recruited, that would be kind of stupid, but I wanted to prove it to myself," said Curry. "It makes you really hungry. It feels good to prove to yourself you do it."
And that is exactly what he did.
With a career record of 26-17-2 and one Beanpot title, Curry is not only proving it to himself but winning over plenty of fans in a city famous for their tough love. He has even withstood a challenge this year from Karson Gillespie, who was originally thought to be the goaltending heir apparent. It seems now, though, that Curry is the definitive No. 1 again after starting and winning both games against Maine last weekend.
"Obviously it's a high level of hockey and it feels good to be part of it and a program like this," said Curry.
One aspect of the Terrier red and white Curry especially enjoys is the opportunity to be coached by the legendary Jack Parker.
"I remember watching him when he came to play the gophers when I was six or seven, so I know about BU hockey and coach Jack Parker since I was a little kid," said Curry. "To play under him it's historic; it's pretty cool."
From the start it was a mark fit for both. Curry has provided Parker with a rock solid netminder and Parker has helped Curry's game fully develop.
"Over the past couple of years, I have definitely gotten better in certain aspects and it's mainly through experience," said Curry.
Not eager to leave anyone out, Curry cites assistant Mike Geragosian for his commendable numbers.
"Obviously a great goalie coach, Mike Geragosian has helped me tremendously with my game physically and technically," said Curry.
And as far as those critics who say he may be a little too small or his glove side is a tad slow, Curry has a response for them.
"It doesn't bother me," said Curry. "I like to take up as much net as possible. Obviously, I am not a huge guy but I am not the shortest guy in the nation. I just use my strengths to my advantage and move quicker than a big guy would or have more anticipation. I do the best with what I have."
That anticipation has also assisted Curry in his preparation for big Hockey East battles.
"I try to zone out everything," said Curry. "All I really have to focus on is the puck and to focus in on the puck makes all that other stuff go away."
This attitude has helped to establish Curry as one of the better big game goalies in the conference. Only in his third year, Curry has made a name for himself as one those goalies an opponent never wants to face in a crucial decision. This title has even caused some to compare him to the legion of great netminders who have played at BU. No matter where he belongs in that discussion, Curry simply likes being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Jim Craig, Rick DiPietro or even Michel Larocque.
"That's pretty cool," said Curry. "Obviously those guys are unbelievable goalies. Numbers can say whatever they say but those guys were unbelievable goalies. It's cool to be mentioned in the same school as them."
One attribute, however, that Curry certainly possesses is his awareness of the big moment.
"There is nothing more fun then when the crowd gets into it and it's a tight game," said Curry. "I am pretty intense and competitive when it comes down to it."
Those moments according to Curry are the ones that this current BU squad eagerly awaits.
"This team if you ask anyone is probably one of the closest teams I've been on," said Curry. "Everyone knows each other. Maybe sometimes a little to well. We're not afraid to get in each others faces."
As far as this year goes, Curry is just excited about the chance to add to his legacy at the tradition rich school.
"It's always a goal to win the Hockey East title," said Curry. "You want to get to the Frozen Four obviously. And I think by the way we are playing right now, we keep improving that's not out of sight. Nothing short of a National Title is out of site."