At only 16 years old, goaltender Taya Currie is making hockey history. Yesterday the Parkhill Ontario native became the first female to ever be drafted into the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) and the sports community is going wild for her.
The Sarnia Sting selected her during the 14th round, 267th overall. In an interview with Ron Mclean for SportsNet, Currie’s young face beamed as she proclaimed this experience to be “Undescribable [sic]. Just a great feeling.” In another interview with Kate Beirness for SportsCentre, Currie gushed, “It means a lot. Honestly, just to be able to be a role model for so many young girls and just everyone can do it no matter what your dream is, you can achieve it.”
Now 5-foot-7, Currie has been playing with the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Triple-A hockey team for seven seasons, although the most recent season was cancelled to do the Covid-19 pandemic. According to CBC Sports, she describes herself as athletic, flexible, and quick and wants to be “known as the goalie everyone hates to play against and loves to have on the team.”
There’s no doubt that she is already known to be intimidating throughout the Triple-A hockey circles in Ontario. The Toronto Star mentions one of her most memorable games occurred as part of the Silver Stick tournament in Whitby ON during her bantam season. Currie’s team faced the Junior Canadiens and found themselves heading into overtime with a 5-5 score. Throughout the game’s three periods of overtime, Currie had nearly 50 saves, according to a former teammate.
Hockey isn’t her only passion, though. Currie also plays elite rugby and soccer, plus she’s an especially competitive barrel racer. Montreal Canadiens’ superstar goalie Carey Price is also famously into Canada’s rodeo scene (check out this amazing piece from nhl.com about Price’s cowboy interests), so Currie is certainly in good company.
Naturally, this young woman has a few difficult decisions to make in the next little while regarding her future in hockey. Whatever direction she takes, though, there is no doubt that we’ll be seeing great things from this amazing athlete. This is also a moment of hope for hockey in general. Is it possible that Currie will open the door for more females to be recognized for their skills and welcomed into the male-dominated upper levels of the sport.
Image courtesy of Elginmiddlesexchiefs.com