Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 17, 1999


More Ontario gold for Mustangs

Vanderpeer is deflecting shots on CBC

SI finally joins the 20th century

Vanderpeer is deflecting shots on CBC

©Photo courtesy of CBC

YOU'D BE SMILING TOO IF YOU HAD HER JOB. Casey Vanderpeer has found a great way to pay off her student debt – work for Hockey Night in Canada.

By Dave Cadeau

Gazette Writer

Although a goalie helmet may shield her identity, Western student Casey Vanderpeer is having the time of her life traveling across Canada with the sole purpose of stopping hockey pucks.

Although Vanderpeer has played for the London Devilettes of the women's AAA league, a team which has since folded, she still plays for the AA London Rebels as their starting goalie. Still, the pinnacle of her hockey career came early this season. Vanderpeer was chosen as the puck stopper for the Labatt Blue Shoot-Out which airs every Saturday during CBC's Hockey Night In Canada .

"They just gave me a call and told me I had the job," she said.

Vanderpeer has been flown to games every week since the shoot-Out began in Vancouver and has since played her way back to Ontario. She will don the pads in London on March 24.

On the night of a shoot-out, 20 fans are randomly selected to compete in a skills competition. The two top ranked players participate in the on-air shoot-out. This is when Vanderpeer takes to the ice to keep their pucks out of the net. Each player takes five penalty shots against her and whoever puts the most past her wins $5,000.

Vanderpeer is loving every minute of her cross-country tour and although it's been tough, she has found a way to fit the shoot-out into her busy schedule. For the beginning of the week Vanderpeer attends classes at King's College, then from Wednesday to Friday she competes in the shoot-out and finally she rounds out her weekend in goal for the London Rebels. In April, Vanderpeer will graduate with a degree in social work.

Vanderpeer recalled her most memorable experience during this tour in Calgary. "I had a lot of friends at that game and the crowd was really loud."

However, Vanderpeer admits she is excited about the upcoming event in London where she expects a large number of family and friends to be in attendance.

When asked if she's had any problem playing against men, she explained she sees her job as a way to rise above the gender issue. "I was the first female to play London high school hockey when I played for Oakridge back in high school," she said. "Everybody in the competition is really friendly and nobody carries a stereotype onto the ice against me. They've all seen me play and know I am real competitor."

Vanderpeer also said working with the shoot-out's host, television personality Dan Gallagher of MuchMusic fame, has really surprised her. "You wouldn't know it from watching him on TV, but Dan has a real sensitive side to him and he's a whole lot of fun," she said.

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