By Currier Times Staff///
Oh what a night! For Curry Men’s hockey goalie, Reid Cooper, the surreal 48 hours leading up to and including being the back-up goalie for the NHL’s Washington Capitals couldn’t have been more amazing.
Cooper was watching a movie with his roommates Tuesday night when the Capitals called wanting to see if he might be available to be the backup on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Thus began the improbable, Hollywood, story that led Cooper from Milton, Mass., to the upper-echelons of the NHL.
While the Capitals ended up losing in overtime to the visiting New Jersey Devils, 5-4, the team made sure that Cooper’s day and night would be unforgettable.
He was given the number 97, his parents flew in from Canada, and some of his Curry hockey teammates were also present for his historic role.
The Washington Capitals gave Reid Cooper a shoutout on their Twitter feed as he went on to the ice first.
Throughout the night, Twitter feeds lit up as hockey fans around the world learned of Reid’s story, even tweeting back to the Capitals to get him some goalie time in the net. Cooper was also featured on local radio and television feeds.
Back-up goalies, or EBUGS, can play a pivotal role for a team, as this NHL article attests.
The rarity of a current college hockey player being asked to do the back-up role was not lost on Curry head hockey coach, Peter Roundy. Coach Roundy said the unusual opportunity usually goes to a goalie from the AHL or ECHL, but due to cap issues the Capitals couldn’t go that route.
The Capitals’ usual back-up goalie was injured Tuesday night playing, ironically enough, against the Bruins. A scout from Boston had heard great things about Cooper so they decided to give him a call.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for Reid,” said Coach Roundy. “He has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position. We are so grateful for his impact he has had on our program, and we are thrilled for him and his family to be realizing a life-long dream of playing in the National Hockey League.”
Cooper, whose impressive goaltending this season brought Curry hockey to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division III hockey tournament, found many people cheering him on, including Curry athletic director, Vinnie Eruzione.
“I am super excited for Reid to have this experience,” said Eruzione. “It is a testament of his hard work his entire life but also his accomplishments these past few years. He has been a great role model not only for our hockey program but also our college. I wish him nothing but success moving forward.”
In an interview with Curry College athletics, Cooper said he was ready.
“It is an absolute dream come true,” Cooper told Curry Athletics. “I cannot thank the Washington Capitals organization enough for this opportunity. I’m so proud to be representing Curry and am going to soak up every single second of it.”
The Washington Post, who wrote a feature story on Cooper, said he learned about the opportunity while watching “The Bourne Supremacy” at his off-campus apartment with his roommates. “They found me, somehow,” said Cooper, to the Post reporter.
Cooper’s Cinderella story was also getting play nationally and internationally in other publications too. From The Hockey News, CBS Sports Fantasy, RMNB, and Daily Faceoff, to name a few.
Cooper is finishing up a Curry MBA after earning his undergraduate Business degree here. He is expected to graduate in May.
But, most important, he will have a story to tell that will live long after Thursday April 13th, 2023.
Categories: Curry Sports
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