Sunday, January 9, 2022

Andy Stoesz

1 WHA Game

April 14, 1976 Winnipeg Jets vs Edmonton Oilers. 3-2 win.

   April, 1976 the Winnipeg Jets were playing the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA playoffs. During game two of the series, Winnipeg goalie Joe Daley was penalized for a nasty slashing incident. He was later suspended for one game. The Jets promoted Curt Larsson to starting goalie and looked to local netminder Andy Stoesz to dress as Larsson's backup. 

  A newspaper article from 1976 recalled Stoesz's journey to the WHA. "Andy Stoesz is the backup goaltender the Winnipeg Jets brought up from the farm. Not the farm system. The farm. He was loading flax seed at an elevator near his hometown of St. Jean, Manitoba when he was asked up to the phone. Jets wanted him to back up Larsson for tonight's game. Stoesz was so excited he drove home a little faster than he should have and half the load blew off en route. He's the goaltender who played tier two hockey lat year for Selkirk Steelers and was the fifth draft pick of Toronto Maple Leafs. He played intermediate hockey this year."(1)

  Another newspaper article from the period was much less kind to Stoesz, noting "the Jets have 21-year-old Andy Stoesz of Selkirk Steelers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League as a back-up to Larsson. Stoesz worked out with the Jets for the last few weeks of the regular season, but is reported to be 15 pounds overweight."(2) 

  Andy Stoesz attended the Toronto Maple Leafs' 1974 NHL training camp and the Winnipeg Jets' 1976 WHA training camp. He turned down minor league contracts, opting for a quiet life on his 600-acre Manitoba farm instead of riding buses around North America. "I'd rather farm and play senior hockey than risk wasting half a dozen years in some minor pro league in the United States," said Stoesz to a local paper in 1979. (3) 

Career stats from 
Drafted by Toronto Maple Leafs - round 10 #170 overall 1974 NHL Amateur Draft
RS ScoringRS Goalie StatsPO Scoring
1972-73Selkirk SteelersMJHL000
1973-74Selkirk SteelersMJHL2808130970113.215700.891
1974-75Selkirk SteelersMJHL33021907110013.468820.889
1980-81Fuessen EV1.GBun3100400
1980-81Duisburg SC1.GBun2100---
(1) "Joe Daley's loss is Andy Stoesz's grain." Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta. Wednesday, April 14, 1976. Pg. 71. 
(2) "Hunter applauds decision." the Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Wednesday April 14, 1976. Pg. 36.
(3) "Work and play satisfies Stoesz. The Windsor Star, Windsor, Ontario. May 3, 1979. Pg. 33. 

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