BC Hockey League’s board of governors recently decided to update the names of several of its year-end awards. The first of the changes was unveiled on July 14.
The league’s Top Goaltender Award will now be known as the Michael Garteig Trophy.
Garteig, who is from Prince George, spent two seasons backstopping the Powell River Kings (2009/2010 and 2010/2011). He won the BC Hockey League’s top goaltender award both years.
Garteig then played for the Penticton Vees in 2011/2012, which was a bit of a shock for Kings’ fans. He was headed for college but ended up in a three-way trade that landed him in Penticton and brought high-scoring forward Evan Richardson to Powell River.
The Vees downed the Kings in the league final on their way to a national championship. The seven game series ended in a four-game sweep, but each game was close. Penticton won 2-1 and 3-1 at home, then skated to 4-3 (overtime) and 3-2 wins at Hap Parker Arena.
Garteig holds many of the league’s goaltending records, including: career wins (92) and shutouts (12); the single-season record for goals against average with a mark of 1.69 in 2010/2011; and is tied as the single-season leader in shutouts with seven, also during the 2010/2011 campaign.
He won a Fred Page Cup (BCHL championship) and a national championship during his final season in the league as part of the Vees team that won a Canadian Junior A record 42 games in a row.
“Having this award named after me is a true honour,” stated Garteig, on the BCHL website. “I feel so humbled and fortunate to have spent my junior career playing in the BCHL. My success is a testament to the coaches, teammates and organizations I was a part of during my career in BC.
“I played for some incredible teams and met some great people along the way. I feel so lucky to now have an award named after me.”
After his BCHL career, Garteig played four years at Quinnipiac University before embarking on his current professional career. In his sophomore year, he recorded 24 wins in 40 games with six shutouts and a measly 1.94 GAA, a performance that sparked a .650 winning percentage and a spot in the 16-team bracket for the Frozen Four (the final four teams battling for National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ice hockey championship).
In April of 2016, he signed a one-year, entry-level contract with Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s kind of surreal that I get to sign with my hometown team,” Garteig said in an interview with the Peak at the time. “I don’t know if it’s quite sunk in yet.”
He won a Kelly Cup as ECHL champion in 2019 with Newfoundland Growlers and has also made stops in Finland and Germany.
Kings lost to Vernon Vipers in the BCHL final in each of Garteig’s two seasons with the club.
“I was very lucky to have been on the Powell River team that I played for,” he said. “We had a lot of success and fell short in the final two years in a row, which was unfortunate.”
“I’m very thankful for everything in Powell River. The community was unbelievable, my billets were amazing, and the coaches and teammates I played with helped me to get where I am today. It was a fun ride; I have very fond memories of Powell River.”
Garteig will be inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame next week along with his Vees teammates.