ECHL: An Interview With Adirondack Thunder Goalie Vinnie Purpura

The Adirondack Thunder came into the season with three goalies; however, only one of them is on an ECHL contract, and that’s Vinnie Purpura, whose path to becoming a goaltender began in a way you wouldn’t think, “From a very young age, the team would rotate the goalie, so everyone would have a chance to play goalie, and one day I really liked it, and I stuck with it” when asked how he became a goaltender. The 25-year-old goaltender was signed by the Thunder after he spent three years playing for Long Island University; they had just started their hockey program when Purpura transferred there for the 2020-21 season, “It was honestly a great time; that first year was the COVID year, so it was a little weird, a lot of moving parts to get the program started up, but each and every year we improved, our team improved, our facilities improved, coaching, you name it, so it was good” said Purpura when talking about his time at LIU where he would go 12-30-1 with a 3.35 GAA, .893 SV% and one shutout. Purpura joined Adirondack at the end of last season and helped the Thunder sneak into the Kelly Cup Playoffs as he went 2-0 with a 3.46 GAA and .906 SV% when asked about why he came to Adirondack when he knew he’d be the third goalie Purpura mentioned that it just felt right, “Ya, I think it was just a good opportunity, I was familiar with the coaching staff from last year to me it just made sense, I just wanted an opportunity to play professional hockey somewhere.”

Despite coming into the season as the third goalie, Head Coach Pete MacArthur has been rotating all three goalies, and Purpura has already gotten six starts where he has gone 3-1-2 with a 2.87 GAA, and .904 SV%; when asked about why MacArthur signed Purpura, he talked about the compete level that Purpura has, “I thought he competed hard, he made the saves he was supposed to make it and he didn’t lose a game in regulation, and all those games were really important for us, he has that mentality, it’s also hard to look away from a 6’6 goofy goalie, a lot of attributes that we liked” said, MacArthur. Being a “Goofy Goalie” means that you catch with your right hand, which you don’t see from most goaltenders and is a little odd, but for Purpura, he’s been doing it his whole life, “I’ve kinda had it my entire life, so to me, it’s not weird to me at all, but I get a lot for the players that it kinda messes them up a little bit so I guess it work works to my advantage a little bit.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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