A look at the career of Penticton alumnus Michael Garteig



(This article was originally published on Mar. 22, 2021)

Spending four years in the BCHL, Michael Garteig is arguably one of the best netminders the league has seen. 

Garteig spent the 2008-09 season playing for the Princeton Posse of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, where he posted a record of 17-10-0 in 29 games. He also made his BCHL debut that season, playing one game as an affiliate with the Quesnel Millionaires.

His start to the BCHL wasn’t one to remember, but it was full throttle after that.

The following season Garteig joined the Powell River Kings, playing primarily in a backup role to Josh Watson. His numbers weren’t earth-shattering in 26 games, earning a 2.92 goals-against-average while rocking a subpar .900 save percentage and picking up 15 wins on the season. But it was just the start to an impressive BCHL career. 

Becoming the number one starter for the River Kings in the 2010-11 campaign, Garteig posted phenomenal numbers. He went on to go 36-8-0, with a goals-against-average of a staggering 1.69, which is the best the league has ever seen in a single season, and a save percentage of .934.

The save percentage ranks him fourth-best in a season behind Jordan Naylor, Clay Stevenson, and all-time leader Darion Hanson, who posted .945 in 2016-17. The awards were not only individually, but the Kings won the division title and went all the way to the Fred Page Cup final before losing to the Vernon Vipers. 

Individually, Garteig was a first-team all-star, posted the best goals-against, best save percentage, and won the top goaltender award along with the Wally Forslund Memorial for the best combined goals-against-average in the league. 

His time on the Island came to an end after the 2010-11 season. The Penticton Vees were all in for the 2011-12 season and wanted Garteig to backstop them to what would turn out to become an outstanding season for the city. 

Cementing his BCHL legacy

Arguably the best season ever in junior hockey, the Penticton Vees went on an incredible run through the year. Winning 42 straight games and collecting accolades across the board from coaches to players, Garteig once again had the best goals-against-average at 1.93, a save percentage of .927 and an incredible 41-4 record.

He earned himself another all-star nod, and also added a BCHL championship, another top goaltender award, a Doyle Cup, and the junior A holy grail – the RBC Cup to his resume.

Garteig holds the BCHL record for most career wins with 92, he’s fourth all-time in save percentage in a single season, and twice on the top 10 list of best single-season goals-against-average. All told, Garteig had an amazing junior career. 

After the season of all seasons in 2012, Garteig joined Quinnipiac University of the NCAA, where he spent four seasons. His first season as a freshman wasn’t as spectacular as his final season of junior hockey, but as a sophomore, he earned a 1.94 goals-against-average, which was the best in college hockey. 

Overall, his four seasons in the NCAA were a success. He won the ECAC championship, was named to the all-tournament team and third team all-star. Garteig posted a 78–25–16 record with a 1.98 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage. 

Following his college days, Garteig signed with his home province’s Vancouver Canucks, which he went on to play for their American Hockey League farm team, the Utica Comets, and their ECHL affiliate Kalamazoo Wings from 2016-18.

The 2018-19 season saw Garteig play for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL, where he won a Kelly Cup as league champions.

Since then, Garteig has packed his hockey equipment and headed overseas, where he spent the 2019-20 season in Finland.

The 29-year-old from Prince George signed with ERC Ingolstadt of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga last September and is currently in the top 10 of all goaltending statistics during his first season in the top level of professional hockey in Germany.