Legendary ‘Kiprusoff Kid’ says goodbye to his idol

You may not know the name Brendan Peters, but chances are you have seen him as a National Hockey League goalie.

OK, pretending to be a National Hockey League goalie.

Peters was the adorable doppelganger of Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. He rose to hockey highlight fame beginning in 2005-06 by mimicking every move of the veteran netminder from the stands.

Literally, every move: Quirky warm-up routines, butterfly saves, even sprays from the water bottle. Kipper did it, Mini-Kipper followed. He had the uniform, the mask and an orange beard his father painted on his face for the complete effect.

The split-screen pantomime of Real Kipper and Mini-Kipper became a staple on NHL highlight reels and even earned Peters a trip to the NHL Awards (pre-Vegas). Here’s a TSN feature on the mini-goalie:

Now a Grade 11 student at Notre Dame High School, Peters hadn’t worn his full Kipper costume to a Calgary Flames game in four years. But with Kiprusoff expected to retire after this season; and with the Flames having only one home game left before the end of the season, Peters decided it was time to pay tribute to his idol one last time.

On Wednesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome, Miikka Kiprusoff defeated the Detroit Red Wings, while a slightly smaller “Miikka Kiprusoff” watched from the stands.

From Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald:

“This is a thank you and a goodbye,” says Peters. “It feels good to strap on the pads one more time. I’d say that he and I share something special. I grew up watching Kiprusoff. I’ll never forget — nor should any other Flames fan — what he’s done for this franchise.

“He’s been the heart and soul of this team, so I praise him for that.”

Check out what Peters looks like now.

Whether the Flames netminder calls it a career or not. Peters told Cruickshank that he simply wanted to say “thank you” to his favorite player.

“The reason I watch hockey is because of Kiprusoff. I loved watching him play, for sure. Yeah, I’m sad . . . but I’m going to be a Flames fan all my life.”

Not bad for a kid who once resented Kiprusoff for taking Roman Turek’s job …

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