Goaltender Joe Turner was a career minor leaguer whose NHL opportunity was the result of an injury that left the Detroit Red Wings without a netminder. Turner, who was born in Windsor, Ontario, spent three of his first four seasons playing in his hometown then began a nomadic stretch that saw him guard the crease for seven different clubs over the next five campaigns which led to his NHL debut.
Turner was enjoying a stellar year with the Indianapolis Capitols of the American Hockey League in 1941-42 when he got the call from Detroit. His 34 victories with the Capitols led the entire AHL that year but he was unable to post a victory for the Red Wings.
With Red Wing goalie Johnny Mowers hurt, they brought in Turner to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 5, 1942. Turner was only beaten three times during the game and was unbeatable during overtime to preserve the tie for Detroit.
Turner's career appeared to be on an upswing after his very successful 1941-42 campaign, but World War II interrupted his ascent. Turner left his goalie gear behind and served his country starting in 1942. Three years later while serving with the U.S. Army in Europe, Joe Turner was killed in action.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame