Eric Perroni Strong Defensive Player Multiple Minto and Mann Cup Champion
Editor's Note - The pandemic has resulted in activities across the World being delayed or cancelled for the past 20 months, including countless events in the Canadian lacrosse community. However, on Saturday, November 13, 2021 - the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame held a double cohort Induction ceremony for the years 2020 and 2021. A total of 4 players, 2 builders, 1 veteran and 1 team were inducted for each year.
This is the 10th of 16 feature articles pertaining to the most recent teams, players, builders, or veterans inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The following article highlights the player Eric Perroni who won 3 Minto Cup and 4 Mann Cup championships. Standing 6’ 1” and weighing 230 pounds, Eric Perroni was a hard-nosed physical player. He was regarded as a great defensive player who placed the team before himself. Eric Perroni was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021 honoured in the Player category.
Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Eric Perroni had a lengthy lacrosse career as a player (almost 30 years from Minor to the end of his MSL career). He began playing minor lacrosse at age 7 in the Gerrard Road Minor Lacrosse Association.
Eric graduated from minor lacrosse to play six years at the Junior “A” level for Whitby (1980 to 1985) winning three Minto Cup championships (1980, 1984 and 1985). (Of note - in 2006, the 1980 Whitby CBC Builders Minto Cup team was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, the 1984-85 team was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2019).
During his career with Whitby, Perroni scored 139 goals, added 179 assists for a total of 318 points in 158 games played. He also accumulated 597 penalty minutes.
Upon graduating from Junior, Eric moved up to play Major Senior Lacrosse with the Brooklin Redmen, having a 15-year career playing from 1986 to 2000. Playing for the legendary Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Pete Vipond – Eric was a member of four Mann Cup championship teams (1987, 1988, 1990, and 2000). The Brooklin team won the Ontario league for seven consecutive seasons which included winning a record 84 straight games.
Over the duration of his career at the MSL level, Eric Perroni played 381 games, scoring 192 goals, adding 324 assists for a total of 516 points. He totaled 1003 penalty minutes. In 1994, Eric was awarded the Ontario Lacrosse Association Most Valuable Defensive Player in Major Series Lacrosse. (Of note - the Brooklin team (1985-1991) was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2006).
A solid physical specimen – standing 6’ 1” and weighing 230 pounds, Eric Perroni was a hard-nosed physical player. He was regarded as a great defensive player who placed the team before himself. Although known for his defensive prowess, Eric placed 4th in scoring in the OLA Major Series in 1991. Certainly, his points total during his Junior and Senior careers would belie that Perroni was just defensively skilled. (Note: Eric Perroni was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2019.
When informed of his forthcoming induction, Eric Perroni had the following comments – “Upon learning of my selection to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, my first reaction was WOW , I must have played to with a lot of exceptional players! But really, it’s more like I was surrounded by a lot of great people- teammates, coaches, team staff, executives and family. It is an honour to represent a sport that I have loved playing since my childhood. I am fortunate for the opportunities that have been presented with along the way and for that, I am truly thankful”.
In recalling highlights of his playing career Eric cited numerous events – “Travelling to Vancouver to play in the Peewee Nationals in 1975 and winning the Canadian “B” Championship; Travelling to Thompson Manitoba in 1978 for the Bantam Nationals. Although we didn’t win a championship, we had a great time!; Playing my first game of Junior “A” in the Green Gaels Classic in 1980. While making a pass, I was sandwiched between two players and broke my collarbone; Certainly, winning the Minto Cup in 1980; and winning the Major Series Lacrosse Defensive MVP in 1994.
Eric Perroni knows he had the good fortune of the support of others during his Hall of Fame journey. He graciously commented about many others – “Pete Burns – my first coach I remember as a kid who made lacrosse and the whole experience fun. Elmer Tran, who coached me off and on from 1978 until 2000. Peter Vipond our coach from 1984-2000. My older brother Andy, who was always there to lead the way (good or bad). My Dad and Mom. Mom was my biggest supporter -she was the who dragged me out for lacrosse as we had never heard of it before. And of course, Larry Power for nominating me in the first place”.
The father of three children (Adam, Brock and Nicole), the game has become part of the family lifestyle. Adam was drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks of the NLL in 2017 and has played some games with Brooklin of the MSL. Nicole played for the Team Canada U19 lacrosse team who captured a Silver Medal at the 2019 World Championships. She attends the University of Louisville on a scholarship where she is excelling at field lacrosse. Although Brock played lacrosse, he had a greater affection for rugby.
As is often the situation for Lacrosse Hall of Fame people - Eric Perroni gave back to the game. He coached minor lacrosse. Not surprisingly, he was behind the bench for several minor lacrosse Ontario championship teams. Such is the life of a Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame class of 2021 member.
(Written by Rad Joseph - Member of Major Series Lacrosse Media team)