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Photo Credit: Rob Wallator


Goalie Development

In order to ensure that Alberta’s goaltenders, and their coaches, are properly equipped for the best performance possible in this specialized position, Hockey Alberta has worked with Hockey Canada to develop the Canadian Goaltender Pathway, and a Provincial Goaltender Development Plan.

The Pathway and Development Plan feature a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that goaltenders receive direct and consistent coaching and guided skill development so that their experience in the crease is a positive one. A focal point of the Pathway and the Provincial Plan is to develop the knowledge and expertise of coaches, both regionally and within individual associations. The other prong involves providing goaltenders with specialized training opportunities, where they can work with other goalies as well as some of the most experienced goaltender coaches in the province.

Hockey Alberta has also created the Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide for information on the introduction and implementation of goaltender skills.

If you have questions or would like more information on goaltender development, please contact Matt Weninger, Manager, Regional Centre South.

The focus of all Hockey Alberta Goaltender Skills Camps is the development of goaltender specific skills, and each goalie will attend on-ice and off-ice sessions that focus on the mental and physical aspects of goaltending. On-ice sessions will be led by some of Alberta’s top goaltender instructors and will have a low instructor to goalie ratio.

Age eligibility may vary by camp, so please check the detailed information that is included with the camp registration information. Every attempt is made to group players based on age and ability.

Goaltender Skills Camps, as well as a number of other specialized player development camps, are held at various locations throughout Alberta.

See below to view available Goaltender Skills Camps.

10 Types of Scoring Chances 


Ian Gordon goes through scoring chances from both a shooter and goalie perspective. Ian’s experience with Hockey Alberta, the Seattle Thunderbirds and Ian Gordon Goaltending give a great perspective for goalies on how to prepare for the many difference situations that occur in a game.


Development Plans


Matt Weninger of Hockey Alberta helps young goalies in planning a path to optimize their development. He dives into his process with the Moose Jaw Warriors in order to help goalies take ownership of their game and their careers.


Goalie Hotstove


Taylor Gauthier (Prince George Cougars - WHL), Brodan Salmond (University of Calgary - USport) and Zach Sawchenko (San Jose Barracuda – AHL) join Matt Weninger to answer questions and give advice to young goalies based on their experience in the game.


Screens and Deflections 


Kraymer Barnstable offers a great perspective to goaltenders on best practices in traffic and handling deflections. Utilizing his playing experience and experience as Goalie Coach of the Red Deer Rebels he gives great insight on these challenging game situations.


The WOOP Way


Josh Hoetmer shares his expertise with goaltenders on a practical form of goal setting. Having worked with Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta and the Saskatoon Blades, Josh brings great knowledge of how to implement goal setting into goaltending.


Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide

Hockey AlbertaHockey Canada Goaltender Pathway

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!


Pulling the Puck off the Boards and Passing

Now is the perfect time to improve your puck-handling and passing, this drill can assist you in improving your passing skills as you get ready for next season!

Being able to pull the puck off the boards, move it away from pressure and up the boards to one of your teammates can assist your team in breaking the puck out of your own zone. Try isolating this skill, without deliberate focus and repetitions it can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. When practicing this skill try to keep the eyes up as much as possible, there will always be a need to “check” the puck but push yourself to keep your eyes up, when possible, to be able to scan and evaluate incoming forecheckers.

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker is positioned at the butt end of the stick and the glove hand is positioned in an inverted grip above the paddle of the stick
    • The glove can rotate to a standard player grip on the stick – based on the skill set of the goaltender
  • Glove hand applies downward pressure and prepares to pass the puck
  • Sweep the puck along the surface and pass towards your target
  • Legs are bent and feet pivot as you make the pass
  • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a defender (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Head is up to read options to make the pass
    • Do this on your backhand
    • Have someone flash que cards
    • Have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds
    • Identify various things in your environment to cycle between

Moving Across the Crease and Tracking

Now is the perfect time to improve your footwork, agility and tracking, this drill can assist you in improving your skills as you get ready for next season!

Being able to move across the crease, get your feet set and square before the shot is a key element to save selection. You can isolate your footwork and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Head stays level during shuffle movements (no bobbing up and down)
  • Both hips face forward and square up with your target
  • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
  • Set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • Make sure to track the puck all the way into your glove.
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds at the mid-way point
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home.

This week, Team Alberta alumna, University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dayna Owen shows how to practice recoveries and crease movement. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!


Recoveries and Crease Movement 

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good recovery habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

Being able to recover and move across the crease efficiently is a key element to having your feet ready and set for the next shot. You can isolate your recovery and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an down/butterfly stance – Chest up, weight over your knees, eyes downward, chin in front of knees
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • To rotate to start your recovery, think head, hands, hips;
    • Eyes and head turn to look where the goalie is going (new target)
    • Hands begin to move together towards the next target (remember: elbows stay against the body)
    • Lead leg pulls under the body and squares the hips up to the next target
  • Once you have rotated, get up and push with the outside/back leg
  • Stop using the lead leg
  • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
  • Push yourself to set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • Make sure to track the puck all the way into your blocker (or glove)
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions to simulate shorter/larger pushes across
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push-like cross-crease movements, etc)


Crease Movement & Screens

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

Being able to move across the crease efficiently and setting your feet all while managing screens can be a difficult component for goaltenders to master. You can isolate working on screens, or you can combine them with some footwork. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • To rotate to start your movement, remember your eye lead that we worked on in last weeks recovery drill.
  • Set your feet square, maintain a good knee bend and look around the “screen”
  • Once the “shot” is taken, make sure to track the puck all the way into your blocker (or glove)
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • You can creative on the obstacles you use for a screen!
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions to simulate shorter/larger pushes across
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

Hand/Eye Coordination

This week, our Puck-Stopper Saturday is going to showcase a couple of drills that can help improve your hand/eye coordination. Working on improving your hand/eye coordination will assist you in tracking pucks into your body and become more natural for you once you return to the ice next season!

These drills can be done with a tennis ball or reaction ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Drill #1 – Quick Reaction Toss

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball as soon as possible and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Bounce a reaction ball of the floor towards the goaltender
    • Incorporate different plyometrics prior to throwing the ball (starting face down on the ground, laying down & getting up, burpees, skater hops, etc).

Drill #2 – Quick Reaction – Wall Bounces

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball hits the surface in front of you and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Use a reaction ball instead

Drill #3- Juggling

  • To start juggling, pick three objects of the same weight.
  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • If you are just learning how to juggle, there are many great tutorials online to help you learn this skill!
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use the wall to increase the difficulty of this skill (as shown)
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball

Recovery

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good recovery habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

 

Being able to recover and move across the crease efficiently is a key element to having your feet ready and set for the next shot. You can isolate your recovery and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start laying on your back – you can have your feet towards the shooter or away.
  • Quickly get into an athletic stance – remember to keep your ankles/knees bent, chest up and back straight,
    • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball as soon as possible and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • If you are incorporating footwork/crease movements with this drill, remember to:
    • Stop using the lead leg
    • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
    • Push yourself to set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions so that you have to scan and recognize where they are
    • Bounce a reaction ball of the floor towards the goaltender
    • Incorporate different plyometrics prior to throwing the ball (starting face down on the ground, laying down & getting up, burpees, skater hops, etc)
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce its six Regional Goaltending Leads, as part of the Provincial Goaltender Development Plan.

The Goaltending Leads are strategically located around the province, and will work as part of Hockey Alberta’s Regional Centre network. Each Regional Goalie Lead will provide leadership and support to minor hockey associations and Regional Centre Consultants in implementing Hockey Alberta’s Goaltending Development Plan throughout their region.

These goaltending consultants are available to be used by Minor Hockey Associations and teams to aid in the development of their goaltender from grassroots to Elite level. Our regional Goaltender Consultants can help provide you with:

  • Instructional Stream: Goaltending Training for Coaches
  • Try Goalie Events
  • MHA Goalie Nights
  • Training to MHA/Team Goaltender Coaches
  • Practice Integration Skills; Good Habits to including goalies in practices
  • Support for Teams, Coaches, Goalies and Parents

For more information, please contact the appropriate Regional Centre.

 

TBD

Northwest (Grande Prairie)

Hockey Alberta

Dwayne Keichenger

Northeast (Lloydminster)

Goaltending Consultant

Hockey Alberta

Ian Gordon

Edmonton

Goaltender Consultant & Owner of Ian Gordan Goaltending

Hockey Alberta

Kraymer Barnstable

Central (Red Deer)

Goaltender Consultant & Owner of Stable in the Net

Hockey Alberta

Derek Purfield

Calgary

Senior Goaltender Consultant, Top Prospects Goaltending

Hockey Alberta

Tyson Verhelst

South (Lethbridge)

Goaltending Consultant, Pro Goal Development


For more information, please contact Matt Weninger, Manager, Regional Centre South.


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