Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2021

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M H J O N L I N E . C O M | M A R C H 2 0 2 1 12 AT THEIR MOST-BASIC LEVEL, hockey players are divided into two categories: skaters and goalten- ders. Skaters are the centers, the wingers and the defensem- en. Goaltenders are, well, goaltenders. But that's not really fair, is it? After all, goalies are skaters, too. In fact, when it comes to playing between the posts, skating should be anything but an afterthought. "The first place that I start from, whether it's an NHL goalie, all the way down to a youth goalie is skating," said goaltending coach Brennan Poderzay. "It's the absolute principle, the founda- tion and the fundamental skill of being a goalie." Poderzay works with goaltenders of all levels, including NHLers such as Alex Stalock of the Minnesota Wild, and has worked as a Minnesota regional scout for USA Hockey. He's also been the vol- unteer goaltending coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato since the middle of the 2015-16 season. Over the last five seasons, four of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's goalten- ding champions have been Mavericks. "Skating," he said, "is the biggest thing we work on." A native of Tower, Minnesota, Poderzay was a college hockey goalten- der for the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth before embarking on a profes- sional career that included stints in the Netherlands, France and Slovenia. Here are some of Poderzay's skating tips for goaltenders: Skating for Keeps HEAD, HANDS, HIPS W hen it comes to skating, Poderzay says, you don't jump in feet first. Like driving a car, it 's about your head (seeing where you're going ) and your hands (steering you to your destination). They lead the way. Then, think about your hips, as they link your upper body to your lower body, keeping you balanced and giving you power. "A lways find whatever the target might be," he said. "That could be a potentia l pass or where the puck is. Lock your eyes on the target. Know where that is. Identif y the target and arrive at it—from point A to point B—in the most ef ficient manner possible. Put yourself in a position to be a head of the play. Give yourself and your mind time to arrive early." Mavericks coach Brennan Poderzay's tips for goalies by Shane Frederick Tips Gophers goaltender Makayla Pahl (Rochester) uses her skating to jumpstart the offense. Photo / Brad Rempel/Gopher Athletics, Tom Sellwood, SCSU Athletics

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