Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2021

Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/1345570

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 31

KEEP YOUR FEET Skating is the only way to keep pace with the increasing speed of the game. As for- wards and defensemen work to improve their skating to ultimately create more offense, goalies need to do the same to keep pucks out of their nets, "especial- ly in today's game with how fast plays are made laterally and how strong and deceptive good forwards and defensemen are and how quick their releases are," Poderzay said. Two of the most common ways goals are scored are off the rush and through traffic. Staying on your feet, rather than dropping down and sliding across the ice is a more-efficient and faster way to com- bat those scoring chances. Working on skating can also help goalies avoid getting tangled up in traffic while not losing sight of the puck. "Keep your eye on the puck and keep your feet underneath you for balance," he said. "You have to put yourself in the best position possible. Having your feet underneath you gives yourself the best opportunity and the most options. You make yourself vulnerable if you're on the ice and have to reach for pucks." STUDY YOUR SKATING Poderzay encourages goaltenders to think about their games and their practices, especially times when they've given up goals or felt uncomfortable. They should watch video of those moments and dissect those spots. Study their skating and work on improving in those areas. "Go through certain situations, and imagining going through them in a positive manner," he said. "Work on position-specific movements—crease patterns. Skating is about muscle mem- ory, so the more positive habits you have the more the muscle-memory cog in the wheel becomes greased. There are a lot of crease patterns out there. I don't think you can do enough them." DO THE DRILLS This one, Poderzay says, is for the coach- es, too: Incorporate drills into your practice that include the goaltenders as more than just targets. Get them moving, keep them engaged. Encourage them to skate and handle the puck, to go behind the net to stop the puck or move it to safety, to bust it back to the net to eliminate chances more efficiently and effectively. Don't reprimand them for making mistakes by banishing them to the blue paint. In the long run, a slick-skating goal- tender will be an invaluable part of your game plan. "The biggest thing with skating is: No goalie needs to be put on an island," he said. "They want to be part of the action. They want to be part of the team." Emma Polusny (Mound) stays on her feet while tracking the puck for the Huskies. Alex Stalock (South St. Paul) is never afraid to leave the crease in order to help his team. M A R C H . 2 0 2 1 | M H J ON L I N E . C O M 13

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Minnesota Hockey Journal - March 2021