Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2017

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QUICK RELEASE The major difference between an average goal scorer and an elite goal scorer like Patrick Kane or Phil Kessel, is their ability to get the shot off quick. Having a quick release will allow you to have a step up on the goaltender, preventing him or her from getting set-up in the net to make the stop. When it comes to having a quick and effective release, it's important to consider the following: First, to have a quick release, you need to shorten your wind-up. Like a one-timer, if you have a big wind-up, you are giving the goaltender time to move into position for your shot. All that you need to do is to drag your stick back to the back heel of your skate and release the puck using the push/ pull motion. The push/ pull motion is probably the component that makes the quick release so effective. Essentially, the "push" refers to a hockey player pushing or extending his/ her arms out from the body. Next comes the "pull" effect, which is the notion that a hockey player pulls his/ her top hand back, while pushing forward on the lower hand. Keep in mind the flex of the stick can play a vital role in this concept. A stick that has a lower flex will result in more whip or torque, resulting in a stronger release. However, a stick that is stiff or that has a higher flex will result in a weaker shot. Although this all sounds very technical, this does not necessarily apply to younger hockey players, as they do not have as much strength as older hockey players. Lastly, a quick release shot can prove to be even more effective when you change the angle of the shot. By changing the angle of the shot, this does not necessarily mean changing the angle of shot elevation rather, it means changing the angle of the release point. For example, if you were approaching the goaltender and were ready to take a shot, the goaltender can anticipate the location of the shot by simply watching the blade of the stick. However, if you were to approach that same goaltender later in the game and were ready to let go a quick release shot, you could be deceptive by slightly changing the release point by doing a slight toe drag, moving the puck closer to your body, then releasing it. Just by moving the puck several inches can significantly change the possible locations that the puck can travel, causing the goaltender to readjust to the new release point. Again, this all sounds very technical, but you can practice the quick release from different angles by simply placing pucks in a square grid on your forehand, and shooting the pucks from inside, outside, ahead and behind your stance. HOCKEYSHOT.com | Start practicing today with these recommended tools: HS Goal & 2D Backstop Combo / HS Roll-Up Shooting Pads. ADVERTORIAL For over 200 great training aids to help you work on your toe drags and other skills, visit: www.hockeyshot.com. TAGLINE GOES HERE M I N N E S OTA H O C K E YJ O U R N A L . CO M // MARCH.2017 NEWS + NOTES FROM THE STATE OF HOCKEY 04 & GOALS ASSISTS ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED and respected leaders in hockey world- wide, Jeff Sauer, passed away on Feb. 2 at the age of 73. Sauer, the former men's ice hockey head coach at the University of Wisconsin and 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, was in his sixth season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Born in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, on March 10, 1943, Sauer grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, playing high school hockey at Washington High School. He attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1961- 65. After three seasons as a varsity men's ice hockey player for the Tigers, Sauer graduated and signed on as an assistant coach under Bob Johnson at the CC for the 1965-66 season. The following year, Sauer followed coach Johnson to the University of Wisconsin where he served as an assistant coach for four seasons (1966-71). In 1971, Coach Sauer returned to Colorado Springs as head coach of his alma mater. In his 11 seasons behind the Tigers bench, Sauer was twice named Western Collegiate Hockey Association Coach of the Year (1972, 1975) and in 1978 led the Tigers to an upset over the University of Denver for a share of the only con- ference tournament title in school history. Sauer then returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1982 and led the Badgers to the WCHA Tournament Championship and NCAA Division I national champion- ship in 1983. In total, Sauer's 20 seasons at Wisconsin saw the Badgers produce four 30-win seasons, three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, two WCHA regular-season crowns, five WCHA playoff titles and two national championships. Overall, Sauer's 31-year NCAA Division I college coaching career fea- tured 655 wins (seventh all-time). In 2011, Sauer was named head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. In his six seasons at the helm, Team USA registered a 48-5-2-11 (W- OTW- OTL-L) record that included reaching the championship game of every major international competition and titles in seven major international events. Coach Sauer led the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team to a gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games In more than 40 years coaching hockey, Sauer has had nothing but success in his varied endeav- ors. He has been honored with USA Hockey's Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), the American Hockey Coaches Association's John "Snooks" Kelly Founders Award (2004) and the NHL's Lester Patrick Trophy (2011). He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame. THE HOCKEY COMMUNITY REMEMBERS JEFF SAUER HOCKEYSHOT.COM TIP OF THE MONTH: MARCH 2017

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