Or Is It Simply The Way Of The Future?????



This one is for all minor hockey goaltenders and their parents. Who on earth came up with the bright idea of making a young hockey player give up an entire evening just to sit on the bench and watch his team play?

There is no reason why goalies cannot change every 3 or 4 minutes during a game. While players are changing lines, it takes no longer for goalies to change. By changing goalies throughout the game, coaches have an opportunity to give them instructions and encouragement. They also feel part of the team and can talk to their teammates while on the bench. Equipment can be adjusted if needed.

Changing goalies on a regular basis during the game will also force the rest of the players to focus more on the other team, especially if one goaltender is weaker than the other. Teams sometimes play differently in front of different goaltenders. It also reinforces the "team concept" in that wins and losses are shared by the entire team. A shutout becomes a true team accomplishment with both goaltenders involved.

In the older divisions, it is even possible for goaltenders to change on the fly while the play is in the opposite end. As for keeping warm and being prepared, skating back and forth to the bench will take care of that.

For many readers, this may seem like a radical suggestion, but it is no more radical than expecting a player to get fully dressed and sit out an entire game.

2 years ago while a goalie coach of 9 and 10 year olds, the head coach told me he was going to change the goalies every five minutes so that I would have a chance to talk with the goalies about good and bad on the ice. He also said that he had seen way to many goalies counting rivets in the roof when not playing.  Having played nets all my life I thought he was nuts. In the first game of the year an inexperienced referee told us we could not change the goalies on the whistles. We did not argue but decided to stick to the plan, however, we would change them on the fly.  It was an excellent experience because I got to work with both goalies throughout the year. We had so much fun doing this and the kids loved it.  It also taught our goalies to read and react to game situations away from our end, pay attention to the time and change accordingly. He also told the goalies not to allow an icing, therefore they had to skate out of their net and play the puck.  It taught them skating and puck handling skills early in their development,  as well as passing to the D men. Thanks Don, that was a great year.
Les Wilson
Cold Lake, Ab
The goalies certainly could do this.  We often drive 2 or 3 hours to a game
where our son sits if it isn't his turn.  The only difficult area is the
stats so you'd have to dispense with the stats or have someone very good
tracking them.  You would need to just do a plus/minus type of tracking.  We
also see him hang out a lot in practices as well.  We count on private
lessons that he goalies for to get his workouts, and his regular goalie

Sharon Kilborn-Keeney of Southern California

Goalie Duo Beats the Odds

In youth ice hockey the goalies are generally adversaries – made that way by
the circumstances surrounding their position – only one can play in any
given game at a time.  That fosters competition for ice time and promotes
bad feelings between the goalies and the goalie parents.  This is the only
position in the game that creates this particular situation.  Many coaches
worsen this situation with a front and a backup goalie – a recipe for
disaster with children’s feelings.

Two Southern California goalies are beating the odds by chumming up and
playing as a team.  John Keeney and Luke Shaffer are ten year old goalies on
the California Wave Squirt A team – teamed up for the second year on a team
playing at the highest level the area offers for their age group.  These
goalies are buddies off as well as on the ice.  They spend the night
frequently and play together as often as they can even though their homes
are an hour’s drive apart.  On road trips they always spend the night and
play together.

On the ice between each period the two confer on the players they are
facing – with a glove tap sendoff to whoever owns the net for the night.
The coaches alternate their league and tournament games and split the
exhibition games - this also keeps feelings on an even keel.  The boys share
a goalie lesson every Monday night (for the second year in a row) with
goalie coach Petr Yaros.  They each have their own separate goalie lesson on
other nights, but the tandem lesson keeps them focused and together.  After
their lesson they do a clinic then head on down to Panda Express followed by
a stop at the Baskin Robbins next door – creatures of habit, they have their
routines set in stone.

At practice the boys look like twins they are so close in size and style.
There are differences - John’s pads are black and white, Luke’s are orange
and blue; John’s helmet has dragons, Luke’s has flames; Luke is slightly
taller and weighs more, John is a few months older; Luke is more outgoing,
John is a little shy.  But they’re both stand up goalies, big and tall, and
both cover the net well.  They’re both super competitive, and they’ve found
a way to compete in the practices and clinics and team up at the games – a
lesson for others to follow.  Many of the team parents can’t tell which
goalie is in the net because their styles are so similar, and they often
yell encouragement to the wrong goalie during games.

The Shaffer’s and the Keeney’s also work together well – photographing,
videoing, and hauling the boys around.  If one family can’t make a trip,
both boys go with the other family.  It has been a good situation for both
families, and has kept the fun in the youth hockey for both families.

This year the two goalies in league play gave up only 19 goals in 17 games
between the two of them, and in playoffs a total of 2 goals in 5 games.
They had an amazing four shutouts in preliminary rounds out of four games.
The boys made a pact to shutdown the competition and they blazed their way
through the round robin and semi finals with a stellar performance.  Their
team just won the Southern California championships and in true partnership,
the goalies first picture after the team picture was of the two goalies
holding the Scaha cup in triumph and in tandem.

Sharon Kilborn-Keeney of Southern California

Changing goalies on the Fly, what a horrible thought! or is it?  I got to experience this when I was Reffing in the Valley East NOHA pee wee division.  this coach who will remain nameless "Bob" decided it would be a great way to keep his goal tenders in the game.  so every 3 or 4 minutes on the fly his goalie would come to the bench and the other would jump out on to the ice.  Is there a penalty for too many goalies on the ice? or why on earth would a team decide to do this? the coach is making a joke of the position. I heard comments like this in the lobby after the games.  But of all of the games I did for that team that year you know who I never heard complain.  The goalies.  they really seemed to enjoy playing in every game, and when mistakes where made guess what, you could talk to the goalie on the bench and help make corrections during the game rather than after the period was over.  This may be something we should consider more often.  why should kids sit on the bench? 

In you editorial about hockey and your love of the game and officials you forgot to mention that every official on the ice is someone's child.  I am currently still doing games although not in the Valley any more but a little farther north.  I get to see new officials just starting out get yelled at, by coaches and irate parents who blame everything on the ref's.  You know the teams who have coaches who yell, have parents who yell, have kids on the ice yelling and getting penalties and then the coaches and parents wonder why the kids are so mouthy.  Last season I took my son who was 3 to a Bantam A game in Haileybury.  We were to watch friends kids play.  A couple minutes into the game one parent stands up and starts yelling at the ref he never sat down again for the entire period, pacing up and down, screaming every chance he had at the officials.  My 3 year old who associates all refs with me, asked me why that man was always screaming at me.  he couldn't understand. At the end of the period the man came over to talk to us and my son berried his head in my jacket.  he was afraid of this man.  the man asked why he was afraid of him and my son screamed at him "cause you never stopped yelling at my daddy!"  with a strange look on his face the man asked me what he meant.  I explained that I was a ref and that he never stopped yelling at them.  He laughed and said I am not like that.  Well I think he listened.  because for the next period that man would go to stand up and yell and he would stop himself and sit back down. at the end of the game he came over to see my son and apologised for yelling at me and that he never realised that he was doing this.

As an official I can give you hundreds of stories about parents coaches and players that would make you wonder why I would want to ref this sport.  but it is for the love of the game. 

David-Sean Rowell






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