On Tuesday, January 3, youth associations in District 11 had the opportunity to participate in a “Try Goaltending” event at the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center starting at 6:00 p.m this evening.
The try goaltending event served as a kickoff for the distribution of 300 sets of QuickChange goalie gear that were purchased by Minnesota Hockey to help youth hockey associations introduce more players to the position. Starting at 6 p.m., representatives from each District 11 associations were able to come and claim their two sets of QuickChange gear in Duluth.
From 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m., the ice at Sill Arena was open for Mite/8U players to get on the ice and try goaltending with the new gear. Minnesota Hockey Goaltending Coordinator, Steve Carroll, as well as University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) goaltender coach, Brant Nicklin and the three current UMD goaltenders provided the young goalies with basic goaltending instruction and drills.
“It was great to see all the players excited about having a chance to play goalie with the new QuickChange equipment,” said Carroll. “The QuickChange equipment made it easy for multiple players to experience what it’s like to play goalie.”
The try goaltending session in Duluth introduced nearly 30 players to goaltending while using only six sets of equipment. By providing more players the opportunity to try the position, the QuickChange equipment, along with other goaltending initiatives, will help increase how many kids are interested in becoming a goalie.
Below, Bulldogs goaltender Nick Deery, who had never seen the QuickChange gear before the event, is shown helping one young player remove the gear and another put it on in less than three minutes: