St. Paul, MN – July 14, 2016 – The Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors voted unanimously to purchase 300 sets of QuickChange goalie gear through Total Hockey for distribution to all member youth associations in the state. Each of Minnesota Hockey’s 145 community-based associations will receive two sets of the gear, which are designed to provide all players the chance to try the goaltender position by easily pulling them on and off over standard player equipment. The order for all of the gear will total nearly $60,000.
Consisting of 24-inch leg pads and a padded goalie jersey, both of which are designed to fit over standard player equipment, the QuickChange gear will allow 8U skaters to become goaltenders in 60 seconds. In the matter of one practice, every player on a team can give the goaltending position a try. The pads include an extra-wide knee channel to accommodate standard shin guards while the jersey/chest protector features an extra-wide neck opening with a Velcro strap to be easily slipped over a player’s helmet.
“We applaud Minnesota Hockey’s huge step toward promoting more participation at the goaltender position by purchasing this QuickChange gear for its associations,” said USA Hockey American Development Model Manager, Goaltending, Phil Osaer. “As associations across the country have embraced the ADM as the premier method of developing players, this is the next logical step to producing more goaltenders in the future. More kids will be given the opportunity to try the position without their parents needing to make the commitment to purchase gear until much further down the line.”
USA Hockey has placed an emphasis on the goaltender position, an initiative that includes the appointment of a Goaltending Development Coordinator within each affiliate. Edina native Steve Carroll was named Minnesota’s first-ever Goaltending Development Coordinator on April 7. Carroll is tasked with working with goaltending coaches throughout the state, as well as developing grass roots programs such as Try Goalie Days and goaltending clinics, in addition to implementing the QuickChange initiative.
“This is a very exciting step taken by Minnesota Hockey,” said Carroll. “Regardless of community size or location, every association will be able to utilize this gear to familiarize kids with all positions in hockey. I fully expect more boys and girls in Minnesota to fall in love with goaltending, which will only benefit all aspects of the sport in our state.”
The QuickChange goalie gear will be distributed to Minnesota Hockey associations in November in order to be used for the 2016-17 season. Associations wishing to order additional sets should submit their order here.