Minnesota Hockey announced today it will begin distributing 300 sets of QuickChange goalie gear from Total Hockey to all member youth associations in the state. As a part of the distribution kickoff, youth associations in District 11 will have 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 Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors approved the purchase of the new equipment in June, and the president of each member youth hockey association in Minnesota has been contacted regarding how the goalie gear will be distributed. The QuickChange gear is one of several goaltending initiatives being spearheaded by USA Hockey. It is designed to provide all players the chance to try the goaltender position by easily pulling the pads on and off over standard player equipment.
“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.”
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.”
The first step in the distribution of QuickChange goalie gear will be a unique event conducted by Minnesota Hockey in District 11, in which association representatives can come to claim their two sets of QuickChange gear. Tonight, January 3, representatives from Minnesota Hockey will be at the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center from 6 PM to 9 PM. During that time, representatives from each District 11 association can come to claim their two sets of QuickChange gear.
From 7:15 to 8:45 PM, the ice at Sill Arena will be open for Mite/8U players to get on the ice and try goaltending with the new gear. Minnesota Hockey Goaltending Coordinator, Steve Carroll, will provide the young goalies with basic goaltending instruction and drills. Carroll will also be joined by former Minnesota Duluth goaltender, Brant Nicklin and current University of Minnesota Duluth goaltenders.