The Hockey Noob Chronicles II (Beginners' Thread)
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06-26-2013, 02:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Just started as a goalie last Thursday.
Step 1: Buying the gear:
First of all came the whole buying gear process which was...difficult because I had no idea what to look for or even what stores to go to. Luckily I found out about a monkeysports store near me and they're just hockey heaven. Was fitted for a helmet, CA, pants, catcher and blocker. After trying multiple CA's I really liked a Vaughn which left me feeling like I could move freely but I went with reebok's which were more tanklike and took up more space.
Helmet fitting came down to this. My CCM 9000 fit like a glove. The bauer NME's had padding that poked into my head or pulled down on my forehead in an annoying way so the CCM won.
Skates are a nightmare for me I'm prob a EEE...very borderline EE. Some skates we baked and threw on but even just sitting there they'd start to cramp my feet. Eventually got
. I don't suspect many people go through hell with skates like I do.
The grafs were more expensive than I wanted to go and I wonder if I should have tried a bunch more or gone for EEE/custom ordered.
Ended up finding a store that specializes in used equipment. Got a Vaughn V4 7450 CA cheaper than the reebok and it feels much better than my reebok. I also got Sherwood T100 pants for 100 bucks. Find a store that sells this kind of stuff because trying to shop online without prior knowledge was impossible. I also got a nice catcher and blocker from the used store both were 150 total.
Step 2: Putting on the gear:
Boy this was fun the first time out. Anybody who wants to know how to properly put on leg pads just watch this lol
I didn't but in hindsight had I watched this it would have helped me avoid quite a few issues like the straps hanging too much (they leave a bit of strap looped) and how to strap to my skates (middle and back). Most importantly leave the top two straps loose so you can butterfly. I tied the top two as tight as possible and the pads refused to let me butterfly I couldn't figure out why.
CA: Put the jersey on the CA first if you can then just slip your head and arms through. I also didn't buy a goalie jersey. Made things a little...tight.
Strap up your helmet in the back before you put on your gloves otherwise if you put on your catcher and blocker first you might run into some frustrations. For me it's goalie pants first, socks, Skates, Leg pads (You can strap the first of the bottom straps in the middle of your skate before you put your foot into the skate) CA, Strap helmet and/or put it on, gloves.
Step 3: On the ice:
Getting on the ice for the first time as a goalie was awesome. I took a first tentative step onto the ice and calmly skated over to my net. I thought back to all of my training as an NHL 13 legend, put my stick down, bent slightly, squared my shoulders, put my butt down a little and felt the muscles in my legs tighten like springs ready to uncoil and push me in either direction.
I backskated and hugged the left post, then pushed off slightly once and sort of skated diagonally forward and then back a few times between each post. Eventually I tried moving more laterally. First a small push, then twice with another push to get to the other post. I was surprised how much I could see behind me and how easily I could glide side to side while standing. Then I tried to butterfly but my pads rather than facing toward the rest of the rink went straight down into the ice leaving the sides of my legs barely covered by the meager butterfly padding. and the goal wide open. I couldn't figure out how to butterfly. Nothing short of contorting myself in inhuman ways would get my pads to face out in a proper butterfly. No one seemed to have an answer for me "Dw you'll get it". I have since learned you have to leave your top straps a little lose which gives your knees the freedom to shift down without also pulling the pads face down.
Guys took shots at me for the first two minutes and then just like that it was on. I was the only goalie in a pickup game but I knew enough to come out onto my crease a little and keep the puck in line with the center of my body. Whenever guys went to their backhand outside I knew not to overcommit. Always my focus was on keeping my legs only about as far apart as my stick could cover. When forced to hug the post I kept my stick aligned with my skate pointing a little bit at an angle to prevent a puck from slipping through my legs.
My night was filled with a lot of pad stacks, poke dives and the like. I found myself bouncing before going down too frequently and worked to cut out the bouncing. I also found myself struggling to block pucks that were on the ice while in standup position. Amazingly enough I found myself making quite a few saves. I managed to catch one with the knob of my stick, glove a few out of the air a utilized and flying poke to stop a breakaway but perhaps my greatest was on a pass that came from behind the net on my left right to a wide open man practically in my crease. I stacked the pads and threw my blocker on top for good measure and good thing because the shot ricocheted right off of it. The saves I was most proud of were the ones where shots went off my chest or leg pads because they meant my positioning was sound and I wasn't panicing. I'd like to be an economical goalie at this point because I'm a big guy at 250
On day 2 I found myself using my stick much more against guys who were in junior A. I was dangled out of my shoes a few times but at this point I couldn't really care less about giving up goals I wanted to learn to trust where my pads were, figure out the butterfly and stop relying on flopping so much. Besides it was 2 on 2 half ice hockey so I knew I was facing way more cross crease passes and breakaways than normal. I was pleased with myself for breaking up so many plays when they were happening in my crease though my lower body reaction time was still pretty bad.
Tomorrow at 12 I should be playing another pickup and at 8 pm I have my beginners class where I'll be playing G with them for the first time (it's a weekly Wed night clinic I've been a skater there for awhile)
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