It was really fun to host a goalie clinic in August at Braemar Arena in Edina. It was the first time we held a weekend clinic in that building since we started 22 years ago.
There is so much hockey history at Braemar and of course its home to the Hornets, which have won 12 state high school hockey championships.
It’s also the rink where I learned to play the game. I grew up in Edina and started out as a forward. I first strapped on the leg pads as a second year peewee, after a coach saw me playing goalie for our neighborhood floor hockey team and asked if I was interested in trying to stop pucks with skates on.
I accepted his invitation and was selected to be one of that coach’s two goalies on the Edina Peewee “A” team. We a lot of talent up front on that squad and we went on the win the state championship, in a game that was played at the old Met Center in Bloomington. Not a bad way to start a career!
After two seasons of bantam “A” hockey, I selected to play on the Edina-East High School varsity team.
That was quite the experience, something I will never forget. I remember playing our home games before standing room only crowds. The atmosphere was electric – with the school band playing and the student section cheering loudly. And every high school team brought their “A” game, which made for some tremendous battles.
We reached the section finals all three years I was on the team. We got knocked off by Hopkins Lindbergh as sophomores, by Richfield as juniors before beating cross-town rival Edina-West to advance to the state tournament as seniors.
In St. Paul, we defeated Roseau and Grand Rapids before falling to Rochester John Marshall in the championship game. A disappointing end to an otherwise memorable career.
Already looking forward to returning to coach more goalies at Braemar in 2017.