Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since that night in March when Mankato State pulled off the upset to win the 1980 NCAA Division II National Championship.
I was the starting goalie for Mavericks at the school that’s now known as Minnesota State University, Mankato. In 1980, the Final Four was held at Elmira College in New York, less than a month after the U.S. shocked the world and won Gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
In the NCAA semifinals, we stunned the defending champions from Lowell University 8-1, despite being outshot 41-24.
That win put us into the championship game for the second year in a row, this time against heavily-favored Elmira College, the school that was hosting the tournament.
You can see Coach Carroll playing in the National Championship Game in this video.
There was a standing room only crowd of more than 4,000 people at the title game and it seemed like all but about 50 MSU parents and fans were cheering for the Soaring Eagles. Elmira outshot us 46-31, but when the final buzzer sounded, we proudly skated away with an stunning upset victory, defeating Elmira 5-2, giving us our own version of a Miracle.
Winning the National Championship was a tremendous thrill and one of my all-time hockey highlights. The game was televised on a new sports TV network called ESPN. It was shown multiple times on the cable on a taped-delayed basis. And through the magic of video, I still have vivid memories from that night in New York.
During my four years at MSU, we finished third in the country during my freshman year, second as sophomores, first as a junior and third as a senior. It was an awesome run! Great memories as a Maverick!
Goalies play perhaps the most important position in hockey. They are always in the spotlight and the outcome of every game often depends on their performance.
Practice time is where most of their development takes place. Goalies should make the most of every ice time, taking advantage of each opportunity to improve their overall game.
Here are some tips to help goalies achieve success between the pipes.
SKATING SKILLS One of the most important aspects of being a good goalie is the ability to skate and skate well. They should be the best skater on their team and work on their edge work and goalie-specific skating skills every time they are on the ice.
They should be sure to practice pushing off and stopping on both their left and right side. Same goes for recovering from the butterfly position; they should work on getting back to their feet with their left and right legs. They should be strong on both sides.
EYES ON THE PUCK Goalies should use their eyes to follow or track the puck. They should watch the puck off the shooter’s stick into their body or equipment; watch it in and watch it out. They should keep their eyes focused on the puck in the event a rebound is created, and they need to move into position to make a follow-up save.
PUCKHANDLING This is another skill goalies should work on every time they are on the ice. One way they can do that is to practice passing the puck back and forth to their goalie partner or participate in some of the team’s stickhandling drills. They should also work on playing the puck with the stick using to their forehand and backhand.
They should play in a game with an active stick – blocking passes from behind the net, knocking loose pucks to the corners and stopping pucks behind the net that are dumped into the zone.
REBOUND CONTROL Goalies should work to control rebounds and eliminating additional scoring opportunities.
On shots on the ice, they should use their stick, if possible, to deflect the puck into the corner. When in the butterfly position, they should try to position their leg pads at a slight angle so pucks that hit their pads bounce toward the corners and not directly back to the shooter.
When they make a save to their blocker side, they should rotate their wrist so the puck deflects off the glove into the corner and out of the immediate scoring area.
BLOCKER AND CATCH GLOVES POSITIONING When in the proper goalie stance or ready position, the blocker and catch glove should be positioned just off the outside edges of the leg pads to maximize coverage. If a goalie catches with their left hand, the catch glove should be held at a 2 or 3 o’clock position, slightly in front of the body with pocket facing the puck. If they catch with their right hand, the glove should be at 9 or 10 o’clock.
ALWAYS ABOUT THE NEXT SHOT For goalies, it’s always about the next shot. If they make a save, have they moved into the proper position for a second or third shot? If they give up a goal, are they ready to stop the next shot they face? And it’s about competing. Goalies should do whatever they can to keep the puck out of the net and make the shooters earn whatever goals they get.
ABOUT COACH STEVE CARROLL Edina native Steve Carroll is a Minnesota goalie development leader. He is in his 26th year of running weekend goalie clinics in the Twin Cities for boys and girls, ages 6-15. Learn more at www.carrollgs.com
For the 26th year in a row, the Carroll Goalie School is hosting weekend goalie clinics in the Twin Cities to help boys and girls, ages 6-15, achieve success between the pipes. Registration is now open for our 2020 clinics set for Blaine, Eagan, Edina, Richfield and St. Michael-Albertville.
“CGS goalies improve their skills, confidence and game performance in an upbeat and positive learning environment,” said Edina, Minnesota native Steve Carroll, who is the lead instructor at the clinics. “Our talented and personable coaches are passionate about goaltending and do an excellent job of explaining, demonstrating, and reinforcing the essential techniques used in today’s game.”
Goalie parents like the variety of CGS programs (Intro to goaltending, Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills and Tryout Tune-up) we offer and realize that training under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff can make a significant impact on the development of their kids.
“Travelled all the way from Montana, to experience top notch, one-on-one training from Coach Carroll and his staff. Excellent drills and great use of allotted time to maximize comprehensive training in an enjoyable environment,” said Matt Eurich, from Miles City, Montana.
“I was so impressed with your passion and kindness for the kids. I could tell within seconds that you are an amazing coach. Thanks for everything this weekend. My son will never forget this weekend,” said Tim C., Duluth, Minn.
“Our daughter loves CGS more than any other in the area. She has fun, loves the format, enjoys the coaches and improves, ” said Shawn Moudry, Farmington, Minn.
“Coach Carroll was coaching first at our association when my son was a mini-mite. We tried one session with the association and my son had such a positive experience that we have now attended six summers worth of camps. He still loves every minute,” said Mike Peterson, from Becker, Minn.
“Our son just finished his first season as summer goalie and expressed an interest in attending a camp. While the timing and location may have been driving factors in our choice to go to CGS, we can’t imagine going anywhere else in the future. Our son loved the variety of skill stations, the ability to connect with other goalies, and positional focus as well as challenging each participant depending on their need. Thanks for providing this opportunity,” said Brian Steinhorst, from Blaine, Minn.
“Fantastic school, a great way to maintain and improve goaltending skills as they prepare for the winter season! The coaches all make it fun for the kids!” said Matt Wegleitner, from Lino Lakes, Minn.
In 2019, CGS hosted goalie development clinics in Blaine (Schwan Super Rink), Eagan, Edina (Braemar Arena), Richfield. We had goalies from seven states in town to train with us at those clinics. The boys and girls, we worked with were from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana, Texas. That list is sure to grow in 2020.
ABOUT COACH CARROLL
Steve Carroll is a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach who trains goalies at the youth, high school and college levels. He is the goalie coach for the nationally-ranked Gustavus Adolphus College women’s team.
As a goalie, Carroll won a State Peewee “A” title with Edina. He also participated in the Minnesota State Hockey High School Tournament while playing at Edina-East under legendary coach Willard Ikola.
From there, Carroll enjoyed a brilliant four-year career at Minnesota State University, (formerly know as Mankato State University). He played in four Final Four tournaments and led the Mavericks to the 1980 NCAA Division II National Championship. He was a two-time All-American and was named a Top 10 Finalist for 1981 Hobey Baker Award, presented to the best player in men’s college hockey. (Award given to Neal Broten).
Steve also earned a professional tryout with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars.
Following his playing career, Steve was inducted in the Edina High School and Minnesota State University, Mankato athletic halls of fame.
During the winter months, I am the goalie coach for the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team. In late December-early January, our team took a trip to Europe for sightseeing and to play a couple of hockey games. It was an unbelievable experience.
We flew into Munich, Germany and visited the Marienplatz area and ate as group at one of the historic bier halls. Even though we had reservations, seating our party of 65 was no big deal for this place as we ate dinner with several hundred other people who were at the restaurant.
The appetizer included meats and cheeses and the main course was schnitzel and french fries. It was delicious.
From then we headed by bus to Salzburg, Austria. This was the favorite spot for most of the players. They liked scenery and the small town feel. The Christmas markets were still open and the city was all decorated for the holidays.
This also the city where some of the famous scenes from The Sound of Music movies were filmed in Mirabell gardens. We were able to check them out during a walking tour. We also visited a nearby concentration camp.
In our first hockey game against the Austrian National team, we beat them 3-2.
From there, we headed to Vienna, Austria, a much larger city.
We went to the Schoenbrunn Castle, visited a local winery and celebrated New Year’s Eve in Stephensplatz. It was a wonderful place to ring in 2020.
After that, we headed to Prague in the Czech Republic. There we visited Old Town and the famous Charles Bridge. We also played a second hockey game in that area. It was at an arena that was in the hometown of hockey great Yaromir Jagr. We beat a local women’s team 2-0.
Beside schnitzel, other food items included pizza, pasta, fried chicken and duck. The breakfast buffets were something else at the hotels we stayed at. Wide assortment of eggs, sausage, meats and cheeses, breads and pastries. It was a nine-day trip that flew by. So many memories from our trip to Europe.
During the winter hockey season, one goalie each week will be randomly chosen to receive gear from the Carroll Goalie School and Brian’s Custom Sports.
Also one lucky goalie who has their shutout posted on the wall will be selected to win a set of Brian’s goalie gloves. The winner announced at the Carroll Goalie School/Brian’s Custom Sports booth at the 2020 Let’s Play Hockey Expo.
Just because a kid signs up to play goalie doesn’t mean they should be shutout from coaching. I recently wrote an article about coaching today’s goalies. It’s designed to help youth hockey coaches understand how to help the kids who play, I think, the most important position on a team. Too often though, coaches forget about goalie development and hope they somehow magically improve throughout the season.
Just in time for tryouts, we are hosting two more clinics this month. The clinics, each featuring six hours of ice time, are set for St. Michael-Albertville, Sept. 19, 21, 22 and at Richfield, Sept. 20-22.
“We help goalies take their game to new levels by building individual skills, techniques, athleticism, consistency and self-confidence,” said Coach Steve Carroll, a hall of fame goalie at Edina High School and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Carroll, who trains goalies at the youth, high school and college levels, uses his extensive experience as a goalie and coach to teach his students what it takes to be successful.
“We’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said Carroll who is in his 25th year of offering programs like these. “Our instructors are passionate about goaltending and do an excellent job of explaining, demonstrating, and reinforcing the essential techniques used in today’s game.”
Goalie parents like the CGS programs because they realize that training under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff can make a significant impact in the skill development of their goalies.
“I was so impressed with your passion and kindness for the kids. I could tell within seconds that you are an amazing coach. Thanks for everything! My son will never forget the weekend,” said Tim C., Duluth, Minn.
“This was my daughter’s first time at CGS and I could not say enough good things about this school. We walked away very happy with the coaches and the whole program. We will most definitely be back,” said, Nicole W., La Crescent, Minn.
The Carroll Goalie School is pleased to announce that we have just added a new location and times for our popular Tryout Tune-up program. We will be hosting a three-day goalie development session in St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 22, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
At CGS, we help goalies take their games to new levels by building individual skills, techniques, athleticism, consistency and self-confidence. Goalies who train with us work hard and have fun in an upbeat and positive learning environment.
Coach Steve Carroll and longtime CGS student/coach Amanda K. will be the lead instructors at this six-hour clinic.
The CGS staff will help goalies improve their skills, consistency, work habits and overall game. They’ll feel confident they’ve gained a competitive edge and are on top of their game to start the season.
Topics that we will cover include footwork, save and recovery techniques, hand-eye coordination, angles, rebound control and breakaways.
This clinic is open to goalies in the St. Michael-Albertville and North Wright County Riverhawks associations as well other youth hockey goalies who are looking for last minute training to help them prepare for tryouts and upcoming season.
Session is for boys, girls ages 8-15. Limited space available. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first served basis. Register now.
During the winter months, the Carroll Goalie School and our partner from Brian’s Custom Sports, sponsor the Shutout Wall that appears in Let’s Play Hockey newspaper and on its website.
It’s a popular way for goalies to get recognized for posting a shutout and as you can see there are easily a couple hundred shutouts posted on the wall. Congrats to all the goalies who earned shutouts in 2018-19.
Each week, a goalie, who had a shutout posted on the wall, was selected to receive a prize pack from CGS and Brian’s Custom Sports. The pack usually included a hat from Brian’s and a shirt from CGS.
In addition to that, at the end of the season, one goalie was selected to win a custom set of gloves from Brian’s Custom Sports.
This year, the winner was Griffin Simpson, a peewee goalie from Minneapolis. He was fitted for his gloves at the Let’s Play Hockey Expo.
Coach Carroll presented Griffin with his new gloves this summer at Richfield Arena. He was on the way to a baseball game and wore the gloves out of the rink. Congratulations to Griffin.
Look for the CGS/Brian’s Custom Sports Shutout Wall promotion to return to Let’s Play Hockey this coming hockey season.
The Carroll Goalie School provides weekend skill development clinics in the Twin Cities for boys and girls, ages 6-15.
“I’m proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said Steve Carroll, an Edina, Minn., native, who is lead instructor at the popular weekend clinics offered in the summer and fall.
Carroll uses his extensive coaching experience to teach goalies what it takes to be successful. He coaches goalies at the youth, high school and college levels. He shares his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the position with the goalies who attend his clinics.
“Our talented and personable team of instructors are passionate about goaltending and do an excellent job of explaining, demonstrating, and reinforcing the essential techniques used in today’s game,” Carroll said. “Goalies who train with us work hard, improve their skills and have fun!”
CGS offers clinics at five convenient Minneapolis-St. Paul locations including Blaine, Eagan, Edina, Richfield and St. Paul (TRIA Rink).
“We help goalies take their games to new levels by building individual skills, techniques, athleticism, consistency and self-confidence,” Carroll said.
Goalie parents like the variety of CGS programs (Intro to goaltending, Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills and Tryout Tune-up) that are offered and realize that training under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff can make a significant impact on the skill development of their kids.
In 2018, goalies from around Minnesota and 10 other states trained at CGS. Outstate participants came from Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
“I am a long-time hockey coach and also a goalie dad,” said Greg Smith, from Omaha, Nebraska. “I thought this was a great camp for my son. I recorded some of the drills and plan to incorporate them into my practices. I thought they did a great job with skill development while keeping it fun for the goalies. We will definitely make the trip back from Omaha (and probably bring a few more goalies with us).”
“After attending the introductory session, my daughter could not wait to go again,” said Courtney Brod, Woodbury, Minn. “We signed her up for the Intermediate session just weeks later and she had another great experience. We are sure to continue with Carroll Goalie Schools for years to come.”
“My daughter learned a lot from these clinics and had a lot of fun doing so,” said Ashley Jovan, Buffalo, Minn. “She’ll be back again! Thank you CGS!”
Michael Shroat, from Minneapolis said, “My son thinks that the tryout tune-up camp is the best camp that he goes to. He thinks it’s a great balance of skating and drills to get him ready for the beginning of his association season. He started it as a mite and will continue until he’s a Bantam. Thanks for the great weekend and the encouragement the kids get from you and your staff!”
“This was Jonathan’s first formal goaltending clinic and he enjoyed every minute of it. The mix of skating, hand-eye drills, and shooting stations kept him constantly engaged and learning,” said Tim Froemke, Alexandria, Virginia.
“CGS does a great job working with the goalies on all aspects of the game. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed her time at camp,” said Troy Iverson, Farmington, Minn.
COACH CARROLL’S BACKGROUND
Carroll has more than 30 years experience coaching goalies at the youth, high school and college levels. He is the goalie coach for the nationally ranked Gustavus Adolphus College Women’s team. He also serves as the USA Hockey, Minnesota District Goalie Development Coordinator.
As a goalie, Carroll won a State Peewee “A” title with Edina and participated in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament where he helped the Hornets to a second-place finish.
At Minnesota State University, Mankato, Carroll led the Mavericks to a NCAA Division II National Championship. He played in 119 games, made 3,570 saves, posted a career mark of 81-32-2 and still holds several of the school’s all-time goaltending records.
Steve was also a two-time All-American and top-10 finalist for the inaugural Hobey Baker Award, presented to the best player in men’s college hockey. He also earned a free-agent tryout with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars.
Carroll has been inducted in Edina High School and Minnesota State athletic halls of fame.