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Register now for 2024 CGS clinics

Registration is now open for our 2024 clinics. We’re hosting 11 clinics in Minnesota and Iowa on select weekends during June-September. You are encouraged to register early for best selection.

“I’m proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said director Steve Carroll, a two-time NCAA National Champion and Hall of Fame goalie at Edina High School and Minnesota State. “Goalies who train with us improve individual skills, confidence and take their game to new levels in a safe, challenging, and upbeat learning environment.”

Coach Steve Carroll working with goalies at one of his clinics.

The CGS staff teaches goalies what it takes to achieve success between the pipes. They share their wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the position with the participants.

“Our coaches do an excellent job of explaining, demonstrating, and reinforcing the essential techniques used in today’s game,” Carroll said.

Goalie parents realize that training at CGS can make a significant impact on the development of their kids.

“Every year, ever since he was eight, he seems to get so excited about being at CGS, you just can’t get enough of that as a parent,” said Shelley Peterson, Becker, Minn. “The positive environment and it’s just a lot of fun for him. We’ll be back, you’ll see us for a while.”

Becky Moore, Cheyenne, Wyoming said, “My daughter’s love for being a goalie was renewed and strengthened in just the first hour of the camp. Each day brought different skills taught in a supportive and fun environment that kids of all ages and skill sets benefited from.”

Shane Hudella, Hastings, Minn., said “I think the biggest thing is the coaching staff here makes it fun. Each year we try to get the boys to one of the camps and it’s been pivotal in getting them ready for the fall or a little tune-up going into the playoffs and other parts of the year. We can definitely tell the difference when they come to the Carroll Goalie School.”

Tina DeLeeuw, Cambridge-Isanti, Minn., said “My son had a blast and touched up on all of his techniques and the coaches really helped him fix the little things he needed to fix before tryouts. I like how you go around and work with each kid individually and in small groups as well and you teach at every station it’s not just shots taking on him, it’s a lot of teaching as well.”

2024 CGS Highlights

  • 11 clinics – evening and weekends in June, July, August and September
  • Six Minnesota locations – Alexandria (NorthStar Sports Complex), Blaine (Super Rink), Eagan (Civic Arena), Edina, (Braemar Arena), Richfield, (Richfield Arena) St. Michael-Albertville (STMA Arena)
  • One Iowa location –  West Des Moines (RecPlex)
  • Four programs – Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills, Tryout Tune-up, Intro to Goaltending
  • Complimentary Carroll Goalie School jersey
  • For boys and girls, ages 6-14

Coaches need to pay attention to their goalies

Another winter hockey season is well underway.

It’s also the time of the year when people are realizing what the coaches are or are not doing to improve the skill development of the goalies on their team.

Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, nothing is being done during scheduled practice times.

Steve Carroll leading goalie development clinic.

Some coaches believe that as long as their goalies are seeing lots of pucks during practices they are getting better. That’s not necessarily the case. Goalies need time to develop their individual skills in addition to being available to participate in team drills.

I believe more coaches need to change the way they currently do business and improve on how they work with their goalies. Coaches need to break out of their comfort zone, so goalie development becomes a priority during every practice and not an after thought.

Sometimes coaches think that somehow the goalies will magically improve during the course of a season and become that much-needed difference-maker in big games. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way.

Some hockey association’s hire outside coaches to work with their goalies for periods of time during the season. This is certainly a step in a right direction. However, the fact an association provides goalie training periodically is not an acceptable excuse for ignoring goalie development during team practices.

The reality is, goalies spend considerably more time on the ice with their team than they do at any association goalie clinic. Constructive/productive use of a team’s practice time, in addition to any in-season goalie training progams, is the key to developing goalies.

Figuring out how to coach goalies can sometimes be a challenging and intimidating aspect of the job for many coaches. However, it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some goalie coaching tips that can help:

  • Assign someone to be the team’s goalie coach and encourage them to learn as much as they can about the position. Lots of resources available online.
  • Stick to the basics, most goalies need to improve fundamental skills. Successful goalie development includes quality repetitions.
  • Schedule 15-20 minutes of each practice hour for goalie coach to work with the goalies on individual skill development. Make sure to write this down on a practice plan so it doesn’t get forgotten.
  • Give the goalie coach time and space to work on the ice. The individual skill development can take place at any time during practice. Successful team drills can be run without goalies in the net while they are working on their skills.
  • Remind players (and coaches) that goalies are not shooting targets. They should be treated with respect.
  • Coaches should not be developing back up goalies. Kids sign up to play the game, not to sit on the bench. Look at developing a rotation where the goalies split games or split periods so they are involved in every game.
  • Set up the goalies for success. Control pace of team drills so they have time to get ready for each shot and into position to play rebounds.
  • Encourage goalies to be leaders and not followers. For example, move them to front of the line during skating drills. They will skate harder, feel more a part of the team. Do not put them at end of the line because they skate slower than others.
  • Teach goalies to treat every shot like it means something in practices and games and to be accountable for their effort and performance.
  • If an association holds goalie clinics, make sure the goalies attend and strongly recommend that the team’s goalie coach also go – taking notes and/or helping out on the ice. Coaches should build on what’s being taught at the clinics during team practices.
  • Encourage goalies to work on their puck handling and shooting skills.
  • Successful goalies compete, are consistent and play with confidence; build their confidence, improve their play, improve team’s win-loss record.
  • Think carefully about removing a goalie during a game for poor play, if possible make any change between periods.
  • Coaches need to control their reactions/emotions on bench when goalie gives up a goal. Goalies typically feel bad enough when they get scored on and it doesn’t help the situation when they look at bench and see coach upset and/or screaming at them.
  • Be good to your goalies and chances are goalies will be good to your team.

Coach Steve Carroll is a goalie development leader. He’s been running skill development programs in Minnesota and Iowa in the summer/fall since 1995. He’s a 2x NCAA National Champion, 2x All-American, Hobey Baker Award Finalist, and Hall of Fame goalie at Minnesota State and Edina (Minn.) High School. Learn more about his programs at www.carrollgs.com

Tryouts begin soon; Is your goalie ready?

It’s our 29th season of providing goalie development excellence

With tryouts for right around the corner, the Carroll Goalie School is here to help your goalie get ready. Since 1995, we have been teaching boys and girls how to build their individual skills and boost their confidence in a safe, challenging and upbeat learning environment. You can reserve a spot for your goalie at www.carrollgs.com

“I’m extremely proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said director Steve Carroll, a goalie development leader who has been coaching goalies at the youth, high school and college levels for more than two decades. “We want the goalies to feel good about their game and feel good about themselves.”

The CGS staff of instructors use their extensive coaching experience to teach the goalies what it takes to be successful. They also share their wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the position with the kids.

“Our 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!”

We offer four programs including – Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills, Tryout Tune-up and Intro to Goaltending.

Clinics are scheduled on evenings and weekends during August-September. Ice times are at Minnesota arenas in Blaine, Edina, Richfield, St. Michael-Albertville and the TRIA Rink in St. Paul, which is the practice home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

Goalie parents like the variety of programs we offer because they realize that having their kids train under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff can make a significant impact on their development.

“Our son has been attending the Carroll Goalie School for three years,” said Paul Zachary from Apple Valley, Minn. “The clinics are well designed and keep the players moving. The content is focused and the coaches aren’t afraid to provide the appropriate instruction. We love these clinics and they have become the standard we hold other programs to.”

Goalie parent Jeremy Anderson from Minneapolis, Minn., said “Our daughter goes to a lot of goalie schools during the summer, but CGS is by far her favorite.”

Goalie parent Shelley Peterson from Becker, Minn., said “Every year, ever since he was eight, he seems to get so excited about being at CGS, you just can’t get enough of that as a parent. The positive environment and it’s just a lot of fun for him. We’ll be back, you’ll see us for a while.”

Goalie parent Shane Hudella, from Hastings, Minn., said “Each year we try to get the boys to one of the camps. It’s been pivotal in getting them ready for the fall or a little tune-up going into the playoffs and other parts of the year. We can definitely tell the difference when they go to the Carroll Goalie School.”

Read more testimonials.

Goalie Coach Steve Carroll, Gusties win 2023 NCAA Division III National Championship

CGS director Steve Carroll is also the goalie coach for the Gustavus Adolphus College Women’s Hockey Team.

The Gusties captured the program’s first NCAA Division III National Championship in March with a triple overtime 2-1 thriller over Amherst College. It was the longest championship game in NCAA Division III history.

Gustavus goalie Katie McCoy was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

The victory marked the first NCAA title for a MIAC women’s hockey team and the first for any team in the West region.

Two of Steve’s brothers – Mike (head coach), Pat (assistant coach) are also on the Gustavus staff. The Gusties finished the season with a 27-3 record.

This is the second NCAA National Championship for Steve Carroll. He was the starting goalie when Mankato State (now known at Minnesota State) won a NCAA Division II men’s crown with a 5-2 victory over Elmira College.

To read more about the Gustavus championship game. visit the Gustavus Women’s Team page.

Goalies should not be shutout from coaching

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.

Read the article 

CGS co-sponsors Shutout Wall in Let’s Play Hockey

We are co-sponsoring the Shutout Wall again along with our partners from Brian’s Custom Sports.

The popular Shutout Wall appears online and in Let’s Play Hockey newspaper. Each year, hundreds of goalies are listed on the Wall after earning a shutout.

Know a youth hockey goalie who earned a shutout?

shutoutwallEmail the following information to editor@letsplayhockey.com: Goalie’s name, team name, level of play, opponent, shutout date, total saves, final score, mailing address.

Throughout the winter hockey season, some goalies will be randomly selected to win a souvenir from the Carroll Goalie School.

Also one lucky goalie who has had their shutout posted on the wall will be chosen to win a set of Brian’s goalie gloves.

Steve Carroll recognized by Minnesota Hockey for work with goalies

NOTE: Steve Carroll received the 2020 Ted Brill Award from Minnesota Hockey for his years of work developing goalies through various programs. Since the 2020 banquet was cancelled because of COVID, Steve was honored at the 2021
MN Hockey Awards banquet and presented with his award.

Here is the news release from Minnesota Hockey:

Steve Carroll grew up in Edina during a golden era of hockey in the western suburb. While Carroll started playing the game a forward, a local coach convinced him to play goalie full time after watching him between the pipes during a neighborhood floor hockey tournament.

The transition proved to be a good one as Carroll made Edina’s top Peewee team that year and led them to a state championship in his first year between the pipes. Carroll’s success as a goaltender was just getting started though. He went on to play three years of high school hockey under Willard Ikola, led Edina East to a runner-up finish at the Minnesota Boys High School Hockey Tournament his senior year and was inducted into the Edina High School Hall of Fame in 2005.

Carroll was recruited to play NCAA hockey for Minnesota State University Mankato (formerly Mankato State University). As a Maverick, Carroll played in four NCAA Final Fours, was a two-time All-American and was named the 1980 NCAA National Tournament MVP after leading his team to the 1980 NCAAA Division II National Championship. Carroll was selected as a top ten finalist for the inaugural Hobey Baker Award and ranked first on MSU’s Male Athletes of the Century list.

After his own playing career ended, Carroll began passing his knowledge and skills to the next generation of goaltenders as a coach, which he has now been doing at several levels of the game for over 20 years.

Carroll has been a part of the coaching staff of the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team for 20 years, helping the team win 15 MIAC championships and make 14 appearances in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

In addition to his success as a collegiate goalie coach, Carroll has helped pioneer goalie development programs with Minnesota Hockey. He developed the Dave Peterson Goalie Camp in 2005 in conjunction with the CCM High Performance (formerly Advanced) programs. Each year the camp brings together 50 of the top goaltenders from across the state for a weekend of training and development, and recently, it expanded to include a shooting camp for skaters.

The impact Carroll has had goes far beyond the kids he has coached directly though. He has been instructing coaches about goalie development at CEP clinics for many years, and he spearheaded the development of goalie coach workshops in Minnesota, which are now a part of USA Hockey’s Goaltending Coach Development Program.

Carroll has also been highlighting youth, college and professional goalies on Minnesota Hockey’s website for over a decade, including the popular shutout wall which features hundreds of shutouts from Minnesotans each year. The webpages showcase goalie development tips and opportunities and accomplishments at various levels by Minnesota goalies.

Carroll’s passion and dedication to goaltending has made an outstanding impression on hockey in Minnesota, and Minnesota Hockey is proud to recognize him with the 2020 Ted Brill Award.

Thank you, Steve, for all you have done and continue to do to provide goaltenders in Minnesota the best opportunity to have fun and succeed!

NOTE: Minnesota Hockey established the Ted Brill Award with great respect and fond memories of one of our most influential leaders. It is presented annually to an individual who has at least 10 years of service to any of the various player development programs (STP, HEP, High Performance/Selects, High School All-Star Series, etc.).

For a list of past recipients, click here

CGS to host clinics in Des Moines, Iowa

We will be the first goalie school at the sparkling new MidAmercan Energy Company RecPlex in Des Moines, Iowa, when it opens this spring.

“We’re are thrilled to be invited to bring our popular training programs to this unbelievable, state-of-the-art facility,” said director Steve Carroll, who is in his 27th year of offering weekend skill development programs. “Can’t wait to work with the goalies in the Des Moines area in their new arena.”

During the weekend of July 23-25, CGS will be hosting two clinics – Intro to Goaltending, Intermediate Skills. Sessions are for boys and girls, ages 6-14.

“I’m extremely proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” Carroll said. “We want the goalies to feel good about their game and feel good about themselves.”

The RecPlex facility is an all-in-one sports and events venue with the ability to accommodate anything from a hockey league tournament or soccer practice to school field trips, baby showers, concerts, community events, and much more.

Spots are expected to fill quickly. Book early for best selection at www.carrollgs.com

 

Wild hockey team celebrates 20th season

Note: Coach Steve Carroll was the editor of Let’s Play Hockey newspaper when the Minnesota Wild started playing in 2000. Here was at the X on the historic opening night and reflects on some of his memories from the early days of covering the organization. 

It seemed like it took forever for the NHL to return to Minnesota after the North Stars bolted from Bloomington in 1993.

Actually, it was only four long years before the league announced that a new NHL franchise would be located in the State of Hockey. The yet to be named club would call St. Paul its home.

A few months later, the team name was unveiled with great fanfare and the Minnesota Wild were born.

For the next couple of years, the organization worked hard at building community support and getting hockey fans ready for the return of pro puck.

And they were excited when it came time to welcome the NHL back. The Wild’s first regular season home game was Oct. 11, 2020 against Philadelphia. The game was played in the sparkling new, state of the art arena, known at the Xcel Energy Center. It was built on the site of the former St. Paul Civic Center.

More than 18,000 fans, many dressed in Wild jerseys, were on hand for the historic contest. As the managing editor of Let’s Play Hockey newspaper, I was among the large contingent of local, state and national media assigned to cover the game.

Before the puck dropped, I wandered the spacious concourses of the new facility. So much Minnesota hockey history and memorabilia to see. Included in that impressive display were replica jerseys from high school hockey teams across the state. A nice salute to an important part of our hockey culture.

As game time approached, I made my way to the Al Shaver Press Box, appropriately named after the long-time, legendary announcer for the North Stars. My assigned seat was a long way from the ice, but the large center ice video board and multiple TV’s nearby made it easy to follow the action.

The Wild skated to a 3-3 tie in home opener, with easily the highlight of the game coming from Richfield, Minnesota star Darby Hendrickson. He electrified the crowd late in the first period when he scored the first goal at the X in team history.

It was fun to interview Hendrickson and other members of the team after the game. They were all so excited about being part of Minnesota hockey history.

But as the inaugural season rolled on, wins were hard to come by for the new kids on the block. The team finished that first season with a record of 25-39-13-5. The 68 points they earned are second fewest in team history.

During that 2000-2001 season, local hockey fans also quickly became familiar the neutral zone trap, a defensive style of play made famous Jacques Lemaire, the Wild’s first coach. It meant for many low scoring games, with limited number of shots on goal by both teams.

While the system was designed to increase a team’s chances of winning, it made it particularly difficult to select the three stars after each home game, which was what I was often assigned to help with.

How do you pick three stars in a 2-1 game, where each team had fewer than 20 shots on goal? Did the goal scorers always get recognized? No, that didn’t happen.

What I learned to do was consider all the players for the three-star recognition, looking for the little things or intangibles they did during a game, in addition to the obvious goal scorers and stand-out netminders.

While I no longer cover the team, it’s been interesting to observe the strategies of the GM’s, styles of the coaches, and skills of the players through the years.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure, with some Wild teams doing better than others in their 10 playoff appearances. Wild faithful are ready for the organization to be a regular and legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

As the puck drops on the team’s 20th season, I’ll be watching on a nearby TV. Much like did in the early days.

It’s great to have NHL hockey back in Minnesota.

 

Coach Carroll interviewed on WCCO radio

It’s not often you get a chance to be in the radio talking about goaltending. But that’s what happened recently with WCCO’s Mike Max invited Coach Carroll be a guest on his nightly sports show.

They discussed a lot of topics including what’s the COVID break been like for goalies, what are some good off-ice drills for goalies to work on, what it takes to be a top goalie, how do goalies attempt to stop breakaways.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the link.