1. Minnesota Hockey to purchase 300 sets of QuickChange goalie gear

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    St. Paul, MN – July 14, 2016 – The Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors voted unanimously to purchase 300 sets of QuickChange goalie gear through Total Hockey for distribution to all member youth associations in the state.

    Each of Minnesota Hockey’s 145 community-based associations will receive two sets of the gear, which are designed to provide all players the chance to try the goaltender position by easily pulling them on and off over standard player equipment. The order for all of the gear will total nearly $60,000.

    Consisimage003ting 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.”

    USA Hockey has placed an emphasis on the goaltender position, an initiative that includes the appointment of a Goaltending Development Coordinator within each affiliate. Edina native Steve Carroll was named Minnesota’s first-ever Goaltending Development Coordinator on April 7. Carroll is tasked with working with goaltending coaches throughout the state, as well as developing grass roots programs such as Try Goalie Days and goaltending clinics, in addition to implementing the QuickChange initiative.

    “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.”

    The QuickChange goalie gear will be distributed to Minnesota Hockey associations in November in order to be used for the 2016-17 season. Associations wishing to order additional sets should submit their order here.

  2. USA Hockey Launches Major Goaltending Initiative

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    By Jayson Hron – USA Hockey

    A first-time gathering of USA Hockey’s freshly appointed goaltending development coordinators, a group that will serve USA Hockey affiliates locally while also forming a nationwide network tasked with enhancing grassroots goalie development in the United States, was held recently in Plymouth, Michigan.

    Minnesota Goalie Development Coordinator in Plymouth, Michigan.

    Steve Carroll, Minnesota Hockey’s Goalie Development Coordinator, in Plymouth, Michigan.

    “Adding more resources and support for goaltenders, both on the national level and the local level, is a priority for USA Hockey and our American Development Model,” said Phil Osaer, USA Hockey ADM manager for goaltending. “The goaltending development coordinators will play an important role in that process, giving young goaltenders support and guidance from experienced coaches with a wealth of goaltending experience.”

    Each coordinator was nominated by a USA Hockey affiliate, a process that produced a sage group to lead the initiative.

    Steve Carroll was appointed to serve as Minnesota Hockey’s goalie development coordinator.

    Carroll starred at Mankato State University (now known as Minnesota State University, Mankato), backstopping the Mavericks to an NCAA Division II national championship in 1980 and earning national tournament MVP honors. He has operated his own goaltending school for more than 20 years, serving also as an assistant coach with the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team. Additionally, Carroll directs the Dave Peterson Goalie Camp as part of the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Program.

    The coordinators’ multifaceted duties will include educating local goalie coaches, meeting with clubs and associations to implement goalie training curriculum and leading USA Hockey’s student goaltending coach programs.

    In all, some 21 affiliates were represented at the summit including some – like Wisconsin, California, Mid-American, Michigan and Massachusetts – that tabbed multiple coordinators. Among them will be Brian Daccord (Massachusetts), who serves currently as a Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending consultant and worked previously as the Boston Bruins’ goaltending coach.

    During the event, the coordinators created a collection of goalie development practices and devised strategies for introducing more athletes to the position and improving their development opportunities.

    Summit presenters included longtime NHL and Team USA goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, who will cover goalie development in junior hockey, and USA Hockey’s Ron DeGregorio, co-chairman of the board, former Team USA goalie and a passionate advocate for goalie development, who will be on hand to open the event.

    For more information on USA Hockey’s goaltender development program, click here.

  3. Carroll Goalie School offers weekend camps in Twin Cities

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    The Minneapolis-based Carroll Goalie School (CGS) continues to grow and evolve as it enters its 22nd season of providing skill development programs for boys and girls.

    “We help goalies of all abilities take their game to new levels by building individual skills, techniques, athleticism, consistency and self-confidence,” said Steve Carroll, an Edina, Minn., native, who is lead instructor at his popular weekend camps that are offered in the summer and fall.

    Coach Carroll talking to the goalies at one of his camps.

    Coach Carroll talking to the goalies at one of his camps.

    Carroll uses his extensive experience to teach goalies what it takes to be successful. He shares his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the position with the goalies who attend his camps.

    “All of 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.

    “We’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders.”

    This year, the Carroll Goalie School is offering four programs: Intro to goaltending, intermediate skills, advanced skills and tryout tune-up. Ice times are scheduled at night and weekends at five arenas in Minneapolis-St. Paul including Braemar Arena (Edina), Eagan Civic Arena, Richfield Arena, Schwan Super Rink (Blaine) and White Bear Sports Center.

    Goalie parents like the variety of CGS programs because they realize that training under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff makes a significant impact in the development of their kids.

    “The Carroll Goalie School made learning advanced goalie skills fun for my son,” said David Reinsbach, from Shakopee, Minnesota. “The coaches ran drills I had not seen before at other goalie schools. They also made an effort to connect with all the participants.”

    Goalie mom Shannon Gulley agreed. “We came all the way from Alaska to Blaine for the camp and it was well worth the trip. Callaghan had a great experience, improved his skills and just reinforced his love of playing goalie. We are already planning on another camp.”

    And the goalies gain a competitive edge and thrive in the positive learning environment.

    “I would highly recommend the Carroll Goalie School,” said Katie Aafedt, from Edina, Minnesota. “My son absolutely loved going and is still talking about the coaches vs. goalies game they played every day at the end of the session. The goalies all worked hard the whole time but had a lot of fun with it along the way. We will definitely be back again!

    COACH CARROLL’S BACKGROUND

    Carroll is a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach who trains goalies at the youth, high school and college levels.

    As a goalie, Carroll won a State Peewee “A” title with Edina, participated in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament, played in four consecutive NCAA Division II Final Fours and won a National Championship while at Minnesota State, Mankato. He was a two-time college All-American and Top 10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Carroll has been inducted in the Minnesota State, Mankato and Edina High School athletic halls of fame.

    For more information, visit www.carrollgs.com.

  4. Woodbury goalie wins set for Brian’s gloves

    Steve Carroll  ·  
    IMG_4572 2

    L-R: Steve Carroll, Carroll Goalie School; Otto Altman, Brad Johnson, Brian’s Custom Sports.

    Woodbury, Minnesota peewee goalie Otto Altman was selected to win a customized set of Subzero gloves from Brian’s Custom Sports. Altman was fitted for his gloves and picked out the color combination during the 2016 Let’s Play Hockey Expo in St. Paul.

    His name was chosen from the hundreds of goalies who had their shutouts posted on the Carroll Goalie School/Brian’s Custom Sports Shutout Wall online at www.letsplayhockey.com and each week in Let’s Play Hockey Newspaper.

  5. Goalie masks a big hit at LPH Expo

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    At this year’s Let’s Play Hockey Expo in St. Paul, the Carroll Goalie School gave away hundreds of free paper goalie masks. The promotion was a huge hit as goalies of all ages grabbed a souvenir.

    Goalie masks were a big hit at the LPH Expo.

    CGS shared a booth with our partners from Brian’s Custom Sports. They had equipment on display and a sales rep who was available to answers questions about their innovative gear.

  6. Train with CGS in 2016

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    We are getting ready for our 22nd season of helping goalies improve their skills at our three-day clinics that are held throughout Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

    While a majority of the goalies at our camps are from Minnesota, we also have had a number of goalies from other states train with us.

    “We came all the way from Alaska to Blaine for the camp and it was well worth the trip,” said Shannon Gulley, from Palmer, Alaska. “Callaghan had a great experience, improved his skills and just reinforced his love of playing goalie. We are already

    Callaghan Gulley from Palmer, Alaska at our camp in Blaine.

    Callaghan Gulley from Palmer, Alaska at our camp in Blaine.

    planning on another camp next year.”

    And each clinic, we work on a variety of skating and movement drills before breaking into small groups to focus on game like save situations.

    “Carroll Goalie School made learning advanced goalie skills fun for my son,” said David Reinsbach, from Shakopee, Minnesota. “The coaches ran drills I had not seen before at other goalie schools. They also made an effort to connect with all the participants!”Group

    And then we typically finish each session with a game that the goalies really enjoy.

    “I would highly recommend the Carroll Goalie School!, Katie Aafedt, Edina, Minnesota. “My son absolutely loved going and is still talking about the coaches vs goalies game they played every day at the end of the session. The goalies all worked hard the whole time but had a lot of fun with it along the way. We will definitely be back again! “

  7. 2016 schedule available

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    I am excited to let you know that our 2016 schedule has been posted on our website and online registration is now open. You can learn more and register at www.carrollgs.com. 

    This is our 22nd year of goalie development excellence as we help boys and girls, ages 6-15, achieve success between the pipes!

    Coach Carroll talking to the goalies at one of his camps.

    Coach Carroll talking to the goalies at one of his camps.

    Our popular skill development programs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so I encourage you to register early for best selection.

    2016 CGS highlights include:

    • NEW and improved drills.
    • NEW intermediate skills session June 24-26.
    • NEW intermediate skills session Aug. 26-28.
    • NEW location – Braemar Arena in Edina.
    • Five convenient locations – Blaine, Eagan, Edina, Richfield and White Bear Lake.
    • Friday evening and Saturday, Sunday ice hours.
    • Two-day intro to goaltending session in June.
    • Three-day intermediate skills sessions in June, July, August.
    • Three-day advanced skills and tryout tune-up sessions in September.
    • Free Carroll Goalie School jersey.

    I look forward to helping your goalie improve their skills, consistency, confidence and overall game performance.

  8. Creating a New Comfort Zone for Goalies

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    Article courtesy of Minnesota Hockey

    At the elite levels of hockey, high quality goaltending is not only important, it’s practically a necessity.

    Everyone knows it too. The players know it. The coaches and team executives know it. And of course the fans and media are quick to point it out as well. The teams with consistently strong goaltending are seemingly always contenders, and anyone with a perceived weakness at the position is often discounted even if they have outstanding strengths in other areas.

    Yet, when it comes to youth hockey, goalies and their development aren’t given nearly the same emphasis compared to other positions.

    “Adults often coach in their comfort zone, spending countless hours on Russian circles, breakouts, systems and power plays while basically ignoring the development of their goalies,” said Steve Carroll, goalie coach in-chief for USA Hockey’s Minnesota District. “They hope that somehow the goalies magically improve and become that much-needed difference-maker in big games. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way.”

    “Coaches need to change the way they currently do business and work to make goalies first. They need to break out of their comfort zone, so goalie development becomes a priority and not an afterthought.”

    The first step for coaches is to assign a goalie coach for each team. Then, the designated goalie coach should educate themselves on how to teach skills and techniques and implement drills that are good for goalies into every practice.

    Start with Skating

    The biggest similarity between goalies and skaters is the importance of skating skills. In fact, one of the reasons USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey encourage associations to rotate goalies throughout Mites/8U is that it gives everyone the opportunity to develop a solid foundation of skating skills.

    “The most important skill goalies have to have is the ability to skate,” said Carroll. “We’re not talking about being the fastest skater but being able to go forward and backwards and side to side in a quick and efficient matter. They have to be able to get square to the shooter, and they do that by moving their feet.”

    In order to be successful, it’s critical goalies work during every practice on refining their three basic skating movements: C-cuts, shuffle and T-push.

    “Where a goalie needs to play in the crease area, dictates which movement they use,” said Carroll. “C-cuts are used to control depth, either forward or back. The shuffle is used for short distances laterally. To go long distances, maybe from top corner of the crease back to the post, goalies often use the T-push movement.”

    The Key to Staying Up

    With the popularity of the butterfly goaltending style in today’s game, you can walk into any youth hockey game and it won’t take long to hear someone shout “Stay Up!”

    The butterfly technique provides major benefits for goalies, but it can also be a disadvantage at times, especially at younger levels when goalies are smaller. Many goalies go down to their knees too early, leaving the top half of the net open. Then, they compound the issue by staying down in the butterfly too long.

    To Carroll, the key to utilizing the butterfly properly goes back to kids’ skating skills.

    “If they don’t have confidence in their skating skills, they don’t trust their ability to get up quickly when they need to,” said Carroll. “We teach goalies to go down with a purpose and get up in a timely manner with a sense of urgency.”

    Angle. Square. Depth.

    A key part of goaltending is positioning. The world’s best goalies nearly eliminate the need for acrobatic saves by using elite skating skills to maintain proper position for every shot.

    “As players get older, where they play in the net becomes crucial,” said Carroll. “We talk about being on their angle, being square to the shooter and controlling their depth.”

    “When teaching it, we show goalies what it looks like when they play a shot in the slot from the middle of their crease. Then we show what it looks like when the same goalie takes a c-cut forward to the top of the crease. The simple movement reduces the scoring area dramatically. In most cases, we want goalies to play at the top of the crease.”

    Stop the Puck, Don’t Block It.

    Being in the right position doesn’t necessarily mean goalies will make the save though. Goalies must learn how to watch the puck carefully in order to anticipate shots, make saves and control rebounds.

    “If you watch a goalie, you can tell pretty quickly whether they’re tracking the puck just by watching their head,” said Carroll. “There’s a lot going on in the game, and some goalies think that just by getting their body in front of the puck is doing their job. In some cases, that works, but a lot of times they need to go to the next level and use their eyes.”

    By tracking the puck with their eyes, players are able to go from simply blocking the puck to actively making saves. This allows them to add details to their game such as deflecting pucks into the corners, catching pucks to eliminate rebounds and getting in position quicker if they need to make a second save.

    “Once kids figure out how important the eyes are, the game becomes so much easier,” said Carroll.

    For additional tips, drills and videos on goaltending, visitwww.usahockeygoaltending.com

  9. CGS helmet on display

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    Always fun to see the Carroll Goalie School helmet that’s on display at the Wild restaurant in Terminal 2 of the Minneapolis-St. FullSizeRender 4Paul International Airport. Others helmets on display include those worn by NHL’ers Don Beaupre and Bob Mason.

  10. State tournament memories

    Steve Carroll  ·  

    Here is a copy of the article I was asked to write for this week’s edition of Let’s Play Hockey newspaper.

    I had the opportunity to play goalie in the eight-team state hockey tournament during my senior year at Edina-East High School in 1977. We had a good team that season. In fact, 14 of the 18 players on the playoff roster would go on to play either NCAA Division I or Division II hockey.

    steve at Edina 001

    An Edina East teammate backed into Coach Carroll during the 1977 state high school championship game against Rochester John Marshall.

    In the section finals, played before at a near capacity crowd at the Met Center in Bloomington, we knocked off our cross-town rivals from Edina-West 6-2 to advance to state.

    The 33rd annual tournament was played at the St. Paul Civic Center, the historic old arena that featured the clear dasher boards.

    The talented tournament field included Rochester John Marshall (22-2), Mounds View (23-1), Hill-Murray (22-2), South St. Paul (18-1-5), Minneapolis Southwest (15-7-2), Edina-East (22-1), Grand Rapids (19-3-1) and Roseau (23-0). The record of the tournament qualifiers was 164-17-8.

    In the opening round, we played the late game on Thursday night against Neal Broten, his brother Aaron and Busty Erickson from Roseau. The Rams were ranked number one in the state, we were second.

    I seem to recall there some sort of pre-game mix-up as both teams took the ice for warm-ups wearing their green jerseys. We eventually made the switch to our white sweaters and it was time to play.

    I remember the ice was soft, the lights were bright and it was hot in the Civic Center. There was a also standing room only crowd of 17, 409, which, at that time, was the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game in Minnesota.

    A majority of the fans in the building were pulling for the northern Minnesota school, except for a couple of sections in the corner where the Hornet faithful were seated.

    I was so excited to be there – achieving a goal I had been dreaming about since I first strap on the pads.

    But I was also nervous, playing on such a big stage, in front of a record crowd and with thousands more throughout Minnesota watching the game on WTCN-TV with announcers Joe Boyle and Lou Nanne.

    Once the puck dropped, I couldn’t wait to make my first save. After that, I was able to settle down and focus on the task at hand.

    It was a back and forth contest with both teams exchanging excellent scoring chances.

    Teammate Bret Bjerken broke the scoreless tie a couple minutes into the third period. Another Hornet tally a few minutes later sealed the 2-0 victory.

    That set-up a semifinal showdown against the two-time defending state champions from Grand Rapids. Their team featured a number of future Division I hockey players including University of Minnesota Head Coach Don Lucia.

    This game turned out to be a shootout from the opening face-off. Grand Rapids built up a 4-2 lead in the second period before we came storming back with four straight goals to take the lead in the third. Grand Rapids added one late but we hung on to win it in electrifying fashion 6-5. Current Michigan Tech Head Coach Mel Pearson scored two goals in that game for the Hornets.

    With the win, we advanced to the finals to face Rochester John Marshall, a team we did not know a whole lot about. But what we did know was the squad from southern Minnesota could put the puck in the net and had one of the best goalies in the state in sophomore Paul Butters.

    Rochester’s Scott Lecy scored on a breakaway 36 seconds into the title game and the upset was on. The shots on goal were lopsided in our favor but we couldn’t get the puck past Butters. The Rockets pulled away in the third to score a 4-2 upset win.

    Even though our team lost in the championship, playing in the state tournament was a wonderful experience and something I’ll never forget.

    And if I need a trip down memory lane, I can pop in a DVD and watch the games from that memorable March some 38 years ago.