Weekend and evening clinics in Minnesota and Iowa

Sometimes goalies don’t get a lot of training during the winter months. So therefore, what they do during the off-season becomes increasingly important as they strive to elevate their game to new levels.

That’s where the Carroll Goalie School comes into play. Since 1995, we have been helping boys and girls build their individual skills and boost their confidence in a safe, challenging and upbeat learning environment.

“I’m extremely proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said director Steve Carroll, a Minnesota goalie development leader who was a Hall of Fame goalie at Edina High School and Minnesota State Mankato. “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 offers four programs including – Intro to Goaltending, Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills and Tryout Tune-up.

Clinics are scheduled in the early evenings and on weekends during June-September. Ice times are at six Minnesota arenas including Braemar Arena (Edina), Eagan Civic Arena, Richfield Arena, Super Rink (Blaine), St. Michael-Albertville and the TRIA Rink in St. Paul, which is the practice facility of the Minnesota Wild.

We will also be offering two weekend clinics (Intermediate Skills and Intro to Goaltending) in West Des Moines, Iowa in July. It will be the first goalie school held in the new MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex, a one-of-its-kind multi-sport facility opening this spring.

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.

“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 goalie parent Shelley Peterson from 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.”

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 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.”

For more information, visit

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


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.


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 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 gear from the Carroll Goalie School and/or Brian’s Custom Sports.

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.

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.



Make plans to train with us in 2021

We are excited to once again be offering a series of clinics in 2021, which will mark our 27th consecutive year of providing these training opportunities.

“I’m proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said director Steve Carroll. “Goalies who train with us improve individual skills, confidence and take their game to new levels in a safe, challenging, and upbeat learning environment.”

The CGS staff teaches goalies what it takes to be successful. They share their wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the position with the participants.

Coach Carroll at teaching at 2020 clinic in Edina.

“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.”

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.”

Nikki Woodard, LaCrescent, Minn., said “This is our second year in a row coming to CGS and each year I walk out more happy. We go to a couple camps a year and CGS is by far my daughter’s favorite to go to.”

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.”

2021 CGS Highlights

  • Nine clinics – most held on weekends in June, July, August and September
  • Six ice arenas – Super Rink (Blaine), Eagan, Braemar (Edina), Richfield, St. Michael-Albertville, TRIA Rink (St. Paul)
  • Four programs – Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills, Tryout Tune-up and Intro to Goaltending
  • Complimentary Carroll Goalie School jersey
  • For boys and girls, ages 6-14

Minnesota Hockey honors Coach Carroll

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 Coaching Education Programs (CEP) 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!

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

Link to article about Coach Carroll in Edina Sun Current newspaper.

Helping goalies get ready

After a long break, we are back on the ice for our 26th straight year of helping goalies get ready for the upcoming hockey season.

We have weekend programs scheduled in August and September at Edina, Richfield and St. Michael-Albertville. Programs include Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills and Tryout Tune-up. There are limited openings in these sessions. Reserve a spot for your goalie at

The health and safety of our participants, parents and coaches continues to our top priority. So when we return to the ice, everyone will be expected to follow the new safety guidelines set by the CDC and the State Health Department, which includes social distancing guidance for youth sports activities.

Minnesota Hockey has developed some return to ice guidelines.

Each ice arena has also developed their own return to ice guidelines that CGS participants will be expected to follow. We are have developed our own return to ice guidelines. We will share this information with parents/participants prior to each clinic.

If you have any questions, please send an email to

Miracle in Mankato happened 40 years ago

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.

Read story on The Rink Live

Coach Carroll played four years at Minnesota State Mankato.

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!




Coach Carroll offers goalie development tips

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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