Training the stoppers

Coach Jim Sidwell works with goaltenders Jeremy Amaral and Harrison Crossen, who play with the London Junior Knights’ AAA program

With the high level of training for forwards and defensemen at Snipe Academy, people sometimes forget that the goalie training at the facility is also top notch. And the netminders who are benefiting from high-quality instruction range from new goalies learning the position to members of the London Junior Knights’ AAA program.

Goalie training at Snipe provides players with the same opportunities as shooters, giving them the chance to work on the fundamentals of the position – but without the expensive cost of regular ice time.

“The synthetic ice is great for many reasons,” says Karl Robb of Snipe Academy. “It gives goalies a chance to work on knees to feet recoveries, because the surface is hard to slide on. This is an important skill, because recovering to your feet allows goalies to take up more net, have their edges for explosive lateral movements, and adjust depth if they need to.”

It also gives goalies more save options (‘keep your feet, keep your advantage’). There is a time and a place to use ‘knees to knees’ (butterfly shuffles/butterfly slides), Robb says, but often goalies overuse these movements.

Meanwhile, goalies at Snipe Academy also work on tracking pucks in and following rebounds (with efficient movements and good visual attachment), as well as practicing shots along the ice and deflecting pucks into the corners, out of harm’s way. The goalie program at Snipe is powered by Stonewall Goaltending Academy, which is one of London’s most popular on-ice goaltending schools.

“Goalies can even work on their shots too, putting in reps just like the other players,” Robb says. “Hockey is starting to use goalies not only to stop the puck, but sometimes to act as a third defenseman.”

Snipe’s weekly classes, which run at 8pm on Wednesday and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday, give minor hockey goalies the opportunity to train in a small group setting. The Academy also offers private sessions for those interested. To learn more about Snipe, visit:

Submitted by Snipe Academy