Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Goalies Need to Face Shots to Remain Focused on Goal

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Goalies Need to Face Shots to Remain Focused on Goal

Article excerpt

Dominating a high school hockey game comes with its perks. There are more goals for the forwards, less stress for defenses.

And then there's the goaltender. They face fewer shots when their team dominates, yet it's not always a perk.

"I'm an ex-goalie," Ramapo coach Lee Barber said. "And growing up I hated playing in games where you faced [a few] shots, because you get cold, and you get bored, and your mind starts going."

Goalies are built to face a flurry of shots. It's their natural state, in which their mind and body remain ready to fulfill their purpose: Make sure that puck stays out of the net.

But when minutes pass without a goalie facing a shot, new sets of challenges emerge.

"I'd rather face 50 shots than five," said Ramapo sophomore goaltender Chris Raymond. "I'd rather face the action."

Raymond is not alone. Every North Jersey goalie who was asked told The Record they'd prefer a barrage of shots over facing a trickle.

The reasons are many, starting with the body.

"You get cold," said John Kapoian, Mahwah's sophomore goaltender. "And when you are cold, those breakaways become really important, because if you let them in, it ruins the game and takes down my save percentage."

That's why goaltenders are in constant motion and typically skate to the side when there's a stoppage in play. It helps them stay loose, and warm.

More importantly, it's part of a routine that helps goaltenders stay in the moment.

Every goaltender knows the importance of staying engrossed in each game, even if they're not a major part of it, because a scoring chance can come at any time. The methods of staying focused, however, differ greatly. In his playing days, Barber used to give each game its own soundtrack as he watched the action from his crease.

"If you're in a game where you're not getting a lot of action . …

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