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ThatCarGuy

Why Goalie?

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I've been asked this question by a lot of friends and parents lately and thought it deserved a thread because I wanted to see how everyone else got started between the pipes. 

When I was around 3 years old my parents left to go on their trip (I forget where). Luckily, my grandmother from Maryland happened to be in town so she baby sat me while my parents were gone. My parents had a delay getting home so my grandmother got me an early birthday present, skating lessons! Keep in mind my parents had no idea about any of this. It took some persuading to get me on the ice the first time (ice cream was involved) but once I was on there I apparently didn't want to come off the ice! Side note: according to my parents I was better at skating than walking at the time. My first skate was also with unsharpened blades.(I will attempt to find a picture)

Fast forward about 6 years.

As a mite I participated in my rink's "Jr. Oilers" Program (our select team was called the Dallas Oilers) where every kid on the mite team was encouraged to try out goalie. After everyone had tried it once, they let those of us who were still interested take the extra turns. Eventually I was the last one interested so I became designated goalie on that team. The year after that I was approached by the 10U Dallas Oilers to play for them for a discounted price! (they didn't have a goalie). During that time on the select team guys like Marty Turco (once) and Mike Modano (twice as well as several game visits) came out and helped with our practices.(I will attempt to find a picture)

Since then I've always loved the precision and athleticism that being goalie requires, and to an extent I loved the pressure.

That's my story, now let's hear yours!

-T

My apologies if this thread had already been done.

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My first year of organized hockey, I was in first grade.  The level of hockey was known as "Peanut" back then.  I started out as a right winger.  6 or 7 games into the season and our goalie was terrrrrible (our team was terrible!)  and did not want to play any longer.  Our coach, Cliff McNabb, asked if anyone wanted to play goal.  I said "my older brother is a goalie and I play goal in street hockey all the time"  I have never played anything BUT goalie since that time.  Coach Cliff became a life-long friend as was always one of my biggest boosters as I made my way through hockey.  I miss the long talks I used to have with him.

RIP Mr Cliff McNabb

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I actually have a good story, which I've written about before:

The first hockey game I ever attended was a Devils/Sabres game in December of 1995 — I was 7. My father was able to get some great tickets from a business client, and the seats were about 4 rows back from the visiting team's net. For 3 periods, I watched Martin Brodeur and Dominik Hasek flop, stack, snag, deflect, dive, split, and kick their way to a 0-0 tie (the only in Devils history). Both goalies had 37 saves, and years later, I would read that they actually sawed the game puck in half, each keeping one for their own collection. Before that night, I had no notion of what hockey goaltending even was, but my little mind was blown. I left the game feeling positive that playing hockey goalie was the coolest thing on the planet, and that was what began a life-long passion. 

It was only after I started playing in goal that I learned my father had once been a goalie. He did not play long at all, nor was he good — he admired Ken Dryden and Eddie Giacomin as a young man, and I believe he randomly signed up to be his high school's backup goalie without any hockey experience. But his parents (who were, shall we say, not of the sporting world) thought it was too dangerous, and forbade him to play. The last time he played was when he snuck out one morning to go to practice, and my grandfather showed up later and called him off the ice in front of the whole team. I guess my father never brought it up because it was still a sore subject. Anyway, we were not a hockey family up until I expressed interest in playing — we never watched it, no street hockey, nothing. Attending that Devils/Sabres game was just a random treat right before Christmas. I always thought it was so cool that both my father and I gravitated towards the position, all on our own, without anyone influencing us. I don't believe in fate, but sometimes it feels like it was meant to be...

As a side note, my father was able to get those seats again over the years, and he would give me his digital camera to take pictures of the goalies. I still have a small photo album of goalies from ~1998-2000. Brodeur, Cujo with Toronto, Thibault with Chicago, and Aebischer with the Avalanche are the ones I recall. I ought to scan and upload them to my computer someday, they're really cool (if not well-composed) pictures. They represent some really special memories with my father, and they still make me smile. 

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i was messing around w my dad using my younger brothers street hockey equipment for fun , was told "you should be a goalie" and so i said sure, was given all the gear for xmas, learned how to play

Fast foward 2 years and i have fully caught up to my age and am trying out for my school team this spring

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I grew up next door to Texas and we had the Dallas Fox Sports channel on TV, where I had the pleasure of watching Andy Moog, Eddie Belfour, and Marty Turco in net.  All of these goalies had amazing masks with awesome gear and I was hooked.

Started out playing street hockey and we used a folding lawn chair as our goal and a tennis ball as the puck.  I wanted to stand in front of the chair and be like Belfour.  It was a lot to do with gear and masks, for sure.  I love art work and have always been attracted to it....masks, paintings, tattoos, etc.

Playing goalie also fits my personality and my mentality.  I'm a bona fide introvert, rather introspective, self-sufficient as best I can be, and enjoy individual personal responsibilities and pressure to perform. 

It just made sense as an extension of all these things.  I sorta see playing goalie as an individual sport stuck in the midst of a team sport.  That works for me perfectly.

I eventually joined a roller hockey league and instantly played goalie, using my Walmart Franklin street hockey gear.  I was really terrible with that stuff.  Occasionally I was able to borrow another kid's gear and when I did, i played really well.  I decided I needed gear as a 15 year old, but my family was too poor to afford it.  So, I got a job at a grocery store and saved every penny I could to buy gear.  Eventually I had enough and when I did I told my boss that I was quitting.  When asked why: "Because I don't need any more money.  I'm gonna play hockey now."

That next season I tried out for the All-Star team of my league and made it, as the 3rd goalie.  Got to be sponsored and travel to tournaments all over and it was wonderful. 

Been playing goalie and buying new gear ever since.

Edited by seagoal
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I grew up playing hockey as a skater. Spent all of middle and high school as a defenseman. Went in the military after HS and my base had a team that I joined and they moved me up to center. Playing for the base and mens league in town was always a center. Took 10yrs off because I kept getting moved around (and because of life). When I had the chance to start playing again, wanted to do something different than what I'd done before so thought goalie would be fun (was right). The last three years I've been skating in one division and goalie in another.

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I don't have a special story, I just was always a gear head since childhood.  Everything I was into..goalie, playing the drums, racing dirt bikes...the more gear involved, the more I obsessed over it. 

Looking back 30 years at my 8 year old self, those were the posters you'd see on my walls... and its actually kind of cool that after all this time the same things dominate my life and now my bank account.  

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1 hour ago, jayluv54 said:

I don't have a special story, I just was always a gear head since childhood.  Everything I was into..goalie, playing the drums, racing dirt bikes...the more gear involved, the more I obsessed over it. 

Looking back 30 years at my 8 year old self, those were the posters you'd see on my walls... and its actually kind of cool that after all this time the same things dominate my life and now my bank account.  

Did you check into AA meetings with your obsession? :rofl:

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18 hours ago, ThatCarGuy said:

It took some persuading to get me on the ice the first time (ice cream was involved)

The year after that I was approached by the 10U Dallas Oilers to play for them for a discounted price! (they didn't have a goalie). During that time on the select team guys like Marty Turco (once) and Mike Modano (twice as well as several game visits) came out and helped with our practices.(I will attempt to find a picture)

My apologies if this thread had already been done.

I'm 47 and I still need some ice-cream persuasion to get on the ice...or is it beer? ...i forget...

You need to change your username to "DiscountGoalie"

Yes, this topic has been covered before, but we forgive you.

I became a goalie because I enjoy robbing people of their potential goals and making them miserable. I'm a fun guy.

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15 hours ago, jayluv54 said:

I don't have a special story, I just was always a gear head since childhood.  Everything I was into..goalie, playing the drums, racing dirt bikes...the more gear involved, the more I obsessed over it. 

Looking back 30 years at my 8 year old self, those were the posters you'd see on my walls... and its actually kind of cool that after all this time the same things dominate my life and now my bank account.  

Big boys, big toys.

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Well i was he same as most, my dad got me skating as soon as i could walk.  played out until pee wee when i threw in the towel and started officiating.  did that until i left for post secondary.  took about 10 years off then started playing on a local rec team as an out player.  as you can guess my skill level was pee wee so i look like a goof out there and i started to get frustrated.  my third year the goalie we had previous years couldn't commit and the team was going to fold so i stepped up.  only reason i even considered it was i had started in net for my local sledge hockey team and had a  blast.  the switch has brought back the love of the game and the fun factor has gone through the roof!!!  it seems to fit my personality as well like most others have said.  i also love coming here to see whats going on whats new and more then a few laughs.

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I started playing goalie when I was 5 or 6.  My dad was the radio announcer for the Syracuse Crunch and I went to every practice and game I could.  During that time I fell in love with all the gear and stopping players shots.  I was lucky enough to be able to skate with the Crunch at times and be around the locker room.I loved watching Fleury play for the Pens and he's my favorite goalie and now since my dad is the radio announcer for the Blue Jackets I've met him a couple time and have talked with some amazing goalie which also has made me love playing the position.

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I think I was born in gear... wanted to be a goalie ever since I can remember.  Been playing since Novice.  Was usually always the only goalie on our team.  

But why??? Why not... I'm sure we're all a little weird/crazy for playing the position

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Well, unlike some of you guys playing hockey for a long time I haven't.  I came from Israel, a hot country where I played soccer and basketball.  I came to Toronto at the age of 11 and I fell in love with hockey the first time I saw it.  Obviously I saw the Leaf and Felix the Cat Potvin caught my attention, I sorta wanted to be like him if that makes sense. 

I made some friends, played street hockey growing up, bought street gear to play in net, took it with me to school too and guys started noticing me.  It was crazy to play ice hockey though, my parents thought I'm crazy haha and well maybe so did I.  I continued playing road hockey, played football and baseball too on some teams but not ice hockey.  Fast forward 15 years later maybe, I was walking and saw some ice.  Got myself a pair of skates and started skating, I was better than I was when I was 16 skating, heck I couldn't stop.  I started to take 10 skating lessons with full equipment, playing in lower level hockey as a player (Mind you I'm like 27-28 now)...couldn't do much but some assists BUT it was time to maybe be what I wanted to be....a GOALIE!!! My dream. 

During xman vacation we rented some ice, and I borrowed my team goalie equipment.  It felt like crap due to the sizing and I still felt sorta weird.....BUT I said screw this I'm getting goalie equipment.  I slowly started playing, lots of pickup, and got into leagues.....now playing about 8 years in net, and I play on one of the highest levels.  I learned everything from videos, suggestions, and zero coaching.  I love it, I'm 37 now and started late but I play all year now due to missing so much time when I was young because I didn't I the chance and being scared that I won't be able to play again. 

Edited by mr_shifty1982
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Moved to Dallas at the age of 5 back in '93. As you fellow Texans know same year the stars moved down.  According to my Dad ever since I could stand I had a stick in my hand.  Played lots of street hockey and never really cared for goalie then.  Our house was THE house in the neighborhood, at any given time we had 3+ kids over and for the most part we either played soccer, hockey or football.  Due to all the kids always being over my dad got us some street goalie gear, some Koho Roy replicas.  A guy my dad knew from work told him about some inline hockey near Denton and that the U10 teams were hurting for goalies.  We made a trip up there and he said hes not even sure why we kept showing up cause and I quote, "You were terrible, but somehow were still having fun".'  So I played house league and other that season my dad realized street gear wasn't going to cut it and we pieced together some gear, all I remember are brands not models.  Some all black Itech glove/blocker and some red/blue brains.  During this time I was skating out on ice, with the occasional our goalie couldn't make it I had gear so I played in net kind of scenarios.

Ended up playing for travel teams in inline, team names changed more then the team itself, Hat Trick Hockey Center Labeda Cavaliers and Fierce Cucumbers (Larry the cucumber from  are the 2 I remember but I know there was at least 2-3 more names. Played for the u10/u12/u14 during this time and traveled all over Texas and to NY and Vegas for tournaments.  We won state multiple times, keep in mind it is still only Texas hockey in the early 2000s and inline at that so its not like we were all that good. 

Long story short my grades slipped and dad being the responsible guy he is said im not paying if your grades don't come up....they didn't (stupid on my part) so I stopped playing till a little over 3 years ago (I'm now 30)  I regret every moment I didn't play but I am so glad to be back in net.  I love being in a position that can literally change the out come of a game.  I'm one of those goalies that if its a 5 on 0 I should still make the save which also feeds into the love I have for being the difference maker.

TL:DR started in net due to dad knowing a guy, I sucked, got better, played till 14ish stopped due to grades.  Started back up 3 years ago, BEST DECISION EVER!!!!

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The Canadian way...

Mini sticks in the school yard back in the day... took it to the streets by night >>> started playing ice hockey >>> got a chance to borrow our current tendy’s gear and play... never looked back.

Still going hard... right till the wheels fall off.

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Similar to CG35, I started out with mini sticks and street hockey. I actually didn't play hockey at all until 2nd year novice (playing forward). My brother is 2 years younger and he started right from first year of mites (or whatever the heck they call it now). He's one of those naturally gifted athletic types who is usually a standout in whatever sport he plays, so he was always ahead of the pack in hockey and a lot of that had to do with putting in a lot of hours away from the rink. We lived 2 blocks away from an outdoor rink, ended up having a small rink in our back yard, and street hockey games were a very regular occurrence in our town as well. So naturally I ended up being the guy he practiced against, that's where it all started for me. I slowly developed a fascination with goalie equipment. I got a couple opportunities to play net late in my first year of hockey. Didn't do well, but I was still hooked. I was able to borrow equipment from our minor hockey organization (it was junk!) to take in a goalie school the following summer. I split time 50/50 in my first year of atom, then about 40/60 in second year because suddenly the coaches kid decided that he wanted to be a goalie too despite myself and the other goalie both being pretty solid. First year peewee was pretty average. Second year I made our AA team despite being fairly undersized (started the season at 5'0" while most others were a half foot taller than me). I had a decent enough season, but I choked bad at the worst possible times and it really had an impact on me. Wasn't mentally tough enough for the position back then, so I quit.

Got asked to play rec 6 years ago because their goalie supply was inconsistent. So I started playing both net and defense again. It was around a 50/50 split initially, but it seems I'm playing net a lot more the last few years as we've lost a few regulars for drop in hockey and the guys we have gained have really unpredictable schedules.

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