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Goalie Quote of the Week

A warrior is worthless unless he rises above others and stands strong in the midst of a storm." 

-Yamamoto Tsunetomo


Entries in atom (6)


Pats and Congrats: CHBA Wings Atom A Win Amherst Bluenose Tournament

UE Motto: Be a Warrior!It seems like I can't keep up with the accomplishments of our teams, as I get tournament highlights into my inbox every week.

Here is a great little story of two 'tenders that delivered the goods for their team at the Amherst Bluenose Tournament.  Jack Howie, second-year Atom vet, and his goalie partner Rylan Schneiderman, a first-year up-and-coming rookie.

The kids had a tough time securing a spot to the elimination round, but an outstanding effort by Jack Howie to tie, 2-2 gave the Atom A's the needed pointed to secure a spot in the finals.

Rylan came out calm and collected to beat Sackville, NB's team 7-0 to win the gold.

Both boys are continuing to perform well throughout the regular season.  Jack is a solid goalie with amazing fundamentals.  Smaller in stature than most, he understands the game and knows what he has to do to play "big".  Rylan is a dynamic and aggressive goalie.  With gymnastic-like flexibility and "in-your-face" goaltending style, he knows how to mix it up to keep the opposition shooters guessing.

Way go, coaches and crew!!

Atom A Wings survive and then strive in the Jungle!!


Pats and Congrats: Dartmouth Whalers Atom B at PEI Southside Lynx 2014 Invitational

One of the earlier tournament results of 2014 that I have to mention on the blog is the terrific result of the Dartmouth Whalers Atom B team in P.E.I.  The boys took home gold in a strong effort where both the goalies excelled.

Gavin Fitzgerald (1st year atom) and Connor MacMillan (2nd year) put together a 5-0 record, all the while shoe-horning the tournament with some great Central Minor Hockey game results.

A well-earned tournament victory!!

Gavin is deep into his 2nd year of goaltending and has come along beyond my high expectations.  He continues to work hard and show his passion for the game.  So much so, that he even took on the added burden of playing goal for one of the local ringette teams.  He may be one of the few goalies that is on the ice more than I am!!

Connor was a new goalie to me.  I had a couple chances to work with him last year in the well-attended Whaler goalie developments sessions, but I didn't have much one-on-one time with him.  This year, working with the Atom B team of the Whalers, has given me a lot of opportunities to work with this great little netminder.  He has a great attitude and work ethic.  In addition, while he is still picking up the fundamentals required of modern goaltending, he has so much natural raw ability and desire, I know that he will continue to skyrocket in "goalie skill".  

Both boys have become a great tandem and terrific friends which goes to show you how important and rewarding a strong goalie partnership is.  It's been a pleasure working with them and I hope we have many years of development together!!

Congrats to two "Monster Goalies!"



Pats and Congrats: DWMHA Winner of "Fair Play Player of Year" Award

I missed this newsworthy item from one of my local minor hockey associations, so I wanted to make sure that one of our young goalies from Dartmouth was properly recognized for his accomplishment.


Cole Bunge, a young and up-and-coming goalie for the Whalers Minor Hockey Association won the "Fair Play Player of the Year" Award.  What I really feel this award shows is how even a goaltender can take on the role of a team's leader.  Often the image of a goalie is an athlete who is seperate from his team, whether by choice or by design.  Many who take on the role of a goalie are excused for not exactly "fitting-in" with their team.  Cole has demonstrated that the goalie can be a positive and influential leader for their teammates.  I hope to have more goalies inspired by these awards to step up and out of the shadows to grab the reins of leadership.

The award itself was an admirable recognition for players (and goalies) that exhibit the following criteria:

  • Consistent positive attitude
  • Supportive to teammates
  • Strives to improve
  • Behaviour consistent with Fair Play principles
Cole, who played on the Atom A Whalers, was selected by the Whalers Executive Board as the 2012-13 winner for Atom Rep. Attached is a photo of him being presented with the award by Whalers Atom VP Paul Hollingsworth.
Way to go Cole and I look forward to seeing what you can accomplish in the future season!!


Goalie Feature: Martin Chandonnet, From Dartmouth to Ottawa

The other day I was pleasantly surprised to have an email in my inbox from the mother of a young goalie with whom I spent a lot of time the season before last.  I was very excited to get an update from Suzie, the mother of Martin Chandonnet.  Martin played for the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association in the 2011-12 season at Novice Advanced level under Ken Cormier.

I was very lucky to be called to help kickstart his training that year and after the season was finished, both Martin and I had spent a lot of time on the ice working on his already well-established skills.  When I first met him, Martin was bringing a lot to the table with great athletic ability and the makings of a dandy down-game.  He was able to slide using the butterfly as well as any goalie his age at the time.  He also was starting to use the backside edge (or shimmy) pretty effectively as well.  Anyways, we had a lot of opportunity to work on those things and add a few more skills to his golf bag of tricks during the six months together.

Just as things were getting interesting with Martin, Suzie dropped the news that they had to move to Ottawa for work that summer.  I was saddened to say the least to see a young promising goalie leaving the stable.  Martin was starting to have the makings of major contributor to the Dartmouth Whalers program by being a great netminder for years to come.  I had to choke down my disappointment and I bravely wished both Martin and his family the best of luck in the nation's capital.  I knew that the hockey in the city would be terrific, as I lived and loved the city for four years in my youth.  The myriad of hockey playing opportunities in snowiest capital city in the world would be broad and with Martin's skills and passion for the position, I knew he'd find a place and team to settle-in with very quickly.

I was not wrong at all, after reading Suzie's email update.  After arriving in Ottawa, Martin went on to make his Atom Minor "A" team, the highest level available in the hockey systems in Ottawa.  His great season during the winter impressed the locals so much that he ended up playing for the Ottawa '67 AAA program in the spring.  

Suzie also just sent me a new update that Martin made the oversize roster for his Atom Major "AA" for the new upcoming season.  The team's tryouts and roster gets finalized in August.  Way to go, Martin!

I know from myself and all his old teammates and coaches from the Whalers organization that we wish him the best of luck and are proud of how he has represented the Maritimes in the big city.  Good luck, MC!




Gauntlet Dropped: Matty Savage story of perseverance

I like to catch up with as many of my goalies as possible throughout the season, but many times, due to work obligations, planning issues, and uncooperative team or tourney schedules, it is not possible.  As a result, I sometimes have to get a whirlwind summary of a goalie's season while watching them play a couple periods of hockey.

I was able to catch up with Matt Savage and his mother at the SEDMHA tournament a few weeks back.  Matt, at the beginning of the season, had what some would have called a setback in his playing career, but others, like myself, would consider a challenge.  While Matt started his first year in Atom at the B level, he had high expectations to make the jump to "AA" for the 2012-13 season.  Tryouts being what they are, found Matt left behind to do another season in "B".  It was, of course, easy to sympathize with Matt's dismay and shock, but he immediately put his passion for the game above his hurt feelings.

Always a hard worker and real battler, both in drills and games, Matt took on the role as the only goalie on his team to take on a leadership position of a young and inexperienced group.  The team had mixed success throughout the season, but Matt delivered strong performances every game to give his team a chance to win.  Their hard work and Matt's stalwart attitude and veteran goalie ability finally vaulted his team to the gold medal podium at the Gary L Wentzell tournament in Bridgewater.  The final game was a tightly fought 3-2 victory and it put a satisfied smile on Matty's face.

Matt took the situation of playing Atom B again as a challenge to improve, not only his skill, but his on-ice presence and leadership abilities.  He is a model that "no year is a step back, unless you let it be one".  Focusing on the important elements of his game during the season and thinking about his own long term plans, Matt is setting himself up to tackle future seasons with confidence and hope.

Matt knows that there are more challenges ahead for him as he will make the big jump to Pee Wee next season.  Every age-category move is always difficult, especially for a goalie as they must contend with many different elements.  Being the "passive" position that it is, adjusting to the speed of the play and quickness of the shots of older kids is always a hurdle.  But Matty is one to take this head-on.  He is determined by nature and not one to rest easy until the task or drill is finished.  I expect him to make improvements to his conditioning and his game over the summer, so he'll be a real contender next season.

Keep up the good fight, buddy!!