Defending the Net With Michigan State Hockey

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If the red light behind your net is flashing as frequently as the Blue Light at Kmart, you're not getting the job done.

Michigan State senior netminder Jeff Lerg takes offense when somebody trips his light, especially during the most important part of the season—tournament time. In eight NCAA tourney games, he's compiled a minuscule 1.62 GAA—sixth best in the NCAA record book.

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If the red light behind your net is flashing as frequently as the Blue Light at Kmart, you're not getting the job done.

Michigan State senior netminder Jeff Lerg takes offense when somebody trips his light, especially during the most important part of the season—tournament time. In eight NCAA tourney games, he's compiled a minuscule 1.62 GAA—sixth best in the NCAA record book.

According to Spartan S+C coach Mike Vorkapich, you're not standing in front of the net just to take up space; you have to react effectively and move in different directions to be an elite defender like Lerg. "Most of the agility drills we do are based on getting a good push off while moving in all different directions," Vorkapich says. "[So] you can cover from the left post to the right, and [defend] the entire crease."

To help the Spartans extinguish the red light, Vorkapich has his goalkeepers perform an on-ice agility drill that extends their range across the crease. They perform Goalie Range twice a week during the off-season.

Goalie Range
• Start at Point 1
• Push to Point 2
• Push to Point 1
• Push to Point 3
• Push to Point 1
• Push to Point 4
• Push to Point 1
• Repeat pattern continuously for specified time

Sets/Time/Rest: 4-5/30 seconds/60 seconds
Adaptation: Switch the order and add new points on the crease
Coaching Points: Keep your back flat, knees bent, and head up and in a ready position throughout the drill // Go from point to point as fast and as explosively as possible // Make sure to work your edges when pushing off the ice

For more hockey training tips, check out the Hockey Channel on STACK TV.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock