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A new challenge: A goalie's transition from the ice to the turf

04/08/2014, 5:00pm EDT
By Brent Hollerud

MNSwarm.com writer Brent Hollerud recalls what it was like to suit up with the Swarm

The routine started the same way it had hundreds of times before. I find a corner spot in the locker room to accommodate my behemoth of an equipment bag, and tug on my knee-high socks before slipping into my skin-tight athletic pants and shirt. The next step was stepping into my bulky goalie pants, but after that, all familiarity fell by the wayside. Instead of putting on a pair of skates and strapping on a set of pillow-like leg pads, I put my Nikes back on and pulled two giant hard-plastic pads out of the bag, which were akin to a super-sized version of your typical rollerblading shin guards. After struggling to find out where all the various straps and buckles belonged, I tossed on the chest protector, jersey, gloves and helmet and began making the walk to the tunnel.

            Donning the mask was nothing new to me, I have amassed over 17 years of goaltending experience on the ice, at the youth, high school, junior and collegiate levels. But on this night the situation was something entirely different; instead of stepping onto a fresh ice sheet, I walked onto the cushy green turf at Xcel Energy Center, and instead of dealing with slap shots I had to find a way to get in front of bounce shots. A week after bringing the idea up to the Minnesota Swarm coaching staff on a whim, my pipe dream was about to come true. An hour before the Swarm were scheduled to begin their practice at The Hive, I was making my debut as a box lacrosse goaltender–an experience I wouldn’t soon forget.

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Tag(s): Minnesota Swarm