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N is for Netminders North - Sudbury's Secrets

Sudbury has a year-round goalie school tucked away in an unlikely location, an industrial strip mall. Netminders North Goalie School is located on Elm Street, across the railroad tracks from the farmerÂ?s market.
Sudbury has a year-round goalie school tucked away in an unlikely location, an industrial strip mall. Netminders North Goalie School is located on Elm Street, across the railroad tracks from the farmerÂ?s market.

The school was started by Bruce McDougall in 1988 and has operated out of the downtown location for the past three years.

McDougall and his staff (coaches include Matt Cooper, Robbie Murdoch) provide one-on-one coaching on an 18 x 12 foot ice surface that simulates the goalieÂ?s play area. Classes are 30 minutes each and are by appointment only. Classes start at $35 for half an hour.

McDougall, 39, who played university hockey, saw a need for a goalie school in Sudbury, because most goalies donÂ?t get the specific attention they need.

Â?We teach goalies how to play net from basic stance to reading and reacting to plays,Â? he says. Students are also taught how to skate.

Â?It is hard to skate with goalie equipment on,Â? he says. Goalies Â?need to get from point A to point B quickly.Â?

McDougall is coach of the Copper Cliff AA Novice Team, who won the Nickel District championship and the Northern Ontario title. His son, Christopher, plays goalie on the team.

He is proud that eight of his students have made it to professional ranks. Two graduates have played at the NHL level.

But McDougall says he is just as proud of students who have learned discipline in sports and become successful in their careers or studies.

Last summer he had a female student from Australia who learned about the school on the Internet. This summer a student from Hong Kong will take classes.

Netminders North runs summer camps out at the T.M Davies Arena in Walden. Intense classes will be offered from Aug 12 to 16; and regular classes, which are not as intense, will be offered from Aug. 19 to 23.