EYECANDYAIR was able to catch up with a member of our goalie family
Brad Fogal from Newmarket, Ontario
To do this special exclusive one-on-one interview!
ECA: What inspired you to be a goalie?
BF: "I'm not really sure. I think every little kid wants to try and be a goalie. It's the gear I think. We get to wear and look the coolest. I guess I got kinda good at it so I just stuck with it."
ECA: How old were you when you started?
BF: "Oh.. I think I was in Minor Novis. What ever age that is? "
ECA: What is the highest level you have played?
BF: "Well I'm playing Jr "A" right now for the Newmarket Hurricanes. As of now this is the highest level I've played at continuously."
ECA: Did you ever have a goalie coach?
BF: "I didn't for the longest time. Well really until last year to tell you the truth. Right now I use 2 coaches: Steve Davis and Greg Redquest. For me, they bring 2 different teaching strengths aspects to the table. By combining them I've been able to excel at my current level."
ECA: What style of goaltending do you play?
BF: "Well I would say I play a pretty clear cut butterfly style. I like to think of myself as a very aggressive and well positioned tender. Not being that big, being in positional the time and square to he puck helps to make up for my size. I try to make myself as wide as possible in the process."
ECA: How many times a week do you play?
BF: "I'm on the ice probably a safe 6 times a week between games and practices."
ECA: What are your strengths?
BF: "I would consider my speed to be my biggest strength. Followed by my ability to challenge aggressively and stay square at all times, seldom do I find myself so out of position that I can't recover. I tend to play the puck a lot and seem to have gotten pretty good at it. I would consider it as one of my stronger strengths."
ECA: Care to add weaknesses?
BF: "Not really. Hahaha. Sure, why not. I tend to over play shots and give shooters more credit then they deserve. Frequently I react too quickly to a puck and over play/react to it."
ECA: Who is your favourite NHL goalie?
BF: "Marc-Andre Fleury: Great style, very fast, flex-ability is unreal and has the good attitude off the ice with the media and such. Not to mention his recovery time and awareness to the puck is top notch.
Justin Pogge: Not yet an NHLer but soon will be. Very impressive at the World's this year. His cool, calm nature and over all style blew me away. He always knew where he was in the net extremely square to every shot, made it look easy and ask any goalie and they'll tell you. When some one makes it look that easy, they are on their game."
ECA: What type of gear are you wearing?
BF: I'm an Eagle guy through and through. Well let's start from the bottom and work up:
ECA: Do you have any game superstitions?
BF: Superstitions? Not really. I get into groves where I won't change what I'm doing but really nothing I HAVE to do before a game. I put my left pad on first and say a little prayer to myself before the puck is dropped at the start of the game and I put my mask on. The weirdest thing people have told me that I do is I'll wet almost all my gear before I put it on. I can't stand dry stiff gear. I keep most of it in my bag or under my stall so it can't dry completely between ice times. I keep a little spray bottle with my gear at all times, just incase it does dry."
ECA: Any advice to other goalies out there?
BF: "To the parents: Don't buy your kids pads that would fit you. Buy them something that they are going to able to move in. I hate it when I go out to a goalie school or see a little kid with pads on that would fit me and all he can do is go down and stay down.
Young Tenders: Lateral movement is so key at any age but for you young guys and girls. Nothing will help you improve more. The butterfly style is great and very effective, also very easy to learn. At almost all your goalie schools they will teach you some sort of butterfly technique. This is all good as long as you can get to the shooter and square up so you can go down in your butterfly. Next time you watch a NHL game watch the goalies feet and the way he moves with ease and speed. That takes lots and lots of practice. Always, always, always take time out to work on you lateral movement and net awareness. You don't have to be big to play this position, but you do have to be smart and willing to work hard to improve."
Brad, that was so much fun! Thanks for taking time to chat with us and share your goaltending experiences and thoughts for all to read.
Best of luck on the ice!
If you are a member of the EYECANDYAIR family and would like to be a featured goalie, please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org