EYECANDYAIR was able to catch up with a member of our goalie family
Nick Lockhart from Hampshire, UK
To do this special exclusive one-on-one interview!
ECA: What inspired you to be a goalie?
NL: I was in the British Army until 2004 and retired after my last tour to Iraq. The military doctors were recommending that everyone threw themselves into some kind of sport when they got home rather than going on leave to drink beer for 6 weeks! My girlfriend took me to watch a local ice hockey match and I started from there!
ECA: How old were you when you started?
NL: I learnt to skate at 31 and started hockey about 6 months later! It's fair to say that I strapped the pads on and dragged myself to the crease. It was probably about 3 weeks before I managed to stand upright long enough to catch the puck!
ECA: What is the highest level you have played?
NL: Somewhat against the odds, I've managed to play regular shifts on Adult AAA teams (civilian and military). I don't know how this translates, but our US and Canadian players say it's roughly AAA High School level.
I split my time between AA / AAA and Recreational (beer) teams although in recent weeks I've been lucky enough to train with our local Pro team (think IHL / ECHL level hockey). A majority of the guys are circuit players from the USA Fort Wayne Komets, Bakersfield Condors etc. It's been a real eye-opener for sure!
ECA: Did you ever have a goalie coach?
NL: Technically I haven't. I've read allot - but much of it's been trial and error out on the ice. I have managed to get some time with one of our local goalies (an ex- Bakersfield Condors guy) and that's been a great help if only to realize what problems I have!
Ironically, I am now coaching our junior women goalies about 6 in total. Two in particular have been GB Women's goalies and have represented the country on several occasions since.
ECA: What style of goaltending do you play?
NL: LOL....I play my own style! (Although I'm more Mike Palmateer "epileptic-fit" than Martin Brodeur "cool"). I guess that I do what I can to stop the puck mostly because I lack the basic training which characterizes most US and Canadian players. It's forced me to use my initiative and I've never been conscious of a stand-up-butterfly-flopping-whatever!
A back-ground in rugby means that I enjoy the physical aspects of the position - and the occasional football tackle never goes a miss. Poke-checking should be re-classed as a martial-art!
ECA: How many times a week do you play?
NL: Between two and three times a week. Most teams are short of goalies, but my job doesn't allow me to do much more. I also play in the UK Military Tournament once a year.
ECA: What are your strengths?
NL: Good core strength and game awareness. I think it stems from my military background.
ECA: Care to add weaknesses?
NL: Slowish glove hand and a tendency to rush the dekes.
ECA: Who is your favourite NHL goalie?
NL: Current NHL'ers would be Martin Broduer (for his skills and personal approach to the business of hockey). People say that he's boring - although I believe that he's become the "consummate professional" and should be remembered as such.
Everyone else in the NHL seems to be of the same "goalie-mould". It's not a criticism, but in my heart-of-hearts, I'm more interested in the "characters" than the results. The people who make me smile are the old school guys - Mike Palmateer especially. He genuinely looked like he was making it up as he went along....and you still find yourself holding your breath in anticipation when you watch him!
ECA: What type of gear are you wearing?
NL: Always Battram gear! Scott and David produce well made, inexpensive equipment. It's easily customized and they embody the heart and soul of the traditional "local hockey business". The multi-national firms make me shudder. Their gear is very good but it's become soulless and robotic over the years
ECA: Do you have any game superstitions?
NL: I try to be a grumpy as possible. And coffee. Lots of coffee.
ECA: Any advice to other goalies out there?
NL: It's never too late. Play your own game and never take it seriously.
ECA: Anything else you'd like to add?
NL: Never let anyone tell you that you are too old to play hockey! Try to look like you know what you're doing!
ECA: Anything else you'd like to add?
NL: Working with EyeCandyAir was a delight! Obvious design competency aside, it was a pleasure to work with genuine and enthusiastic people. The design work was fantastic - and the project management was both professional and reassuring.
Nick, 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 and enjoy your EYECANDYAIR custom painted goalie mask!
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