By @MichaelCaples –
FARMINGTON HILLS – The Farmington Hills Ice Arena was a busy place during the last weekend of August.
On one rink, the Michigan Hockey Advancement (High School) Top 80 Showcase took place. On the other, there were a whole bunch of goalies.
The netminders invaded FHIA for the MAHA Girls Select Goalie Camp, a Friday-through-Sunday camp full of on and off-ice training for some of the top young goalies in the state of Michigan.
“The concept of this came from Manon Rheaume being at our international girls’ goalie development camp and she came back from that wanting to provide Michigan goalies with a better training environment and bring them together to give them a national camp experience in a shorter format,” said Livonia native Phil Osaer, USA Hockey’s American Development Model manager for youth goaltending programs. “That was the basis of it, so what we did was we collected coaches from around our area, good coaches to give our girls different viewpoints on their game and then also inform them and kind of educate them on different things as far as goalie development, what our national team looks for from girl goalies and then build Michigan girl goaltending camaraderie, as well.
“We wanted to get our girls together and let them compete with, learn and work with each other and know we’re all part of the goalie nation as one, particularly within MAHA.”
Osaer, Rheaume and former Red Wings goaltender/Fox Sports Detroit analyst Darren Eliot were just some of the goalie minds helping with the camp.
“I think there was a lot of good takeaways,” Osaer said. “I was really impressed with the girls’ attitudes and approaches and their ability to adapt after instruction, which was great, and I think that we have a lot of good athletes and some goalies with really bright futures. One of the things we talked to them about is that it’s up to them and they have to be accountable for their own development from now on.”
The USA Hockey goaltending leader wasn’t complaining about making the trip home, either.
“It’s great, it’s something I’m fortunate to get to do a lot of around the country, but it’s extra special to be on the ice with MAHA and girls who are living the youth hockey experience in Michigan like I did when I was a kid,” Osaer, a former Ferris State goaltender, said. “It’s always fun and I love when I get a chance to do it and Michigan is extra special so it was a lot of fun to be on the ice with them.”