GOALIes: Ice Hockey and Lacrosse





I’m currently playing for the George Mason University Patriots. Just completed an undefeated season. 


. Boy are those kid great players. It was a ball.


Going to have to make a big decision next year between going to Juniors or College. Unfortunately, hockey is one of the only sports you cannot play in college straight out of high school, at least at a larger University. I have been offered Division 2, but attending a larger college is more important. 


I played 18-AAA for the jersey Shore Whalers and NJ TitansU-16 AAA Midgets for the 14-15 season, while being a am alternate on the USA Hockey District team. In the ‘15 summer I was fortunate to play with a bunch of great players out of the OHL and Prep Schools at Princeton University. . For 15-16 I am being Prospected to the Jersey Shore Wildcats Jr A in the NA3EHL. 

Text Box: My name is Matthew Benjamin. My friends call me Benj. Yes, I’m a goalie. There is no better feeling when you come up with an amazing save that stuns the crowd, both teams and even yourself a little. It’s a high that is unmatched. I play both High School Hockey and Travel Hockey as well as High School Lacrosse and Travel Lacrosse. Yes, goalie in both sports. The cross training between hockey goalie and lacrosse goalie is an excellent mix. 
 I have been playing goalie in Hockey and goalie in Lacrosse at varying levels for about 14 years. I am also certified as a Level 3 USA Hockey Official. The various sports will always tell you to play multiple sports, but then they make each one a year round event. It does get difficult, but playing different sports actually helps you play each one better. Be an athlete not a player.  
One of the hockey teams I played for was fortunate to win the Silver Medal at the USA Hockey US Nationals. We made it back to the US Nationals two years later, but only went 2-2. It was a great experience as the team finished 46-14 –2. My claim to fame, I have never lost a hockey game at the USA Hockey Nationals. 
I have been fortunate to be on hockey teams that have won one Bronze and three Gold Medals at Can Am Tournaments.  In one game I was awarded an assist on the Championship, game winning goal in triple overtime. What a thrill. I have also won the Goalie Shoot out  at Can Am. 
I am a big fan of Marty Brodeur, heck he is the best ever, but there are a lot of great American born goalies playing in the pros. 
They will tell you, you need to be big to be a good goalie, hogwash. I a 5 ‘10”, 145 Lbs and can play with anyone.  In Lacrosse, they go by graduation yrs and not birth, and although there are times I am 18 month younger I still can beat the best. As a high school Lacrosse goalie I have a 68% save percentage and as a travel lacrosse goalie I have over an 82% save percentage.  Playing goalie in Ice Hockey is a little different as I usually have about a 93%+ save percentage.  

For 2015-16 I have been Prospected to the Jersey Shore Wildcats of the NA3EHL.  I’m currently playing for the Jersey Shore Whalers U18-AAA. 

Goaltending at a higher level comes done to a few very basic things. Footwork, Positioning and mental awareness. Footwork is hands down the single most important thing. It builds conditioning, speed and sets you up for positioning on secondary shots. Practice boxes and boxes and boxes. Know where the pipes are without looking. Positioning is basic math and angles. The days of flashy goalies is over. If your flashy, you were probably out of position. Mental Awareness, is the hardest to learn. It encompasses the whole game, from the rules, to how you conduct yourself, how your teams acts and plays and where everyone on the ice is located at all times. You are the quarterback on the ice. Only you can see what is behind your players. 
Use YouTube videos to get ideas and incorporate that into your team practices. If the coach leaves you alone, push yourself with these drills. I also use FuturePros George Bozak. Great coach. Coach George is now also the goalie coach at Princeton University.  
A great book for all starting goalies is:”Goaltending” by Jacque Plante. It is an old book but still talks about the basics. Yes they played the stand up style back then, but the its about the basics. 
Want to be a great goalie: Footwork, Footwork and more Footwork. The best goalies have fast feet, and good angles. Its all math. Gloves and sliding are simple to learn, footwork speed and angles are the art of goaltending. 
I prefer Vaughn Goalie pads, gloves, pants and check protection. Moved to a Bauer 990 helmet, the other 3 broke, and Graf skates. Sticks are a big issue. I love the SubZero but they only last a week or two at AA and AAA level, great balance and flex. They need a deeper curve.  Out of cost, I switched to Warriors new stick. 
Now my little bother is playing keeper in both Ice Hockey and Lacrosse. 
My Father has played goalie and coached goalies since before we all wore facemasks. He let me try out  his old fiberglass mask and Cooper GM 21 goalie glove. Boy have things changed. 
When I compare my Vaughn’s Goalie equipment to an old set of Leather goalie pads, it gave me pause to appreciate all the rigors that the “old goalies” put in for me to play today. 
Don’t worry about winning, its about self improvement. If a player yells at you, hand him your gloves and stick and sit on the bench for a shift.  It will not happen again. 
Whether playing Lacrosse or Hockey goaltending  it is :
“All about frustrating and denying the shooters. :)) “
Playing Lacrosse Goalie is both similar and completely different than playing Goalie in



They give you the Silver Medal, you have to earn the Gold Medal”.—MBB

My Little Brother in the net at Mites on Ice NJ Devils Game

Former NJ Devils Scott Stevens and Jim Dowd shooting at me

Squirt B Hockey, where the fun starts

Squirt B Hockey, where the fun starts

Living your dream, and don't let anyone tell you ,you can’t. Its not how good you are but how much you enjoy it. 

2013 USA Hockey Nationals Group 3

Teaching the next generation of goalies is some of the most enjoyable times you will spend on the ice or in the locker rooms.


I’m now a Level 3 Official and  I still enjoy  officiating the younger kids.

Some of my Lacrosse Videos from High School and Travel Lacrosse.

George Mason University Ice Hockey Undefeated Season


Best USA Goalie Pads

"We goaltenders tend to be very proud bastards." ~ Gerry Cheevers

"Goaltending is a normal job. Sure! How would like it in your job if every time to made a small mistake a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you." ~ Jacques Plante

"There is no position in sport as noble as goaltending." ~ Vladislav Tretiak

"Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through." ~ Jacques Plante