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Hockey School
the professorGoalie equipment

What's included: Many components, from pads — leg, shoulder, elbow — to a mask to special skates. One of the common misconceptions is that all goaltenders are giants. Some are, but many are average-sized players under a heap of equipment that covers virtually every area a puck may hit.

goalieWhat goes where?: The biggest pieces are the leg pads, made of leather and synthetics. They run from the knee down to the skate and have a special indent to flow around the laces. On the goalie's stick hand, is a blocker, a flat, boardlike piece of leather that lays on top of the stick. On the other hand, is the catcher glove, similar to a first baseman's. The common mask has a plate that fastens to the back of the goalie's head. That plate has straps that roll around to the front of the mask. Most also have a plastic throat guard.

How have times changed?: Goalie equipment has changed, maybe more than skaters’. Headwear has gone from the standard, white mask in the 1970s to the helmet-and-cage look in the 1980s to the half-cage, half-mask look today. Also, artwork is much more sophisticated on the masks, and more and more team colors shine through on the pads as well. The legs and hands used to be covered with the faded brown-leather stuff. Now designs, from stripes to initials to stars, are the norm.

The lingo: The leg pads are known as “pillows.” The blocker is referred to as the “waffle.”
– Compiled by Tim Sullivan
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