Puck play must be incorporated into your practice planning, whether your goalie is good at it or not.

Whether your goalie is like a third defenceman, or you’d prefer they do not roam from their net at all, coaches need to develop a guide/system for their defencemen and goalies.

Laura Bellamy, Associate Head Coach with the University of Minnesota-Duluth women’s hockey team, knows a lot needs to go into exchanges between goalies and their defencemen, regardless of how active goaltenders are with the puck.

“We want our goalies and Ds to be speaking the same language,” said Bellamy, during her 32-minute presentation from the College Hockey Inc. Virtual Coaching Clinic. “The best thing to do is have a simple system…when pucks are on net, you ask both Ds to fan out and the goalie is the eyes.”

Bellamy’s presentation begins by going in depth on pucks on net, using numerous examples using game footage, before she dives into different types of wrapped pucks, again using game clips. She finishes her video by explaining how to incorporate puck play into your practices, and naturally includes practices drills.

How has Bellamy become such an authority on goaltender puck play? By learning it first hand between the pipes.

Bellamy, who will enter her eighth season at UMD in 2022-23 and fourth as an associate head coach after four seasons as an assistant to UMD bench boss Maura Crowell, enjoyed a four-year goaltending career (2009-13) with the Crimson, posting a 60-25-7 record, a 1.82 goals against average, a .915 saves percentage, with 19 shutouts (the second most in program history) in 95 liftetime appearances. As a senior, she paced the nation in goals against with an average (0.92) and ranked second in saves percentage (.949) en route to landing All-Ivy League first team accolades.  

Since trading in her skates for a spot behind the bench, Bellamy helped lead the Bulldogs to their second-consecutive NCAA Frozen Four appearance for the first time in over a decade in 2022. In the process, Bellamy was the 2022 recipient of the Women’s Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Award by the American Hockey Coaches Association, a national award that recognizes the career body of work of a women’s assistant hockey coach.

This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.

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1 comment

  • An extremely valuable insight to utilizing & giving confidence to a tendy in that it gives a team one more player/option to possess the puck and advance the play. Thanks!

Laura Bellamy

Laura Bellamy finished her sixth season at UMD in 2020-21, and second as an associate head coach after four seasons as an assistant. Bellamy helped the Bulldogs make their first NCAA Frozen Four appearance since the 2010 season; UMD finished the COVID-19 challenged season 12-7-0 with a .688 winning percentage, its highest since the 2016-17 NCAA tournament season. In six seasons at UMD, Bellamy has help guide UMD to an overall record of 100-79-20, including a WCHA postseason record of 10-8 and two NCAA Tournament berths.

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