Cannon firing for skills in net

Randy Cannon wants to improve goalie talent in Cayman. 

Cannon, 28, has plans to host another free goalie camp at Kings Sports Centre this year. The Canadian said local hockey players need more position-specific training. 

“The feedback for the goalie school from parents and coaches has been great,” Cannon said. “I’ve had different people approach me at Kings to say thanks and they’re excited to let me know how their goalie’s game has improved. So, based on that, I’ll likely look to set up another camp in maybe September or October when the youth season starts up again after the summer break. 

“I felt the goalie school was really needed as it is a position that many coaches don’t understand correctly so the goalie isn’t taught the skills or given the attention that players are during practices,” he added. “Most coaches design drills for player development and then simply tell the goalie to get in the net and stop the puck. 

“I designed this camp to compensate for that lack of development, help goalies play better and hopefully have more fun playing this crazy position.”  

Cannon, who hails from Prince Edward Island, recently led a four-week camp at Kings that attracted about 15 youth players in the 13 and under age group. The sessions worked on goalie-specific skating and positioning, including techniques such as the butterfly save. Joe Allom and Andrew Hastings were the star participants with Scott Hughes, Dylan Bostock and Jeremy Olynik serving as instructors. 

Cannon is no stranger to hockey circles, as he is arguably the best goalie in Cayman. He has won several roller hockey and ball hockey titles, even topping both disciplines in the same year, with his most recent triumph coming with the Burger King Gamebirds in 2012. Those accomplishments helped spur Cannon to give back. 

“On a personal level, I really benefited from a programme like this when I was a young goaltender in Canada,” he said. “I later worked at that same goalie school and became a goaltender coach for two elite hockey teams back home. 

“It was amazing to see the improvement of goalies I coached and wanted to get back into that again,” he added. “Since moving to Cayman, I’ve had the opportunity to represent the country at the World Ball Hockey Championship and it really feels good to be able to give back to the hockey community here in Cayman. 

“I would just like to thank the people who helped make this camp happen – the instructors, the players who volunteered to shoot during the drills and Kings for allowing us to split the floor with the learn-to-skate programme time slot, so that I could offer this to all goaltenders free of charge.” 

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