Point Edward resident and local goalie coach Paul Burgess will be heading to Dawson Creek, British Colombia for the National Women's Under-18 Championships that will be held from November 7 - 11, 2012.
Burgess a volunteer goalie coach with the Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) will travel with Team Ontario Red and Team Ontario Blue teams that are competing at the National Tournament.
His role with the OWHA is to work with the goalies on both teams to make sure they are prepared to play the games and to offer support to the coaching staff to give feedback for the best ways to maximize their goaltending for a short tournament.
The opportunity came after Burgess volunteer at the Under 15 Ontario Winter games camp held in Sarnia where he met the head scout of the OWHA Brian Hart. Since that time Hart asked him to participate at the U18 final training camp last season to go on the ice with both their teams as goalie coach.
His involvement with the Under-18 program began in May 2012 at the open evaluation camp in Mississauga where he spent 14 hours a day at the arena over three days over 2 weekends. Burgess ran on ice goalie sessions and evaluated their performance during the on ice scrimmages. At the evaluation camp the top 12 goalies were selected, then from there they narrowed it down to four goalies who will play for the two Ontario teams.
In final preparation for the upcoming Tournament in Dawson Creek, the teams met in Orangeville on Thanksgiving weekend for six practices.
With two teams in Ontario Burgess has no favourites. "I'm always cheering for the goalies," said Burgess "I'm not concerned about wins and losses I'm concerned about individual goaltending performances. Both teams are pretty well dead even. However the goal is to have Team Ontario Red and Team Ontario Blue competing in the final for the gold medal."
The National Under-18 Championship brings together teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 1995 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada Scouts who will be evaluating candidates for Team Canada that will compete at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship next January in Vierumaki, Finland.
With his participation with Team Ontario and the National Championships Burgess is able to expose himself to the highest level of hockey "I would love to work for Hockey Canada as a goalie coach some day." said Burgess as he is hoping that this tournament will showcase his coaching abilities and possibly work into a position with Hockey Canada.
Burgess passion his goaltending. As a youth he played goalie for Point Edward and went on to play for the Point Edward Comets and the Petrolia Squires. He been coaching goalies at all levels for 25 years. This season he is the goalie coach for the Sarnia Legionnaires and has worked with many other teams including the Sarnia Sting.
He turned his passion into a career and started his business, Paul Burgess Goalie Consulting that has been in operation for over six years.
Burgess is hesitant to take credit for helping any individual goalie succeed. "I have had a hand in helping many young goalies go on to the OHL and play University Hockey and also being selected by the NHL but many other coaches have helped along the way." Paul, gives the hockey player credit for his/her success. (Despite his hesitation to take credit, you can read several testimonials sent to him from previous students. http://www.burgessgoalie.com/Testimonials.html)
Parents are a big influence and he tells everyone that the good coaches have the good students.
"Single greatest attribute is to have the desire to play the position, then enjoy the position, after that hard work." is Burgess advice to young parents to help them decide if their child should play that position.
Burgess own daughter is now playing goalie "For the last three years she has asked me to play goalie. I know she has a desire and she tells me she loves being a goalie and she works extremely hard. Iím excited for her because of those three things I find."
"Good coaching can help but a desire and strong work ethic can take you a long way."
Paul and his wife Erica live in Point Edward and they have three children, Gavin 9, Peyton 7 and Easton 4. Paul will travel to Dawson Creek on Sunday and practice will begin on Monday for both Ontario Teams. For complete tournament schedule and more information visit the website by clicking on the following: Hockey Canada Website