Goalie and Defence position development camp (SWZ U15 and U18)

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The SW Zone Hockey Association is once again pleased to offer a 10-week progressive Goaltender and Defenceman Development Camp, facilitated by Nathan Dempsey Hockey Advantage and instructed by Blair Falkner (Vimy Hockey Goaltending Instructor and teacher) and Nathan Dempsey (NHL alumni defenceman, Vimy Hockey Campus Director and Director of Nathan Dempsey Hockey Advantage). Details of the camps and instructors are below.

Camp times & dates Terwillegar B Arena 

Camp 1 - Oct11 - Feb21 - 7:30PM-8:30 PM



A1 WED 10/11/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A2 WED 10/25/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A3 WED 11/8/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A4 WED 11/22/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A5 WED 12/6/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A6 WED 12/13/2023 TCB 19:30 20:30
A7 WED 1/10/2024 TCB 19:30 20:30
A8 WED 1/24/2024 TCB 19:30 20:30
A9 WED 2/7/2024 TCB 19:30 20:30
A10 WED 2/21/2024 TCB 19:30 20:30


Camp 2 - Oct11 - Feb21 - 8:45PM-9:45PM



B1 WED 10/11/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B2 WED 10/25/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B3 WED 11/8/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B4 WED 11/22/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B5 WED 12/6/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B6 WED 12/13/2023 TCB 20:45 21:45
B7 WED 1/10/2024 TCB 20:45 21:45
B8 WED 1/24/2024 TCB 20:45 21:45
B9 WED 2/7/2024 TCB 20:45 21:45
B10 WED 2/21/2024 TCB 20:45 21:45


About our instructors 

Lara Ruppell

Lara has been teaching as a member of AAD at Donnan School since 2007 where she originally started as a teacher in The Hockey Program and later joined the Sport Fit Program in 2011 as the Program Director.  Lara is a University of Alberta graduate from the Physical Education/Education program and was a member of the University of Alberta Pandas Women’s Hockey Team, winning 4 National Championships in her 5 years as well as numerous Academic All-Canadians and Canada West All-Stars. Lara is a Hockey Canada HP1 level certified coach and has been coaching female hockey for over 20 years including Team Alberta, Sherwood Park Midget AAA Fury, Edmonton Bantam AAA Lightening and was the assistant coach of the MacEwan University Women’s Hockey Team from 2010-2022.  Lara has played many sports both recreationally and competitively since graduating from University as well, she returned to the U of A in 2016 to complete her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and competed in Canada West Golf for the U of A during her Masters. Lara is currently instructing in the Hockey Program and teaching junior high at Vimy Ridge Academy.

Travis Rolheiser

Travis has been teaching for the past 10 years, and currently in the Hockey Academy at Vimy Ridge. He has worked with multiple local minor hockey teams and programs, with a specific focus on goaltending development. Prior to getting involved in coaching and development, Travis played at the AJHL, WHL, ACAC & USports levels, winning both league and national championships along the way.
Sam Fix

Sam is a graduate from the U of A, with an Education degree. He is currently working at Vimy Ridge Academy in both the hockey program and golf  program.  Sam has worked with local minor hockey teams and organizations as a skills instructor and evaluator. He also dedicates most of his summer running golf academies as a PGA of Canada Golf Professional.

Blair Faulkner 

Blair started his goaltending career in hockey while growing up in Lloydminster, AB ... From there, he played for the Regina Pats and Tri City Americans of the Western Hockey League, the Lloydminster Blazers (now Bobcats) of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League . Blair is a teacher at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton, where he works with Vimy Hockey and specifically Vimy Goaltending. He is also a member of the MacEwan women's hockey coaching staff and coaches goaltenders, performs evaluations for minor hockey organizations in and around the Edmonton area.

Defenceman development sessions will focus on:

  • Individual skill development: Agility, footwork, backward skating, pivoting, passing & shooting.
  • Individual defensive tactics: How to defend a 1 vs 1, 2 vs 1, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 2, gap control, breakouts, shot-blocking, stick check, body contact and more.

About Blair Faulkner
Currently Living in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Blair is a teacher at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton, where he works with Vimy Hockey and specifically Vimy Goaltending. Since starting at Vimy Ridge Academy in 2013, Blair has utilized the OR Sports method of goaltending instruction. In addition to this, he also coaches goaltenders and performs evaluations for minor hockey organizations in and around the Edmonton area.

Goalie Development Sessions:
1- Movement
2- Efficiency
3- Technique
4- Consistency

  1. Progressing through and practicing the proper technique for movement throughout the crease, allowing the goaltender to be square to the shooter with feet set in the most efficient way possible. Leading with stick and hands, keeping chest square to shot, utilizing necessary t-push, shuffle, or step depending on the situation. Drills will be designed to allow goaltenders to work on fundamentals of movement to reduce time spent moving and allow for quick and square positioning.
  2. Goaltending continues to evolve. It is important goaltenders are able to combine their unique style of play with an approach that suits today's game. Drills will be designed to teach and practice moving and setting up as efficiently as possible. This includes a selection of depth in the crease and foot movement to help facilitate sound positioning.
  3. A goaltender cannot move properly if they have deficiencies in their basic set up. Instruction will be provided to encourage fundamentals within the goaltender's basic stance and movement to reduce and eliminate these deficiencies. This includes feet and hand positioning and chest angle to the ice.
  4. By establishing a good foundation of proper stance, efficient movement, and being technically sound, a goaltender will develop more consistency and confidence in his/her game. Also, through this instruction, the goaltender will continue to develop the ability to critique and address deficiencies in their own game so that growth can occur throughout the season and not just when a goalie coach is present.

All of the goalie development sessions will combine the above skills and will be set up in a way to cater to a goaltenders’ ability. Younger goalies will focus more on fundamentals while older and more advanced goalies will work on more specific habits and skills. A focus will be placed on "teaching" rather than just drills and reps. Goaltenders need to know why they are practicing certain skills and then have an opportunity to practice and have their movements corrected and praised through quality repetitions.

For all questions, please contact Director of Player Development, Stewart Sim at development@swzhockey.ca