Steve Thompson, of Alaska Goaltending Academy, leads a drill for goaltenders at Treadwell Arena in February 2017. Thompson is celebrating the “Try Hockey Day” on Saturday with a free goalie clinic on Mendenhall Lake. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Steve Thompson, of Alaska Goaltending Academy, leads a drill for goaltenders at Treadwell Arena in February 2017. Thompson is celebrating the “Try Hockey Day” on Saturday with a free goalie clinic on Mendenhall Lake. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Hockey goalie guru hosts outdoor clinic

The clinic falls on USA Hockey’s ‘Try Hockey Day’

A one-of-a-kind hockey demonstration is coming to Juneau this weekend.

Alaska-bred coach Steve Thompson will be holding a free one-hour goalie clinic Saturday on Mendenhall Lake. Thompson, USA Hockey’s Pacific District Goalie Coach-In-Chief, said he wanted to do something special to celebrate “Try Hockey Day,” slated for Saturday, and thought of a skating adventure he took while in Juneau in 2017.

“We skated and went through the ice caves and from that point on I was like, ‘I want to do a goalie clinic on that glacier one day,’” Thompson said via cellphone on Thursday. “That is just something that is unique to the world.”

Thompson is the founder of an Anchorage-based company specializing in goalie instruction, Alaska Goaltending Academy, and also coaches part time with the U.S. women’s national hockey team. The Anchorage native played competitive hockey through college — spending four seasons on the Alaska Nanooks — before getting into coaching.

Juneau Douglas Ice Association goalie coach Andrew Wells helped Thompson coordinate the event.

“We just feel like this is Alaska and we have the opportunity to do something that you can’t do basically anywhere else,” Wells said. “We’ve got a glacier right here; it’s a really cool, fun thing to do for the kids.”

The event will begin at 1 p.m. and last roughly one hour. Free gear will be provided. To sign up go to

“Any kids that haven’t played goalie before or like the idea of it but haven’t had a chance to play, we’re going to provide gear for,” Thompson said. “And then anybody that has their own equipment and currently plays is also welcome. It’s just kind of a way to celebrate the game and try and get some new people interested in it.”

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.

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