I trust you all had a very enjoyable, festive, yet solemn Independence Day Celebration with family and friends.
Here are a couple of quick notes before I get to the “Goalie Challenge” for the week, featuring Corey Riendeau. Berlin-Gorham Babe Ruth action shows the two local teams playing six games this week, including one last night with the Berlin-Gorham No. 2 team hosting Littleton and tonight with that same team hosting the Lakes Region No. 2 team (all at Memorial Field) while the Berlin-Gorham No. 1 team travels to the No. 1 Lakes Region team.
Last night, Gorham men’s modified softball action took place with four games, including two make-up games.
Check Thursday’s edition for recaps of those games.
I understand through reliable sources that Cal Ripken baseball is starting up soon but have heard no details and have seen no schedules as of yet. Finally, the Berlin Recreation Department has announced some modified and limited numbers of summer programs beginning soon. Go to their website and/or call (603) 752-2010 for further information.
For those interested, I am putting out a plea for anyone who might have had the good fortune of having Mr. Mark Tilton as a coach or colleague to send me some appropriate and condensed memories of your time spent with him at email@example.com by the end of the week. Thanks.
Corey Riendeau responded to my challenge, and to begin with, wasn’t exactly sure what propelled him to be a goalie. He did say: “I began at a young age of 5 or 6 as a Berlin Youth Hockey Mite, and they needed a goalie, and I wanted to play that position. My parents were against it, but I was persistent and they eventually gave in, and throughout my competitive/organized hockey career I never played another position, and it was strictly with and for Berlin teams, from youth hockey all the way through Berlin High Hockey from 1994 to 1998.”
During that career, Corey had several coaches who impacted him. One of his earliest memories was Bobby Dupuis, his coach for the Mite’s, which was a traveling team that played all over New England.
Corey said: “The first goalie-specific coach I had who had the biggest impact on my career as a goalie was Mike Richard, who provided me the foundation and knowledge of the position that helped make me a successful goalie. I would have to add Coach Steve Lauze — not so much a goalie coach — but had a great impact on my playing career.” The next coach — again not so much a goalie coach but as a player and a person — would be Chief Ron Devoid, who Corey said had a profound impact on his career because of “his love of the game of hockey and his ability to motivate players.”
“I have many memories with Chief Devoid as the Midget-age youth hockey coach. He also provided insight on how a net-minder could possibly get a whistle during play when the other team was pressuring us in the zone, and other “tricks of the trade.”
Now that Corey is a current Berlin High School assistant and goalie coach, he is able to pass down some of these tricks of the trade and his knowledge and experience as a goalie to the goalies he works with.
As Corey got into high school hockey, he felt “early on there was less focus on the goalies and more on the team play and structure, but during his senior year, a guy came along as an assistant varsity coach who knew a bit about tending the nets — Gregg (Gump) Nolin.
In Corey’s own words: “I would say the Coach Nolin was a most influential goalie coach because he took the foundation I had from other coaches and refined it, and his understanding and help was a key to our teams success and mine as well.”
Corey was fortunate to suffer the normal bumps and bruises along the way but no major injuries. He was also fortunate to have played with so many great players throughout his career, we can’t list them all here.
Special memories included” “Winning a state championship as a Squirt, beating Bishop Guertin in the semi-finals of my senior year, although we did lose to Concord in the finals that same year.” But he said his “most favorite hockey memories now do not come from my playing days. They are now from coaching youth and high school hockey.”
Corey’s son, Brayden is quite the hockey player at Berlin High School, not as a goalie but as a fast skating, tough forward, who makes things happen on the ice.
In response to the question: Looking back over your career, would you do anything different?” Corey said: “Going back through my career I would not change thing, I loved being a goalie. I believe All goalies can say they see the game differently than the other players. We watch the whole game, no line changes or exclusions from special teams play.”
Well said, Corey. Thanks for sharing!