Jonny Brodzinski has a knack for finding the back of the net. In his rookie season at St. Cloud State University, Brodzinski led all Division-I rookies with 22 goals, tying a SCSU record for most goals in a season by a first year player.
A product of the Blaine Youth Hockey Association, Brodzinski took some time out from practice as the Huskies gear up for the season and another run at the NCAA National Championship to share some tips for scoring with Minnesota Hockey Journal.
1. Pick your spot: You want to get to the right spot at the right time. Positioning and knowing where your guys are on the ice so you can get into the right area to shoot if the puck gets passed down your way.
2. Angle and shoot low: My favorite shot is going lower stick side. That’s one of the most vulnerable spots a goalie has. What helps with that is I always come in at an angle. As a righty, I come down the left side, then make the goalie move at some point and then you can choose where you want to put the puck, either upstairs or move back and go with the backhand or forehand and try to slip it in the five-hole.
3. I’m open! If you don’t call for the puck or talk to your teammates, you’re never going to have the chance to score. Honestly, it’s the little things on the ice, letting your linemates know your’re open, telling them where you are on the ice and just building that general line of communication is key. Whether it’s simply calling their name or letting them know they can wrap it around the boards to you, talking helps lead to goals.
4. Corners are your friend: It’s one of the best places to place the puck. When I was little while my dad was coaching, I’d take a bucket of pucks out and shoot them all, aiming for one spot at a time. I’d start left post, then right post, then crossbar. You learn after that how to do it and becomes kind of second nature to lift and put it there.
5. Follow your shot: During a line rush, if you or your teammate gets a shot off, don’t veer away from the net. Follow the shot and look for a rebound. If you skate away from the net, you’re taking yourself out of a prime scoring area and a potential big goal for your team.
“Scoring against the Gophers was my favorite goal to celebrate. It was a slapshot from just inside the blue line. That was fun.” — Jonny Brodzinski, St. Cloud State