Hey there. I'm 21, I started watching hockey about five years ago, back when Cristobal Huet dragged the Habs into the playoffs, and I've been a big fan ever since. I figured that I should probably start playing the game I love to watch instead of just being a couch potato, which is why I bought some ice skates a while ago. I'm starting to get better (balance is not an issue at all, although I have problems stopping and haven't worked on skating backwards yet). At first, I figured I'd try being a winger, but I've been thinking for a while about how my favourite player is always the #1 goaltender of the Canadiens, and how my hand-eye coordination and reflexes might be good skills for a goaltender. So I'd really like to give this a try. I won't be able to really get into it this season because of my lack of free time, but next year should not be a problem. Still, I'd like to start preparing for it, buying some equipment in the next few months and maybe starting to train off ice. The one thing that worries me though, is that I might just be too small. I'm 5'6", ~130 lbs, not exactly the Berlin wall. Do my dreams of being a goaltender end here? When I bought my gloves and stick at the store near where I live, the employee who gave me advice told me he was a goaltender, and he couldn't have been more than an inch taller than me. I also know another guy of my size who told me he used to be a goalie, so that gives me some hope. Am I going to be mocked for my height if I try to play goal? Are people going to want me on their team? I'm psyched enough about this that I'm not too worried about getting chirped at (I'm pretty good with comebacks anyway :p) but I just want to make sure I can actually help a team. I used to practice a sport (kendo) where my size was somewhat of an advantage, but this isn't really the case here. I assume that to be effective, I'll probably have to adopt a hybrid style, since I won't be covering much of the net in butterfly. Is there any good book/DVD that I could get advice from to become a hybrid goaltender? While we're on the subject of training, I currently can't do a very wide butterfly, and I'm looking for some exercises I could do to help my flexibility. Any help would be appreciated there. I figure if people can learn to do the split, I can probably widen my butterfly a bit. I've been searching online for advice on what gear to buy, but at lot of what I see is contradictory. You've got people saying that you can probably buy a full set of used gear for 600$, but then you've got others saying you really want to buy the pro stuff, going on to suggest you buy 600$ pads... What do you think is a reasonable total price to pay for the full goalie gear for a beginner? I will do my best to get deals, although I'm not sure if there will be much used gear at my size (also, I'm going to play with the catcher on my right hand, it just feels way more natural to me to catch things with my right hand, even though it is my dominant one). What would you say is the gear that you really shouldn't skimp on, that you should buy new and high quality? I already know I'm going to get myself a good mask (mostly to be able to take vanity pics with it :p) but I'm not too sure about the rest. By the way, I've read contradicting advice about skates. Other than for pleasure, is there any point in me training on player skates until I get goalie skates? I've heard some say the transition between the two is very difficult. Are there any moves I should be practicing with player skates that will help me once I get the goalie ones? Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this, even though my first game is still some months away, but I'd like to have a clear idea of where I'm going first.