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Why Goalies Prefer Wooden Sticks

from Chris Gorski at PHYSORG.com,

Compared with state-of the-art composite materials favored by the other players on the ice, the age-old wooden material dampens the sting of vibrations more effectively, making it simply more comfortable for goalies to wield a wooden stick.

In Flint, Mich., Kettering University undergraduate student Linda Hunt studied the way goalie sticks respond to impacts along with her adviser, Daniel Russell. Presented earlier this month at the meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, the project quantified a feeling often expressed by many goalies playing at higher levels….

Most NHL goalies use wooden sticks, officials from the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets said. Hurricanes equipment manager Bob Gorman explained that one of their goalies does use a composite stick, primarily because it weighs less than a wooden one.

The energy of a frozen puck traveling 100 mph is quickly absorbed by the thick padding of a goalie’s leg pads. But the sticks—wooden or composite—are not as forgiving. The puck transfers its energy to the stick, which vibrates violently.

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Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Why is this article longer than one sentence?

Posted by Garth on 11/18/11 at 06:12 PM ET

CPSLOgoalie31's avatar

As a goalie, I use a composite stick and I pretty much swear by them.  Wood sticks are nice because the poke check is a little quicker since they weigh more and can carry more momentum.  However, I love the lightness of the composite stick and the weight allows me to steer shots a little better.  Plus, playing the puck is much easier when the stick is light, at least in my opinion. 

Now, I play college roller hockey, so the puck isn’t frozen and is a little lighter, so I don’t have the stick vibration issues.  The shots are still fast (dents my mask all the time) but the weight just isn’t there.  Makes it awesome for shooters since you can roof it that much easier.

Posted by CPSLOgoalie31 from San Luis Obispo, CA on 11/18/11 at 06:19 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

As a goalie, I’ve lways preferred wooden sticks because they were slightly heavier, and I’d have less of a problem with lifting it off the ice exposing the 5-hole… But I think my next stick might be a composite, i just like how light they are, you may end up stopping some shots to the high corner because you can get your blocker there quicker…my 2 cents at least.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/18/11 at 07:41 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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