Words by Martin Merk (IIHF website)

The ice hockey season in most parts of the world has ended with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia and the Stanley Cup win of the St. Louis Blue.

But the ending is just the beginning of a new season as players, coaches and staff from around the world get set to return to the ice.

For some, this time will come earlier than usual, as the IIHF will host two development camps in the upcoming weeks.

For the second time in two years, an IIHF Goaltending Development Camp for female goalies will be organised by the IIHF Women’s Committee, and for that event the IIHF will make a return to Slovakia not far from where the Worlds took place last month.

The camp will be hosted in Hamuliakovo, located about 20 kilometres south-east of the capital of Bratislava this week from 24th to 30th June.

It has already started for coaches and staff, including GB Women’s netminding coach Dave Clancy.

Meanwhile, goaltenders – amongst them GB Women’s Ella Howard – arrive in Slovakia today.

The committee continues its work to make women’s hockey more popular and close the gap between North America and the other countries.

After last year’s High-Performance Camp, the focus will be on the top goaltenders and goalie coaches from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America to learn from their mentors and get on- and off-ice education and training.

Goalies will work in four groups split between under-18 and senior players and the upcoming generation of goalies and goaltending coaches will have the chance to learn from experienced coaches and mentors as well as from former Olympians such as Valentina Lizana-Wallner, Kim Martin-Hasson, Meeri Raisanen, Florence Schelling or Zuzana Tomcikova.