Published on June 20th, 2013

Ryan Snowden15-Year-old Invited to Train in Finland for a Year

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa, June 2013 – Upland Country Day School varsity hockey goalie Ryan Snowden has been invited to spend a year attending school and training with goaltending coaches in Turku, Finland beginning on July 26, 2013. Snowden has been the starting goalie with the Upland Varsity Hockey team for the past two seasons. He has also played with the Delaware Ducks Junior Flyers AAA team for the past three years.

“Training in Finland is a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in another country and learn goaltending from the best in the world,” Snowden remarks. “Just to go there and compete with them is a tremendous honor. I’m just going to do my best and see where it leads.”

Snowden will be staying with a Finnish family and spending his sophomore year attending the Turku International School in Turku, Finland. Turku International School is an English-speaking school, with small classes and students attending from all over the world – Africa, Japan, Europe. He met his host family and coaches, and toured the school when Upland’s 8th and 9th grade classes took their annual trip to Finland for 10 days in March. Upland marked the 35th anniversary of the school’s exchange program with Turku, Finland this year.

“Ryan is going to train in Finland to learn from the people who goal tend all over the world so well,” said Upland Country Day hockey coach, Court Dunn. “If you want to learn something well, go to where you can be trained to be the best at it. Although Ryan would like to play professionally one day, he is taking it one day at a time. For now, that means taking advantage of a great opportunity to train with the best in the world, and learn as much as he can and see where that leads.”

The Finnish are well known for having some of the best goaltending coaches in the world and there are a number of Finnish goalies currently playing in the NHL including Miikka Kiprusoff and Pekka Rinne.

Snowden started playing hockey at 3 years old and was the first in his family to do so. His dad took him to a Flyers game and from there, he was hooked. At three, he started playing with the Chester County Cougars. During the next two years, his love for the sport grew and coaches noticed his agility and quick reflexes at just 5-years old, and started him as a goalie then.

“Ryan is a talented athlete who has been training in the Philadelphia area for five years,” says Dave Marlin, Ryan’s US goaltending trainer who was a professional goalie with U.S., Quebec, Austrian and Czech Republic teams. “Ryan is one of the best goalies I have ever coached and he has excellent potential, so I strongly encouraged him to train in Finland.”

In 2005, Marlin flew to Finland to study the Finnish style that was taking the NHL by storm. He has been back a number of times since and consulted with eight clubs there to learn the different teachings of each club. This has become the foundation of his coaching. The differences are numerous but Finnish style goalies are more athletic, flexible, and have active hands, better puck trackers and better balance. The Finnish focus on not forcing a style on a goalie but taking their strengths, working on their weaknesses and building a style with which the goalie can be successful. Many other schools are now shifting to the Finnish style but Marlin was the first in North America to introduce it. For more information, click here: http://www.marlingoaltending.com/about-3/

Snowden says likes playing goalie because he enjoys the intensity of being the one to stop the puck at the goal. He explains that a goalie never knows what to expect but the final responsibility rests on that player’s shoulders, and he is excited about going to Finland to study and learn hockey. Snowden will be playing on a team of players all one year older than he is.

“The Finnish team practices six days a week and take it seriously,” Snowden said.  “My goal is to become the best goalie I can be and to become a starter on the Finnish team before I leave. I’m also looking forward to living in another country.”

“Ryan is a really good kid, a good student and a true team player,” said Coach Dunn. That team inspiration comes from Snowden’s favorite player, Alexander Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals. “He is a true team player,” Snowden says. “Whoever scores, he celebrates.”

Snowden was born in Connecticut and currently lives in Jennersville, Pa. In addition to playing hockey at Upland this year, he played the lead role in the school’s production of Bye, Bye Birdie and played on the Varsity Soccer and Lacrosse teams.  He lives with his parents and a brother and sister who are 11-year-old twins. Despite his passion for hockey, his siblings have their own interests — hunting/fishing and dancing/swimming.

About Upland Country Day School
Founded in 1948, Upland Country Day School is a non-sectarian, independent day school educating boys and girls in pre-kindergarten through grade nine. Within a nurturing and fully participatory environment, we develop children as independent and lifelong learners. Upland’s program prepares students for success in their secondary education and beyond through a balance of academics, the arts, athletics and citizenship. Our students graduate as developing adults with a strong sense of community, respect for others, strength of character, and self-confidence. For more information, go to http://www.uplandcds.org.

Source of article and pictures:  Corinne Hyzny from Upland

Snowden in action

Snowden in action








Snowden playing in Finland w Upland in March

Snowden playing in Finland w Upland in March