Friday, July 13, 2012

Sabres Goaltender coach Jim Corsi talks to goalie Mark Guggenberger. Photo Credit: Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Guggenberger attends Buffalo Sabres development camp

Former Brahmas goalie holds his own with NHL prospects, Navy Seals

"Nothing Dominator-like in the save department, but, after reviewing video, noteworthy because he always seemed to come up with the save. Not bad for an invitee."

- Buffalo Sabres Now Blog

Guggenberger (left rear) and fellow prospects do push-ups on the ice/Photo Credit: Bill Wippert

Former Texas Brahmas goalie Mark Guggenberger never considered training with America's elite special forces in his quest for a spot in the show, but that's just what he found himself doing last week while attending the Buffalo Sabres 2012 Development Camp.

Along with 38 of the Sabres' top prospects, Guggenberger was told on Sunday evening that they would be training with the U.S. Navy SEALs each day, beginning early the following morning. Early, as in 4:30 am - a rude awakening for anyone, especially when you have to make your bed, be dressed and ready to leave in 15 minutes.

After a short bus ride to Woodlawn Beach outside of Buffalo, the players endured a grueling workout straight out the SEALs' training book, which included squats, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches and a swim in Lake Erie. There were also some unconventional exercises that sometimes involved giant logs.

The idea was that the SEALs would be better qualified than anyone to teach teamwork - a unique and effective way to inculcate a spirit of camaraderie and toughness. 

The SEALs had the group for nearly three hours. Then, after a two-hour break, the players hit the ice at the First Niagara Center to skate and make their first impressions on the coaching staff.

Besides the morning workouts, the SEALs forced the players to make their beds, clean up after meals and as well as other military protocol, which was punishable by more pushups and squats if not followed.

Here's some raw video from - you'll spot Guggs if you watch carefully:

Guggenberger joined three other sizable goalies at this year's camp including Connor Knapp and Nathan Lieuwen, who both stand at 6-feet 5-inches and Linus Ullmark, who like Guggs, stands at 6-feet 3-inches.

All indications are that the former Brahma held his own during the camp, except maybe for a humbling trio of goals on day two by a very impressive 18-year-old center by the name of Mikhail Grigorenko.

Here's a quote from the Die By The Blade Blog:

"Mark Guggenberger has a cool name....and he is a solid goalie, which was a nice surprise...Jim Corsi was working on his positioning a lot at the beginning of the second session, showing him how he should be exiting the crease to challenge a shooter and how he should move corner to corner to cover the net."

Guggenberger prepares to make a save on a shot by Brayden McNabb

Here's a video from KSI Management which shows Guggenberger's performance in a scrimmage shootout versus fellow camper Linus Ullmark.

Here's another video, from bgred105 on YouTube, which shows more of Guggenberger's experience. Some additional videos can be found here.

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