At 12 years old I told my parents I no longer wanted to play as a winger in Roller Hockey, but I wanted to play Ice Hockey… as a Goalie. I was watching a game of the Flyers Vs Bruins and saw Byron Dafoe’s infamous Star Itech Profile set and I knew I wanted to play and look like him. After a long year of debate, my 13th birthday rolls around and I’m fully outfitted in my first game as an Ice Hockey goalie wearing Kmart CCM player skates, my own Itech 4.8 Profile pads playing house league in Warrington, PA.
I lost 12-1.
For those who do not know much about me and where I have played through my hockey career, I am Chris Dudo a 26 year old male from Warrington, PA who went to Central Bucks High School South and played 1 year of Varsity in 2007-2008. I played 4 years of College hockey in D2 ACHA For Rider University (BA ’12, MA ’14) from 2008-2012 and started maybe 25 games out of the 130+ that were scheduled in my tenure. Currently I play men’s league in A/B levels in Dallas, Texas. Long story short, I didn’t have the NHL playing career that my parents dreamt of, but I had a hell of a lot of awesome memories from my times playing.
My love for goaltending never dwindled down and I continued to drool over the gear. August 2006 rolled around and my first custom set for my High School and Travel team was in. Black/Black Weave Vaughn Velocity V2’s were picked up from my local shop. 35+1, Double Break, Square knee landing, nylon removed from sliding surfaces, pro logos and last name embroidery… I still have the spec sheet that I emailed over to the shop. I remember the countless hours spent on GSBB learning everything I could about the gear and learning which company was right for me, what mods would help me and of course the subtle colorways which would allow me to make my gear sexy. I remember learning from the members, treating every word like gospel and thinking every name was some celebrity whom I was a mere peasant to.
I finally go to College in August of 2008 and found myself amongst one of the biggest gear changes in history, the switch from 12” wide pads to 11”. The big change finally found its way to the ACHA level where I was playing for Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. Again I spent HOURS working on colorways, styles, designs and mods to help me get the most of my gear. At this point I was fully emerged in the GGSU crowd and was posting my setup whenever I could to get the likes I wanted. I went with a color to represent myself and my school, but played it safe in case I transferred. I also pretty much looked like a yardsale with Vaughn pads and blocker, Sherwood sticks, Bauer skates, Brian’s DX2 glove, Koho chest, RBK P1 pants and a Promasque XDK ketlmet.
(Every time I posted my setup in the early GGSU days… I got chirped relentlessly for wearing this cage, and I wore it for 3 seasons)
At this point in my life, my focus on hockey began shifting from not only the game but to the industry behind it all. I went to Rider to major in Entrepreneurial Studies and picked up a minor in Psychology. Throughout my 4 years as an Undergraduate, I was lucky enough to work on gear mods for other local goalies as well as goalies around the US. I was able to tailor all of my class projects into the Hockey industry and was finally able to get an internship with Hockey Giant in my final semester in January of 2012. With the time spent in the hockey industry, I was meeting more goalies every day and not only chatting about them with gear, but regular life happenings as well. The GGSUnited crowd was growing exponentially and I was even meeting members in real life (wild, I know) and it was awesome!
When I wanted to continue my career, I decided to immediately get my Master’s degree upon graduation in May of 2012 and roll right back into a program in August of 2012. My new sights were set in getting further into the hockey industry and learning to become a catalyst for change within the entire portion. My major was in Organizational Leadership with a Track in Developing People and Organizations. During this time, I made my switch to MonkeySports, INC. in January of 2014.
Working in that store with those employees and management gave me the tools I needed to help change the things I wanted to change and to make the goaltending industry even better. Without those folks there, I would not be here deeper into the industry and I thank and love you all.
Today, I have the privilege of knowing more about goalie product than I could have ever imagined. I moved 1,700 miles for a dream job that allows me to continue that process to help build it behind the scenes and help folks on the front as well. I was able to meet dozens of goalies at the Pittsburgh camp in 2015 and help coordinate future camp endeavors. 90% of the people I talk to through the day are goalies who are now my friends and best friends. I have the ability to know professional level athletes in all levels and can pick their brains on gear talk whenever I ask. I even met Pete Smith this past September and I can honestly say I was extremely nervous as he is one of my biggest idols in the entire gear industry. Lastly, I have the ability to give back and share all of the knowledge and info I have gained over the years. All of this can be shared through the group and home of GGSUnited.
GGSUnited has given me more greenlights and insight into the goalie world than what it might seem like on the outside. Every post, comment, reply, Pusheen sticker has value and is being read and digested. I love what the group has done for me over the last 8+ years and I cannot wait to help watch it continue to grow and shine, not only as an Administator, but as a fan of the gear and game itself.
Last but not least, the list of gear.
Helmet: Promasque XDK with Potvin paint from Franny Drummond at Paintzoo.
Now currently in a Bauer 9600 awaiting paint
Pads: Warrior Ritual G3
Glove: Warrior Ritual G3
75 degree liner
Blocker: Warrior Ritual G3
Pants: Reebok HPG
Chest: Bauer NXG (Custom)
Skates: Bauer Supreme 7000 9D
Massive Blade “Dudo Radius” 3/8”
Sticks: Warrior Swagger Custom Pro
Mrazek Wedge/ Round Toe
Extra clear on shaft
Neck Guard: Maltese Gen 2
Knee Pads: CCM Pro knee pads
Extra padding in knee landing