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St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington shares pre-game rituals, advice in visit to middle school

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington shares pre-game rituals, advice in visit to middle school

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Jordan Binnington

Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues signs a souvenir hockey stick for Dachelle Miller, 12, during a visit to Long Middle School in St. Louis on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

ST. LOUIS — Jordan Binnington never missed a day of school growing up in Ontario, Canada.

Even in snowstorms when there would be five or six kids in school, Binnington was always among them.

The St. Louis Blues All-Star goalie encouraged students at Long Middle School to stay focused and work hard in a visit Thursday ahead of the NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis.

During a question-and-answer period with the students, Binnington also said his favorite movie is the 1977 hockey comedy “Slap Shot.” He said his pregame ritual involves juggling and skipping to stay loose.

“Being a goalie takes a lot of focus,” Binnington said. “I just put my head down and work and work.”

When asked how the game has changed since he was a kid, Binnington said, “The sticks are a lot better and their shots are a lot harder.”

Seventh grader Dachelle Miller, 12, got a signed souvenir hockey stick from Binnington for successfully answering a trivia question.

“I was nervous,” she said. “I never met a hockey player before.”

Software company SAP, a partner of the NHL, donated $50,000 to St. Louis Public Schools at the event to fund science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs. The money will go toward software, laptops and online programming in the STEM fields, said Valentina Bumbu, who oversees STEM curriculum in secondary schools for the district.

Binnington discussed how he and his goalie coach use science and technology to improve his performance and study the competition.

When Binnington was in middle school, a favorite science teacher made diagrams in class to analyze the best angles for scoring goals.

“The closer you come (to the goal), the tougher it is to score,” he said.

A guide to the All-Star weekend

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