CANTON — Whatever season it may be, Canton senior Hayden Todd deals with objects thrown, kicked or shot at him.
Todd spends his winters as the goalie for the Canton boys hockey team. In the fall he was goalie for the boys soccer team and in the spring he will be goalie for the boys lacrosse team.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse for a lot longer,” Todd said. “I think lacrosse just comes a little bit more natural to me. I think both (lacrosse and hockey) are pretty natural at this point. It’s all positioning and reaction time. Most of it is putting yourself where you need to be to make the save.”
Soccer provides a different challenge for Todd because the goal is much larger than hockey or lacrosse.
“It’s a little bit about position and knowing how to make the save,” Todd said. “Each save is different. You have to know how to make each save.”
Canton hockey coach Anthony Levato has known Todd as his goalie since he started as head coach in 2018-19.
“He’s really had two different experiences as far as full seasons go,” Levator said. “He had that first year where we were very senior heavy, so we had that goal scoring. The next year we lose all those seniors and become very inexperienced, so it was much different for him. He had to go through that. Biggest thing in his growth he’s had so far is mentally. That was always a strong suit for him and it’s even better now. You are definitely going to see that final product this year.”
Todd is focused on hockey now, but after this school year his future will be in lacrosse. He will attend SUNY Canton next fall and play for former Canton High School lacrosse player Pat Harrington. Todd’s father, Adam, coaches the SUNY Canton women’s team.
“I told my dad I was interested in SUNY Canton and we got everything set up right away,” Todd said. “I grew up knowing (Harrington) and the rest of the coaching staff, too. I also get to play with some of the guys I used to play with like Sam Martin.”
Todd has been starting goalie for the boys hockey team at Canton since his freshman year.
He’s seen highs and lows in his high school career.
As a freshman he was part of a team that won the Section 10 Division I championship and went to the state final four.
His sophomore team struggled and last year he played in just two games due to COVID-19 concerns.
As a freshman Todd produced a 16-5-1 record with a 2.35 goals-against average and an .888 save percentage.
“I remember my first starting game for varsity was in Potsdam and we won that game 6-5 in overtime,” Todd said. “I was able to make those five mistakes. They were so strong and close-knit that it made the transition easy.”
In his freshman year Canton featured a lot of good scorers like Martin and fellow senior Jack Finnerty, as well as his current classmate Rhett Palmer.
Often times practices were more of a challenge than actual games.
“I was facing the best in the section every day,” Todd said. “Just starting off with that was a really nice boost and it gives you some confidence.”
Heading into his final year, Todd holds a 22-17-2 overall record, a 2.72 goals-against average and an .887 save percentage for his career.
“I think I’m a lot more mature, especially leadership-wise,” Todd said. “I know more of what I’m doing, what my place in the locker room is, how I can bring the team up. In my freshman year I was kind of just playing. I felt I was a good teammate but now I can kind of take that to another level, kind of coach a little bit the younger guys and bring them up to speed.”
Part of being a goalie means having a short memory and not letting a mistake get you down.
Todd learned that from his father, Adam, who developed a drill where he would throw cards at him.
“You are not going to catch every card,” Todd said. “You have to have a quick mind and forget about the last one and focus on the next one.”