When InGoal Magazinetold a large room of teenage goaltenders we would be bringing in Vaughn helmets for testing, the reaction was muted. The perception was Vaughn wouldn’t have the look these kids were after.
All were well entrenched users of other brands, and even when it comes to the head, where safety is paramount and comfort and sightlines both key to success, it can still be tough to get any goaltender to even try something new or different.
When the masks were unveiled, however, there was an element of surprise: goalies that had only ever seen early junior models
seemed genuinely impressed by the look and the feel of the composite adult shells.
They look like a professional mask with a streamlined, even aggressive, look designed to both move impact forces away from the
front of the helmet and provide more of the look goalies are seeking.
InGoal worked with a basic junior helmet, as well as three different adult models for the review. The adult models come in either a composite construction that is high-pressure molded with epoxy resin, or an injected polymer construction, while the junior and youth helmets are all made with the injected polymer process.
The polymer VM 7700 SB had a cage with unique changes to traditional horizontal and vertical bar arrangements for improved forward and peripheral vision. The VM 9500 SB mask is the basic all composite shell with a combination of aramid and carbon fibers to reduce weight and maximize strength. We received models with traditional style cage and one with a certified cat-eye cage (VM 9500 CC).
The VM 7400 is a junior helmet (also available in a standard adult size) featuring a recessed cage designed to improve sight lines. This slightly non-traditional look is supplemented this season with the VM 7700 junior/youth featuring a more “prostyle” look for younger goalies.
Even the polymer 7700 mask has a similar look, with the only obvious difference a distinctive area around the ear holes that has been slightly raised for increased strength.
InGoal took the test helmets to goalies with a wide variety and range of skills at a Gold in the Net camp, as well as a number of minor hockey and adult hockey sessions. Read the full review in the October edition of the magazine.