Goalie pants provide a more complete sense of protection than player pants because of the degree of contact the goalie has with the puck. This makes goalie pants appear much bulkier than player pants. This size not only offers more padding and protection but also provides the goaltender with a larger blocking surface. Some goalie pants feature knee pads on the inside of the pants.
Question: Do goalies really need goalie pants? Or can they just wear player pants?
Answer: USA Hockey does not explicitly require goalie pants, but a quick search online confirms what you might guess—the goalie will experience far fewer bruises with goalie pants. For Mites, a goalie might start with player pants and then upgrade after committing to the position.