Beat teams that are better than you with the Neutral Zone Trap!
The Neutral Zone Trap is a super effective forechecking set-up. In fact, it is almost too good. The reason I say that is because it allows players to “get by” on very little raw skill and ability. Because of this characteristic, I don’t recommend teaching it to younger age groups. So, if you coach an older team, add this to your team’s tool belt!
When I first moved to the states, the team I ended up on was horrible. We spent the first half of the season in last place, and double-diget losses were common place against the top teams in the league. However, half-way through the season we learned the trap. All of a sudden we began winning games… in fact, we even beat the first place team once, then tied them another time!!
Our team didn’t win the championship or anything (there was just too much lack of talent to overcome), but we did make a respectable playoff push at the end of the season, largely due to good execution of the trap.
The 2-1-2 forecheck is generally one of the first set-ups young players learn. It is simple to understand, and can be taught at very young age groups. In this video we outline two possible variations of the 2-1-2 that you can choose from based on the other team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The 2-1-2 Stack puts extreme pressure on the puck-carrying defenseman, and makes it virtually impossible to break out up the strong side of the ice. The Spread is used to combat the D to D pass behind the net. In either set-up, our F3 and our two Defensemen need to anticipate and get to the proper position quickly!
The Give and Go Corner Drill is EXTREMELY effective for the really young age groups!
This is an awesome drill for the really young players. It works on a number of key skill elements such as giving and receiving passes, skating to a receiving zone, power turns with the puck, and shots. Here’s the diagram:
Give and Go Corner Drill
1. Quick give and go with explosive start out of the corner
2. Skate around the cone and take a shot with your feet moving
Note: Teach your players to call for the pass back. It’s never too early to teach communication!
This power turn and passing drill is a great one for younger to intermediate age groups.
Use this drill to work on power turns, passing, and certain timing and support concepts with your youngsters. When done well, it’s a quick-paced drill that works on some of the key fundamentals that are important in the game of hockey.
CLICK HERE for a PDF of the Perpetual Power Turn and Passing Drill
Half Ice Hockey Drills to Add to Your Drill Library
With the cost of ice time going up, many teams are sharing practice sessions, especially at the younger age groups. The need for half ice hockey drills continues to grow, and has been a highly requested topic from our readers. So, instead of just doing a video or two, I put together 9 of my favorite half ice hockey drills spanning across all levels of play… beginner to advanced. I’ve also included a printable PDF version as well as the Importable DrillDraw files, if you want to bring all this stuff to the rink with you. You’ll find the links at the bottom of this page.
Here we go!!
1. Quad Passing:
1. Players 1 and 2 execute five passes between themselves (soft hands!)
2. After the fifth pass, player 1 does a touch-pass give and go with player 3, then another touch pass to player 4.
3. All players rotate as shown.
2. Cycle Give and Go:
1. Player from line 1 leaves with the puck and walks up the boards, then cycles back to player from line 2.
2. Player from line 1 drives through the seam for a give and go pass, receives the pass from player 2, then one-touches to player 3 or 2 for a one-timer.
3. Figure 8 Shooting & Deflection:
1. Forwards line up in corner with pucks.
2. Three defensemen across the blue line. Two have pucks, one doesn’t.
3. First forward passes to the defenseman without a puck then skates around the top of the circle and drives the net.
4. Far defenseman times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
5. Forward deflects the puck then continues down around the other circle.
6. Forward continues up around the top of the circle then drives the net again.
7. Defenseman who received the initial pass times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
8. Forward deflects the puck then stops in front of the net to screen the goalie and get ready for the third shot.
9. Middle defenseman fires a low, hard shot. Forward deflects it then drives in any rebound.
4. Perpetual Cycle:
1. Coach dumps a puck in – first player goes into corner and picks up the puck, and cycles it back.
2. A second player follows him in to pick up the cycle.
3. After cycling it back the first player cuts across the top of the circle and drives the net – second player passes out for a one-time shot.
4. After the pass is made, the first player from the other line dumps it in his corner.
5. The player who just made the pass continues up around the top of the circle, then drives into the corner to pick up the dump, and start the cycle from the other corner.
6. Drill continues perpetually.
5. Stop & Start Shooting:
Great drill for younger players. Simple, but effective!
1. Players execute starts and stops with a puck, as shown.
2. After the stops and starts, players execute a power turn, then take a shot.
3. Make sure players face the same way with each stop.
6. Give & Go Shooting:
1. First player passes out to point man – then attacks
2. Point man bank passes back to next player in line
3. Receiver executes a give and go with point man
4. Point man shoots
5. Player who attacked becomes new point man
7. Center Line Boundary 2 on 1:
1. Set up a 2 on 1 in each side.
2. Nobody can cross the center line.
3. When the defender gets the puck back, he/she must pass across the line to the forwards on the other side.
4. Start with 2 on 1, work up to 3 on 2.
8. Figure 8 Angling:
1. Players start facing each other on dot
2. ‘F’ picks up a puck and drives wide
3. ‘D’ skates around cones as shown, then angles
4. ‘F’ has to drive around lower cone before cutting to the net
Variations: (a) take out the cone at hashmarks (b) allow forward to cut inside earlier
9. Larsen Give and Go:
1. First player leaves hash mark, turns the corner and receives a pass from the next player in line.
2. He then carries the puck around the next cone, and does a give and go with the passer (P) at the red line.
3. After receiving the pass back from ‘P’, he does another give and go with the ‘P’ in the corner, then fires a one-timer on net.
TIP: have your players use the inside mohawk to round the turns!
There you have it! Hopefully these come in handy for you.