Perpetual Forecheck

Awesome Hockey Forechecking Drill that Works on Multiple Game Situations

I’ve been using this Hockey Forechecking Drill in my practices, and it has worked really well for my team. The thing I really like about it, is that it allows you to work on a lot of different stuff at once. Obviously, the main focus is forechecking, but you’re also working on D-Zone Coverage, and Breakouts as well.

Here’s how the drill works:

  • 5 forecheckers start at center ice
  • 5 defenders at each end
  • Coach dumps puck in, defenders attempt to break out, or play d-zone coverage, depending on how quickly the forecheckers get in
  • Forecheckers execute whichever forechecking system the coach designates
  • Play continues until defending team breaks out, or until the forecheckers score
  • If defending team breaks out, forecheckers peel off as soon as puck crosses blue line. After breaking out, the defenders cross the red line, dump it in, and become the NEW forecheckers at the other end.
  • If the forechecking team scores, coach blows two quick whistles to kill the play, then dumps a new puck into the far end. Defending team hustles to the far end to become the NEW forecheckers.

Give this one a go – I think you’ll get some good usage out of it!


Penalty Kill: Expanded Wedge +1

The Expanded Wedge +1 is strategically very similar to the “Sagging” Zone Arrow d-zone coverage

The Expanded Wedge +1 is even more aggressive than the Wedge +1, and is very similar to the “Sagging” Zone Arrow defensive zone coverage set-up.

You need fast players that anticipate well to use this one, but if executed properly, it can be extremely effective. Remember, if the opposing team brings a second man to the front of the net, you either have to switch to a different PK system, or concede one of the passing lanes.


Penalty Kill: Wedge +1

The Wedge +1 is strategically very similar to the “Sagging” Zone d-zone coverage

The Wedge +1 is a more advanced, more aggressive penalty kill, that operates similar to our “Sagging” Zone defensive zone coverage set-up. This set-up allows the closest “corner” of the box to challenge the puck carrier, while the other three players remain in front of the net.

Make sure your players understand when to “force” the puck carrier, and when to “contain” the puck carrier. Reading this incorrectly will cause problems for you! Also, remind your weak-side forward and defenseman to keep their heads on a swivel, and not to let anyone creep in behind them on the backdoor.


Penalty Kill: Simple Box

The Simple Box is strategically very similar to the Box +1 d-zone coverage

Our penalty kill set-ups closely mirror the characteristics of each of our defensive zone coverage systems. In this case, our Simple Box is very similar to the Box +1. It is great for covering the front of your net, but it is not very aggressive. So don’t expect to get the puck back very quickly.

This can be a great “starter pk” for youngsters or inexperienced players. However, you should quickly work toward implementing one of the more advanced penalty kill set-ups such as the Wedge +1 or Expanded Wedge +1.


D-Zone Coverage: “Sagging” Zone Arrow

“Sagging” Zone Arrow is a slightly more aggressive version of the “Sagging” Zone

Use the “Sagging” Zone Arrow to put even more pressure on the opposing team. The set up is very similar to the regular “Sagging” Zone, except that the players on the “arrows” (where the likely passing lanes are) slide out to cut down the puck carrier’s passing options.

This set-up will cause more turnovers, but leaves the front of the net more vulnerable. So the players in front must be even more aware of players sneaking in the backdoor.


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