How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck

How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck

I’ve had a few questions come in recently on the 1-2-2 Forecheck. Specifically, coaches are looking for ways to beat it. The 1-2-2 is a great forecheck, but, as is the case with any system, it’s beatable. Your objective is to control the puck, drawing players out of position, then beating them with a pass. Here are the key points:

How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck - YouTubeHow to Beat the 1-2-2 Forecheck
1. Defenseman carries the puck to open ice
2. Defenseman walks the puck until someone comes to get him (if nobody comes, he walks all the way down the ice!)
3. As soon as F2 or F3 leaves their coverage to attack the Defenseman, he or she moves the puck to that side of the ice, hitting the now-open player with the pass
4. At this point you’ve got two players beat, and you’re walking out of the zone in an odd-man rush

Penalty Kill: Forecheck

Two variations of the “T” Penalty Kill Forecheck

I’ve always been a fan of the “T” PK Forecheck. If done correctly, it is very effective at stopping the other team’s breakout, and causes a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone.

Over the years, I’ve developed a slightly “beefed up” version of the “T” Forecheck, that is more aggressive, and just as safe (if not, safer!). In this video, I show you both versions. As you’ll see in the video, the second version can actually cause a lot of offensive-zone turnovers and odd-man rushes… ON YOUR PK!!


Neutral Zone: Backchecking

Some simple Backchecking tips to improve effectiveness

Believe it or not, there is actually some technique to backchecking in hockey. Most players just put their head down and get back into the defensive zone as quickly as possible… this is a good start, but players need to do more if they want to REALLY stop the scoring threat. Here are a few key points from the video:

1. Backcheck with a purpose: Keep your head on a swivel while backchecking, and pick up any loose opponents along the way. Make sure you stick with them ALL THE WAY back into the zone (many players release their man at the blueline for some reason).

2. Revert to “5-Card” Formation: I explain this in the video, but use the “5-Card” set-up as your failsafe. Backcheck into 5-card formation, then adjust once the initial threat has been nullified.

3. Communicate: Let your teammates know who you’ve got (especially your defensemen). This can help eliminate confusion on odd-man rushes.


On the Dot 3 on 2

Here’s another great Small Area Game Drill to work 3 on 2’s and quick transitions

This can be a fantastic drill, depending on the skill level of your players. At best it’s a quick-paced, high-intensity, odd-man-rush drill. At worst it can be quite slow, with too much standing around… So, as I’ve often said, USE YOUR “INFINITE WISDOM” AS COACH to determine whether this drill will be a good fit for your team 🙂

on_the_dotOn the Dot 3 on 2

2 on 2 plus 1. Players on dots can pass or shoot, but can’t leave the dots.

Make it 3 on 3 plus 1 after a while

UPDATE: I suggest letting the “dot men” move anywhere within their half, so it becomes a true 3 on 2 in each zone (notice added cones)




3 on 0, 3 on 1, 3 on 2 Drill

Full-Ice Odd-Man-Rush Drill

What’s up guys!! I got an interesting email the other day from Mika from Australia. Because of the size of his local rink, and the limited number of players there, they play 3 on 3 (which sounds like a blast to me!). Anyways, he asked if I had any drills that focused on 3-man set-ups and game situations… this drill immediately came to mind!

It’s a great drill for imitating odd-man rush scenarios, and is also GREAT conditioning for the forwards. Here’s the explanation and diagram:

3on03on13on23 on 0, 3 on 1, 3 on 2

1. Forwards in one bench, Defensemen in the other
2. On whistle, 3 Forwards swing low and receive a breakout pass from the Coach, then attack 3 on 0
3. After a quick attack, the same 3 Forwards swing to present themselves again for a breakout, while a Defenseman closes the gap.
4. Coach initiates breakout and Forwards attack 3 on 1.
5. After the 3 on 1, the same Forwards will swing again, receive a third breakout pass, then attack 3 on 2.



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