3 on 3 “D” Support

3 on 3 “D” Support is a great small area game to work on game situations in tight quarters

This small area game drill give players a chance to work on quick transitions, give and go passes and set-ups, and swinging to become a passing option. It’s a fantastic drill that can be used by teams at almost any level! Here’s the diagram:

3on3_d_support3 on 3 “D” Support

1. Forwards battle 3 on 3 in NZ, but can’t pass imaginary goal line.
2. If puck passes goal line, respective defenseman must break it out (he can grab a new puck to keep up the pace).
3. Forwards must swing to get open. Opposing forwards can pressure Defenseman, but can’t cross line.
4. Defenseman can’t cross line either.



3 thoughts on “3 on 3 “D” Support

  • I like to use this game with 2 D below the nets on both sides to simulate Neutral Zone regroups. You could also give the option to one of the opposing forwards to go below the net to put pressure on the Defensemen (1-2-2 NZ forecheck). So you are actually practicing both your NZ forecheck and Neutral zone regroup while having fun and working on puck control, shooting and scoring in small areas. Great drill!

  • pmgaff

    Our peewee team loves this game.

    (Citing our source, we got it from Paul Willett’s 2003 book “THE HOCKEY COACH’S GUIDE TO SMALL-AREA GAMES,” in which the game is titled “Mid-Ice D Support.”)

    Like Mr. Willett, we prefer to allow live play below the goal lines and actually make it a rule that the offensive players MUST swing below that goal line on the regroup, since we’ve had some difficulty getting them to swing low enough in the defensive zone to provide true support to the puck when initiating the breakout during actual games.

    Thanks, as always, for your posts. They’ve been a great help.

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