Wednesday Drill of the Week: D Zone Scramble

Today’s drill is a Defensive Zone simulation drill that we used this year at Amherst College. It actively simulates a backcheck to defensive zone situation and requires players to read, react and communicate.

The drill starts with the five blue X’s in the neutral zone skating and moving the puck with a high tempo. The five red O’s are stationary in the zone on the perimeter. On the whistle, the coach moves the puck into the zone to one of the O’s and the five X’s backcheck to d-zone coverage and then play from there. The positioning off the backcheck is completely dependent upon how your team plays d-zone coverage. Players also do not have to be in their natural positions, but rather learn what every person in coverage does and play that responsibility.

This drill was extremely helpful for us this year in teaching and reinforcing defensive zone responsibilities with all of our players. As players became more comfortable with their positioning, we were then able to focus on the little details that make teams successful in the d-zone (stick position, body position, awareness, angling, etc.).

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