Wednesday Drill of the Week: 10 Minute Drill

10-minute-drill

A fun competition drill this week. Forwards vs D & Goalies.

Set the clock to 10 minutes. The forwards have to score 15 goals – if they do they win, if not the D & Goalies win.

The drill starts with the two F’s closest to the Coach getting a pass and going in 2v0. They get one look at the net and then the play is done. Coach will give them a second puck where they go down 2v1 on a D (same one look at the net).

The two F’s now pick up a third from the far corner (with a puck) and go down on 2 new D, 3v2. After the 3v2 ends, the 3rd F who joined then gets a breakaway.

After the breakaway ends, the drill starts over. If the Forwards score 15 (or more!) they win.

A great drill to do to end practice, it’s fun for the team and has a great compete element. Losing has consequences!

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Wednesday Drill of the Week: D Skill Shooting

D Skill Shooting

This drill is a modified version of one that I watch Kyle Wallack run.

The drill starts with D on opposite blue lines and Forwards in two lines in the center of the blue line. F1 and F2 exchange a puck while F1 skates towards F2 (rapid fire bumps). F1 then mohawks out to the boards. Meanwhile, D1 and D2 have been exchanging a puck while D1 walks the blue line for a shot (1). D2 then places a puck for D1 near the top of the circle. D1 surrounds it and fires a quick up pass to F1. F1 skates in for a shot on net. D1 now follows the play up ice and recieves a pass from the opposite D line as they hit the blue line, catching and shooting in stride.

The drill then alternates sides, with F2 skating towards F1 line while bumping, etc. This drill could also be done full ice just using defenseman, as the drill primarily focuses on d skills (hence the title).

D Skill Shooting works four specific skills for defensemen:

  1. Walking the blue line while passing (keep eyes up and quick release)
  2. Surrounding a puck, finding your target before you retrieve and firing a quick up pass in the neutral zone
  3. Joining the rush/activating from the offensive blue line
  4. Catching a pass in stride and quickly releasing a shot

Wednesday Drill of the Week: D Clear Compeition

This week: an individual skill drill for defenseman to help them work on their ability to clear pucks from the defensive zone.

Clear Competition.jpg

Split your defensemen up into two groups, with one group on each dot. A player from the opposite group stands at the blue line, playing an offensive defenseman.

The first defenseman takes three c-cuts backwards, then open pivots towards the boards to retrieve a puck dumped in. The D is then trying to clear the puck from the defensive zone without it being kept in by his opponent at the blue line or going for icing. A team gets a point for every successful clear (w/o icing) – give the teams equal reps and keep score.

The objective is to utilize what we call “vertical hockey” to get the puck into the neutral zone – lifting it directly into the NZ or going high off the glass.

Some may say this coaches the skill out of hockey. I believe that this is a skill into itself – knowing when you are on an extended shift and under pressure, having the ability to lift a puck out of your zone without it going for icing.

 

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Laker 2v2

WDotW Returns! A great full team rush/oz play drill courtesy of one of the two Laker programs in NCAA D1.

Laker 2v2

The drill starts with F1s crossing and exchanging a puck near the top of the circles. Two D start at the blueline and play the rush 2v2 back into the zone. Once in zone, two D (D2) come and play the offensive points while F1s and D1s play 2v2 below the tops of the circles. F1 can use D2 at the offensive blue line to maintain possession and generate point shots. On the whistle, F2’s cross and exchange a puck, attacking D2 down the ice into the far zone 2v2 – two D1’s join to play offensive points. The drill is then continuous, with the next pair beginning their attack on the whistle.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Half Ice Down Low Play

Half Ice Down Low Play

A half-ice situational practice drill. Can be done out of both ends or just one side, depending on numbers and teaching situations.

The drill starts with two Fs (XF) facing the boards in the corner – two D (OD) are about 3 feet off of their backs. The remaining players (1 XF, 2 XD and 3 OF) are in defensive position in the zone. Coach rims a puck around the wall, the forwards have to stop it and then play 2v2 down low, attempting to attack the net and score. On a whistle, coach will pass the puck to the other XF waiting in the opposite corner – the defensive team has to quickly adjust and reset their coverage to this new situation/second puck. Now all players in zone are live and it is played out 5v5.

This is a great situational drill to work on either dzone or ozone team play. Offensive players can work on puck protection, attacking the net, creating time and space through cause and effect, etc. Defensive players work on their ability to contain, using their sticks to influence the play, positional discipline, quickly changing sides, etc.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 2v1 Series

2v1 Series

A simple quick-hitter 2v1 series this week. There are two variations (top and bottom). The bottom sequence starts with a D on the dot, a forward on the half wall and one at the top of the circle. Coach is in the middle of the F’s with pucks. The drill starts with the coach passes a puck to the F on the wall – the 2 F’s then attack the D 2v1 to the net.

The top variation is similar. One F starts on the wall (facing the boards) down low. The other F starts on the circle. Coach is on the half wall with pucks. The drill starts with the coach rimming the puck to the forward down low. The F turns on it and then attacks the net 2v1 on the D.

F Keys – movement away from the puck, quick attack, shoot for rebound, stop at the net, read the defenseman and attack their weakness

D Keys – stick position, stick on puck, swivel head, long body when appropriate, judging speed, playing off the center axis

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Half Ice D-Zone

Half Ice Down Low PlayA half-ice team drill this week. This is a situational defensive play drill used to practice D-Zone play. The drill starts with a puck rimmed in to the far side. Two forwards and one defenseman are on offense (X’s), while two D and two F’s (O’s) defend. On the whistle, the coach plays a puck to the down low forward on the other side of the ice. Now it becomes 5v5 in zone, with the four defensive players changing sides and the three offensive players resetting and joining the play.

This drill works on two critical elements of play in zone – keeping opponents on the perimeter and pucks changing sides. In zone, pucks changing sides of the ice can create some of the best opportunities for the offensive side. The defensive team has to change their alignment, move to new positions and survey the new scene. Training your team on how to react and how to play these situations will get them more comfortable when this happens in a game.

On the offensive side, it helps your players with playing pucks on the wall, finding creative options (using the point), protecting the puck in outnumbered situations and quick attacks when the puck changes sides. As an offensive player, when the puck changes sides is your critical moment to attack. You should instantly look to beat your man to the net and create an offensive opportunity. Seize the moment of confusion for the defense and take advantage.