By: TomM (offline)  Friday, December 16 2011 @ 04:49 AM GMT  

Dean, I can't play Monday as Gaston, I and my son Jim (who is in the air right now on his way home for Christmas) are doing a camp for the hockey association in Jasper next Mon-Wed.. We have a good draw at the Mac's with one game a day only and play M-T off W play Th-F. Energy shouldn't be a problem in the elimination round. Two stop time 60 minute games on the first day was a killer last week.

I played in a student vs staff game at noon at COP and watched the Canadian jr's practice for a couple of minutes before the game.

After the student staff game I had a private session with a U15 AAA player. We have done one a week all season. She is a D but now scoring a lot and made Team Alberta as a forward. We are on the ice Thurs. 2-3 pm.

At dryland on Wed. we did weights and core and a little treadmill sprinting.

Practice starts at 4 pm so it is hard one for all to be on time. I was on my own this practice.

- No goalies at the start so I reviewed the slapshot technique and the players all had a puck and shot side to side while skating. I then demonsrated slapping with the head up and the players took more shots for a few minutes.

- Russian Big Moves all around the body while skating around the ice. I blew the whistle for them to watch as I demoed moves like; carry in the feet forward then backward, stick to skate inside and outside edges, puck behind and up on the forehand, backhand, with the feet and a pass through. hands close together legs wide and head and shoulder fakes and moves each way, yo-yo up and back, forehand toe drag starting with a fake inside, backhand toe drag, fake slap shot then around on the forehand. fake slap and tight backhand turn, zig-zagging down the ice with the puck only on the forehand then only on the backhand to loosen the shoulders.

- Goalies got there and we did overspeed with 2 of each colour making moves at full speed and then going in, passing to players at the goal line and shoot, then be on the goal line for the next shooters. Second player pivot in a circle before going in to give the goalie time for another shot.

- C2 starting from against the boards behind the red line - 1-2-3-4-5 one way and 5-4-3-2-1 starting the other way. Go in and shoot and then pick up a puck. With only one skater touch both knees at each blueline before shooting. With 2-3-4-5 skaters all must stay in each zone and everyone get a pass before moving to the next zone. Forehand passes only and all face the puck.

Team Organization - 16 skaters in 4 teams of 4. Two green and two white teams. (one affiliate came)
- One goalie games.
- Game one - 2 pass. Only forehand passes allowed, goals must be on one timers. Puck must stay inside the zone.
- Game two - one second or 2 touches only. Defenders must clear the zone before attacking and all must get onside.

One green team switch ends.
- Game Three - Puck carrier must take AT LEAST 3 Hard Strides to Open Ice before they can pass or shoot. (most important rule of all)
- Game Four - Puck carrier must make an escape move to open ice before passing or shooting.
- Game Five - Each team has one Joker behind the net and one at the point. On transition to offense you must pass to at least one of the Jokers. Jokers can check Jokers. Rotate on their own.

DT100 - 2 on 2 backchecking transition game. Attack full ice 2-2 and the defenders get passive support from the high slot as if they are wingers in dzone. On a goal, frozen puck or breakout the defenders pass to the supporting players who go the other way while the original attackers must backcheck, defend and pass to the new players who are supporting from the high slot.

E1 - We finished with a game of Rebound at each end.

We haven't had a skills and good habits focused practice in a long time and I think we needed it. I was pleased with both the effort and execution.

Family game Friday night and two road games on the weekend. All my players are cleared to play.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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Posts: 2947
By: dwight (offline)  Monday, December 19 2011 @ 04:39 PM GMT  

Posting for Tom.

Merry Christmas.

I am just leaving to do a camp in Jasper.

We did the 5 hour drive north to play two games on Saturday. The team is third in the Northern Division and I think we underestimated them.

They were all over us the first period of game one but our goalie was good and it ended 1-1. We picked up our game a lot and ended up scoring with 2:03 left to win 2-1.

Game two we played better overall but had a bunch of mental lapses and took a string of penalties in the second. It was 0-0 after one and we had more scoring chances. They got 3 pplay goals in the second. That matches the number of pplay goals against the last ten games. One was with a two man advantage. Score 3-0 after two.

We dominated the third and scored two pplay goals and missed some open nets but a D made a bad pinch and they scored on the resulting breakaway. I pulled the goalie with 1:30 left and the score 4-2 and they got an empty netter to win 5-2. Shots were 33-22 for us.

They were the hardest working team we have played so far this season. So we stay in third place in the South Division for the Christmas break.

This week:
Monday - off
Tuesday - 90 min. on ice practice
Wed. - spin on the bikes and core exercises.
Thursday - 75 min. practice
Friday - I cancelled the practice so they can stay home and be with their families at Christmas. It looks like some of the players are mentally and physically spent and I thin the three days off will help to recharge them before our big tournament the Mac's that starts Dec. 26, 11:30 at the Flames community arena.

I got an email from Kalle Kaskinen who does a lot of work with Juhani in Turku, Finland. He is an assistant coach of the Finnish team at the World Juniors. They are in Calgary training until Friday and then they go up to Edmonton to play in the first round. I leave for a camp in Jasper this morning and we have planned to get together on Thursday.



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By: TomM (offline)  Thursday, December 22 2011 @ 09:04 PM GMT  

Gaston, Jim and I did a skills camp in Jasper for 3 days and drove back through the mountain pass to Lake Louiseand then onto the main highway. 230 km or slippery, snowy roads through the pass but beautiful scenery. I will attach a picture of a wolf pack we saw.

I just got back from meeting with Kalle Kaskinen who is an asst. coach for the Finnish world junior team. I was going to go to their practice but the ice plant shut down all night and they had to cancel the on ice session.

Kalle showed me a lot of video clips of their game vs Canada and then the Slovaks with his Steva program. We discussed a lot of team play ideas and I gave him a thumb drive of my material.

The team is going to the Flames - Red Wings game tonight courtesy of "Kipper" who is also from Finland. If he is on the same side of the Saddledome we will get together during the game.

The Finnish association is hiring Kalle to be in charge of one of their youth programs for the next three years. I think it is the U16 program.

I have our last practice before the Mac's tournament this afternoon and then the players have the next three days to be around home for Christmas.

I plan on a lot of battling transition games and review angling, d-side and stick on the puck. One of my goalies is injured so it is a one goalie practice.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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By: TomM (offline)  Friday, December 23 2011 @ 04:04 PM GMT  

I cancelled tonights practice and the trainer who leads the sping class didn't show up on Wednesday so I had to add conditioning skating to our practice. We have lost our game a little and the hard skates also stressed all out effort. One goalie is injured so a one goalie practice.

Practice outline;

A300 - Russian Big Moves while skating around the rink.

B200 - 3 pucks each, forward to the top of the circle, back to blue line, straight forward and shoot. Next player start when previous player goes backward.

B5 - Double drop and shoot.

F1 - from corner skate up and around one circle and under the other circle in the zone and hard to the red line. 4 groups and repeat from all 4 corners.

B6 - 3-0 weave with a regroup with 2 D who hinge and pass. Middle D join the rush and takes the shot.

B6 - 3-0 weave but F's dump the puck in and the D the D to D options on the fast break out.

DT - 400, 3 - 3 game with low battles. Regroup with a joker at the point to go onto offense.

F1 - 4 groups follow the stick of the coach. Forward, sideways, back for 30 seconds. Do twice each.

DT400 - 2-2 game with a regroup and D getting passive support.

DT400 - 2 on 2 game with Back Pressure.

F1 - 4 group short sprints. Coaches first stand on closest offside dot and players skate there and back to boards one group at a time. Next the middle dot, next far dot, next far boards and then repeat backward. Far boards, far dot, middle dot, close dot.

Short team meeting about the upcoming tournament that starts Dec. 26. Merry Christmas wishes.
After the practice I drove home changed and then went to the Flames-Red Wings game. The coaches of the Finnish Jr. team met with us after the first period in the Saddledome Restaurant and we stayed there through the whole second period and talked while we watched the game on TV. Went back to our seats for the third. I am attaching a picture that my son took.

Today Finland practices at 10 and we are going to watch and then go play hockey at noon.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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By: TomM (offline)  Monday, December 26 2011 @ 03:06 PM GMT  

We start playing in the Mac's Midget Tournament this morning. The tournament has been going since 1978 on the boy's side and the girl's were added about 8 years ago. Lots of college coaches will be there recruiting on both sides but it is especially important for the girl's as this is generally the highest level they play before going to college. I have 4 players in grade 12, 1 who has already finished high school and 1 late born girl in her final year of midget who started school a year later; so is in grade 11. Five of them have attracted attention from colleges so far.

The boy's play Jr. A if they want to play NCAA or play major junior if they want a crack at pro and if that doesn't work out they get a year scholarship of tuition and books at a Canadian school for every year they play major junior. (for some unknown reason NCAA decided to classify major junior as pro which makes the players ineligible-they get a little spending money each week)

We play a team from Vancouver today. There are 3 groups of 5 teams. The winner of each group goes to the playoffs and there is one wild card. We have a perfect draw as far as rest goes. We play Mon. Tues. off Wed. and play again Thurs. and Friday. We have a chance to win our group if we are at the top of our game.

It is a great opportunity and challenge for the players.
Game one vs a team from British Columbia. We won 6-4. It ended up a contest between each teams top scorer. My player got 2 goals and 3 assists and theirs got 2G and 2A. I think our goale was the difference and played a little better than theirs. It helped that we went 4 for 8 on the pplay and they only got 1 power play goal. The shots ended about 30 each. Tomorrow we play a team that is a few points in front of us in our league and we are 1-1-1 against so far.
Game two: we were behind 4-3 and pulled the goalie tying it 4-4 with 20 seconds left. We probably deserved better outshooting them 32-11 on the scoresheet. There goalie was really good. They scored one on the pp, one on a penalty shot and 2 even. We got 3 pplay goales and one even strength. Our top scorer got hat trick and should have been given an assist on the tying goal. She is only in grade 10 and may be the best player in the 15 team tournament. We played Medicine Hat and that is there second tie in a row. The team we beat yesterday won 4-2 today. So far we are leading our pool. We practice tomorrow and have games Th. and Fri.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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By: TomM (offline)  Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 05:28 AM GMT  

We are in the middle of a big tournament for this level. We probably have to win our next two games to be in the 4 team out of 15 playoff. Three of the 5 teams are undefeated in our pool. One has one tie and two wins, one two ties and one win and we have one win and one tie. We have a game vs an 0-3 team tonight and the team with 2 wins and a tie tomorrow.

It is our day off and we had a practice to review team play. We did the balance and edges warm up with a puck and shot, two flow drills and then I went over dzone and the players walked through their coverage responsiblility as the coaches at each end pointed where the puck was. We fixed details like the man-you-puck triangle when covering away from the puck. Most teams we play have F3 high in the slot ready to fill on a pinch or come in for a shot. We made sure the net front D moves out to cover higher instead of standing in front of the net.

We also reviewed our pk rotation which is basically the same coverage as even strength without the low forward in the zone. Covered our pk forecheck and 2 short rotation as well.We want to pressure the puck up to the boards from the dside leading with the stick on the puck. Everyone else must have sticks on the ice in passing lanes and heads on a swivel. We play a 3-3 on the strong side and give the 2-1 to the players farthest from the puck. This should give us time to rotate and forces them to make a long saucer pass followed by a one timer to get a good scoring chance. If we create good angles and have good defensive habits we usually get as many good scoring chances as the pplay. If we don't then they get chances.

At each end we had the players practice the pplay options 5-0. Each player got the puck 5 times and started with attacking the net and shooting and then passing to each of the other 4 players. The rule was there must be a shot every 3 seconds. I gave the players the guidelines how to practice the various options and then leave it up to them to give close support and move through the whole team practicing. I think it is important to walk through the options available so the players aren't trying to force plays but instead know that if the first option is taken away then go to option 2 then 3-4-5. Even if they only get as far as option 2 it helps eliminate giveaways. We have been very good lately and scored 9 goals on the pplay in our last 3 games.

Physically light practice and beneficial to everyone to create clarity and eliminate confusion. is the tournament website and we are the Flyers.

All the players were there but one who got a concussion in the game yesterday.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Friday, December 30 2011 @ 02:44 PM GMT  

Really hard game last night. We were playing a team from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They play a dump and chase game and swarm the puck carrier. They also had two superior forwards who were very dangerous every time they got the puck.

First period we both played hard, no penalties called. We outshot them 7-4 but they got a goal when one of our players mishandled the puck in the slot. Second period was up and down again. We outshot them 9-5 but neither team scored. My goalie made 2 great saves.

My good friend Cronker, who comes to all the games came down and suggested to me that I put #16 one of my D, who really is a forward but agreed to play D because we need her there, on forward because she seemed to have more jump in her legs than anyone else. She plays D on our checking unit. I moved her up to left wing and we went with 5 D and the two wingers split RW for the period.

We came out hard and scored early in the period and then #16 stole the puck from their D behind the net, walked out and scored. We outshot them 17-4 in the third for 33-13 in the game and held on to win 2-1. I bought Cronker a Soda after the game.

So we are 2-0-1 and tied at the top of the group with St. Albert. We play them tonight and the winner moves on. I think we have to win because if we tie we would have 6 points along with about 3 other teams and they are ahead of us in the tie breaker right now.

We lost to them by a few goals earlier in the season when we were playing .500 hockey. Since we went to 3 sets of 5 with two scoring and a checking line and two pplay units, we have gone 6 and 2 in our league. Both teams have played 3 games in 4 days and they also played yesterday; so I like our chances to get into the 4 team playoff.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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By: hockeygod (offline)  Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 07:40 AM GMT  

Ahh Crap Tom. I checked the Mac's site tonight when I got home and saw your team lost. Sounds like it was a hard fought game though.

"Game F29 St. Albert Kal-Tire Slash 3 Calgary Flyers 1
The Calgary Flyers suffered their first defeat of this year’s Mac’s Tournament after Slash assistant captain Jessica Kampjes scored the game-winner shorthanded. It was Kampjes’ second goal of the game, an unassisted effort with less than a minute remaining in the first period. Noelle Appleby chipped in the insurance marker mid-way through the second and Slash tender Emily Mitchell stopped 36 to take the win for St. Albert. Calgary’s Alexandria Serpico scored unassisted and Alicia Anderson stopped 26 in a losing cause."

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



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Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 04:41 PM GMT  

Dean, it was a hard fought game. We outplayed them a little but their goalie was really solid. Early in the game some of my players were really nervous and we made a blind pass into the middle right on their stick for a breakaway. At the end of the first we had a pplay and instead of getting it deep a player tried to win a 1-1 standing still on the blueline and they got a breakaway.

One of my best players had the flu and tried to play but was too sick. That really hurt because I had to put a good D on F and a lot of chemistry was lost.

It was one of those games where the players needed a goal to reward them for their effort and their goalie stoned us. Another day with the same effort and scoring chances we win by two. They cashed in on our mistakes and we didn't on theirs. Outshot them 37-29 and your usually score more than one with that many shots.

All you can ask is for your players to give all they have and they did. A lot of sad girl's after the game but some attracted attention from colleges in Canada and the USA and that is good.

We don't play for a few weeks now so we will do a lot of skills and game understanding SAG and Transition games at practice.
Just got this notice from our team manager. Alexandria is only in grade ten and was the top scorer of the 15 teams in the round robin.

Hi all and Happy New Year,
Well at least some good news. The Flyers were the least penalized team
in the tourney and therefore won the Most Sportsmanlike Team award. Alex
was the highest point getter and wins an award for that as well.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: Anonymous: Biana ()  Sunday, January 01 2012 @ 07:25 PM GMT  

Last day of the Mac's. Edmonton vs Regina.

By: hockeygod (offline)  Monday, January 02 2012 @ 06:11 AM GMT  

Female Final Game Summary - Mac's Tournament
Regina Rebels 3 - Edmonton Thunder 2


The 34th annual Mac’s Midget Hockey tournament final looked more like a goaltending clinic by Regina Rebel Rae McClintock and the Edmonton Thunder’s Chloe Sanderson. Both girls came up with big saves when it really mattered. The score remained 1-all for the first two periods as each goalie put up a wall against the opposition. The Thunder’s Amy Boucher broke the stalemate in the third with an unassisted goal to give them a lead, but Talia Terry of the Rebels evened the score on a power-play shortly after.

Both teams seemed to get sharper and more at ease as the game went on. The dedicated crowd was animated and excited for the whole game, showing their support for their teams. At the end of regulation the game was tied at 2-2 and went into sudden death.

The teams came out strong in overtime and both McClintock and Sanderson shone with the game resting heavily on their shoulders. It came down to the wire and with 53 seconds left in the period, Delaney Frey scored the winning goal to give the Rebels the game and their first Mac’s championship. Frey got player of the game for the Rebels and Jessica Sekulic won player of the game for the Thunder.

Congratulations to the Mac’s Tournament female division Champions for 2011-12, the Regina Rebels, and runners-up, the Edmonton Thunder.


Male Championship Final Summary - Mac's Tournament
Russia Severstal/Locomotiv 5 - UFA Bisons 0


After the first 20 minutes of play, the game remained scoreless despite many opportunities for Russia. The first goal of the game came at the five minute mark of the second period when Ahmed Gimbatov received a wrap around pass from Oleg Dubinin to sneak the puck past UFA goaltender Wilson Sproule. Russia continued their success with a breakaway goal scored by Artur Chuvilyaev in the final two minutes of the second. A pass out front of the net from Alexander Sharov put Russia up 3-0 at the beginning of the third. Minutes later, Sharov scores a backhanded goal, to record his second of the night. In the last minute of play, it was a hat trick goal to ensure the win for the Russians, by Alexander Sharov on the PP.

Game Star nods went to Connor Bleakley for the Bisons and Alexander Sharov for Russia.

Despite a record of 5 goals on 14 shots today, the tournament MVP award went to Bisons Goalie Wilson Sproule. This is the second Mac’s championship title for Russia Severstal (2007).

Congrats to the 2011/12 Mac’s Champions, Russia Severstal/Locomotiv and runners-up, the UFA Bisons.

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



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Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Thursday, January 05 2012 @ 03:30 AM GMT  

We started with the tryouts in the middle of August and the first league game was early September; so we are about 4 months in and have played about 33 games and had twice as many practices. So the team has been with me about 100 times.

We had our first on ice practice of the year on Monday.

10 min. - individual puck handling and partner passing while moving. Both starting with 2 pucks and then one.

10 min. - C2 passing and shooting. 1-2-3-4-5 leave. Everyone gets a pass in each zone and all do figure 8's in neutral zone 5-4-3-2-1 the other way.

10 min. - 2 pass at each end.

20 min. - D at one end and F at the other. D work on pivoting to loose pucks, passing and point shots. F works on stickhandling moves led by Jim. First alone and then going around coaches and shooting. F then work on cutbacks along side boards then shoot and then below the goal line and walk out and shoot.

10 min. - D play a one zone transition game with jokers at the point and the rule that all goals must originate from plays started at the point. F play a one zone game of 2 pass and all goals must originate from plays below the goal line. (the games used the skills each group had just practiced.)

10 min. - 2 on 2 transition game with the D getting passive support. The players break out and regroup with 2 players at the other end who hinge and pass up and then follow the play into the zone. (one goalie hurt her shoulder and we had to use only one net.)

10 min. - 4-4 transition game with the Perry Pearn rotation (attack-defend-rest)
10 min. - 2 on 2 at each end with jokers below the goal line and at the point. On transition to offense you have to pass to a joker.
I just got home from our off ice session which was on a 2/3 size hockey rink with a cement floor. We had one hour.

15 min. puck handling skills. There were 14 players (3 excused) and ten different kinds of balls. Handle the puck around the body. I demonstrate. Juggle the ball bouncing it up in the air. Exchange balls about 5 times so everyone has to get used to a different bounce and feel.

- Move around passing as many times as you can in thirty seconds. Repeat 3 times and ask how many the did.

- Move around the court passing two balls at once with a partner and see who makes the most passes.

- 7 on 7 full court game with a hockey ball and a soccer ball. Only use the stick with the hockey ball and feet with the football. Keep score.

- 4-4 at one end and 3-3 at other end games of two pass.

- 15 m. multi jumps. immitative skating, karaoke, side strides, bounding, one leg, carry partner.

- Full court 2-2 with the attackers getting passive support at the points so the defenders break out and attack the 2 new defenders who followed the play in. Rotation: defend-attack-breakout pass-rest.

- Full cout 5-5 change on the go themselves. Use a baseball sized wiffle ball stuffed with a kitchen garbage bag so it doesn't bounce and has a little feel.

- Isometrics for the neck. Recommended to the girls that they do neck exercises like the isometric and lay down with your head over the bed or table and nod yes and no as many times as possible. This is to stabalize the neck in order to prevent concussions.
We have another on ice session tomorrow and then off until next Tuesday. Our season restarts Jan. 14. Next week is
Tues. - on ice 90 min.
Wed. - spin
Thurs. - on ice 75 min.
Fri. - on ice 60 min.
Sat. - Sun. games.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Saturday, January 07 2012 @ 04:44 PM GMT  

This is a week off from games and we start the 2012 segment next weekend. Four players were on vacation. So we had 11 skaters and 2 goalies. Goal of the practice was to do everything with the feet moving and making quick decisions and quick transition from defense to offense and offense to defense.

I did a lot of coaching the principles of 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 and outline them below.

75 Minute Practice

A300 - Russian big moves while skating around the ice. Goalies do crease skating to warm-up.

B6 - Shots while skating at each end. Rotate clockwise after all have shot.
Shot one - walk out of the corner around the top of the circle and shoot with the feet moving.
Shot two - walk out of the opposite corner.
Shot three - skate from the boards to inside the dots and take a point shot from the original side.
Shot four - slide to the slot and shoot from the other point.
Shot five - breakaway from the blue line.
Rotate and repeat.

C2 Overspeed:
Carry the puck in the neutral zone as fast as possible making moves and fakes. Go in as fast as possible and pass to the player on the goal line and shoot without handling the puck. The second attacker do a full pivot with the puck before passing low.

Sequence is to carry the puck, pass low, shoot and then stand on the goal line to pass to the next players.
Greens attack one net and whites the other. To make a 1/3 w/r ratio alternate between 2 greens and 1 white leaving and next time 2 w and one g. Whistle goes every 7".
I stressed to attack the 85% scoring zone with speed and don't coast. Also only one pass is allowed in the offensive zone and all rebound. Speed, speed and more speed.

C2 Overspeed with Passing.
- 3 players leave from the boards always facing the puck and change directions when they get it. Make as many passes as possible in 10 seconds and then attack with speed.
- 11 players so attack alternating ends, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 2-0.

B600 - two D at the top of the circles at each end and Forwards at the bluelines on each side.
Do a sequence always regrouping with the D at each end and then attacking the end you originally faced.

Drill One:
2-0 leave and regroup ithe opposite D who HINGE and pass up. Regroup with two at the oringinal end who HINGE and pass up and attack 2-0. Only one pass in the offensive end. Rebound.

I stopped them to give instructions on supporting from the puck side boards and the middle. On the hinge the strong side F had to cut across the middle giving the skate and stick as targets, instead of skating right at the D giving the wing-wang as a target and the new strong side forward has to face the puck skating to the new strong side boards.

Drill Two:
Regroup with only one D who pivots and up and then regroup with the opposite D who makes a skating move and passes and then attack 2-1 vs the original D.

On the 2-1 I stopped them and gave some principles of attacking. The first pass should be made early, i.e. near the blue line to force the D to make a decision and give the pass receiver more than one play. The attack must be made with speed so it doesn't become a 2-2. Also avoid skating parallel but follow the principle of "one high one low, one fast one slow.' i.e. if I have the puck and slow down my partner should go fast so I can pass behind the D's skate. If I am really fast then the partner should stagger back a bit. 2-1's are much more effective when the attackers pass on the forehand because it creates passing lanes and sets up a toe drag and in if the
D overplays it (i.e. Gretzky and Kurri, cross and drop before the blue line, Gretzky face Kurri on the right side, saucer over the stick if the D lays it down, slide and drag and go in if the D overplays it. Pass to Coffey in the high slot if the backchecker doesn't pick him up. On the forehand you can see 180 degrees and are in a strong passing posture. On the backhand you see 90 degrees and are in a weaker passing posture and usually must pass through the defender.)

D must recognize the most dangerous player and allow the goalie to only have to cover on half of the net. It is really a 2-2 (goalies are people too)

Drill Three:
Regroup with both D and attack the original D 1-1.

Attacking point - don't simple skate at the D but use change of pace and protect the puck. Do some zig zag skating to force the D to go laterally and try to catch them on the way back. Don't attack where they are going to but where they came from. If you are in an outside lane skate toward the inside to force the D to protect the middle, then go outside a bit and catch the D when they adjust outside. Also you must sell fakes like a fake shot, change of pace, fake inside to force the D to either reach or straighten their legs and give you a half second to get on the offensive side and accelerate to the net.

D must realize they don't need to do anything but create a tight gap from the D side. The attacker is licking their lips waiting for them to reach for the puck.

Nat my goalie coach got there from work and took each goalie for 15 minutes. So I had one end of the ice.

D400 - 2-2 game of quick transition. Extra players wait at the blue line for a pass and attack right away. Sequence is attack-defend-pass leave. On a goal or the puck is frozen the new attackers get the puck.

Instruction points after a few minutes of simple 2x1-1 coverage. The 2 attackers should create a 2-1 on one of the defenders by crossing and one take the ice behind. Options are to cross and drop, fake c and d and go through the middle. Cross and pick, two quick passes, etc. Force decisions.

D must stay with their check if the play is made from near the top of the circles and in. At the blueline they have time to switch but they must talk. See the puck, see their man, box out, seal sticks to the outside and always D side.

D4 - 3 on 3 game with 3 Jokers on each team. One joker behind goal line, one one at the point, one at the half wall Jokers can check Jokers. (I played to make it 3-3)

On transition from defense to offense you must pass to a Joker who can only shoot or pass.
Players are allowed only one second with the puck.

Conditioning Skating:
- Side ladder. Always face the same wall when stopping.
- Start at the boards and skate to the coach and back in 4 groups. I called out the number of the group in sequence. To get the proper rest they can't leave before the number is called.

1 - close faceoff dot
2 - middle dot
3 - far dot
4 - far boards
5 - far dot
6 - middle dot
7 - close dot

Skating 2
All player line up on one blue line and leave when the number is called.
Exercise - skate to the red line, back to the blue and hard to the far blue. Repeat in the other direction when the number is called.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: hockeygod (offline)  Sunday, January 08 2012 @ 07:27 AM GMT  


I like the looks of this practice - "connected purposefulness!"

Too bad it wasn't recorded as it would benefit other coaches from seeing 1 minute clips of each activity... maybe another time!

It was a good session. I was running things alone as it is an early practice and my assistant coaches couldn't get there and my goalie coach was busy with the goalies. So no chance for video.

I have attached a picture wearing the Hoodie that Kalle from the Finnish Junior team gave me. Nice guys.

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



Registered:: 08/05/09

Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 03:24 PM GMT  

Team hasn't been on ice since last Thursday, 4 days. There were no games on the weekend but we have two this weekend. The goal of practice was individual and team offensive skill and general conditioning. I wanted lots of skating, lots of stick handling, passes and shots. We also worked on some good habits and competing.
We had 8 F, 6 F and 2 G alsong with 2 AC who did some of the drills and games where we needed more players.

A300 - skate around the ice doing big moves around the body on both sides and the puck in the feet and back to the stick etc. Puck handling while weaving through each other in the neutral zone stress puck protection, escape moves and fakes.

A200 - 4 lines with a puck and do the balance and edge control. Finish with a shot. All exercises both forward and backward.

B600 Sequence with 2 Regroups
- Forwards and D line up at the 4 blue stripes on the boards.
- Start with 2 D at each blueline who move with the play. D rotate in and out.
- Always 2 F leave skating across the blue line toward each other, cross and drop then skate toward the far 2 D.
- Do each exercise for about 4 minutes from the same formation.

1. 2-0 regroups with D at each end and attack 2-0. Shot must come before the hash marks. No late passes and tip ins.

2. 2-0 with double regroups and attack original D 2 on 1.

3. 2-0 with double regroup and attack original D 2 on 2 (AC play D to give 8 D).

4. 2-0 double regroup and middle D join the attack vs one D to make it 3-1.
(if we had 12 F's then we could do this with 3 F at a time and have a proper w/r ratio.)

- D at one end with Sean to work on breakout decisions and point shots. F with me for puck protection and plays behind the net.

- 4 F at each circle numbered 1-2-3-4. Place the puck on the dot and race to the edge of the circle when coach says go. Protect the puck competing 1-1 and on the whistle go to the net to score. One circle at a time starts on every whistle. Rotation - 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 1-3, 3-4, 1-2.
- After all have competed 1-2 from each circle switch. Now the players waiting become Jokers who the battling players can pass to. Jokers must pass to the player who passed to them. On the whistle try to score. Same rotation of numbers.

- Setting up plays from behind the net.
A white player goes behind the net with the puck (4 white and 4 green) while a same coloured player is in battling in front to get open vs a green defender. The player behind the net always faces the front of the net and skates back and forth and passes to the teammate in front who battles to get a shot. rotate through every player in every situation.

The same activity but now the player behind has the option of walking out and doing a wrap around when they see the goalie out of position or the defender not looking. (the key in this activity is for the puck carrier to face the play and not give blind passes to the front.

D4 - 4 on 4 game of 2 pass at each end.
3 minutes of each rule
1- just two pass.
2- only forehand passes allowed.
3- puck carrier must make an escape move before they can pass or shoot. (create time and space for yourself)

DT 100 Continuous 1-1 and 2-1.
All players are live. It is an efficient way to change on the go. When the puck crosses the red line the F gets point support from a D and the D gets support from a F making it a 2-2 at each end.

Move to the 2 on 1 by simply telling the F that now 2 join the play. F1 must go low to help the D with the 2-1 making in 2-2 and F2 must cover the point making it 3-3 at each end.

DT 100 with the D Joining the Attack and the F Backchecking (creates a 3-3 at each end.)
The same rotation as the continuous 1-1 but now the D defends one end and joins the rush to the other end and plays until the defenders break out of the aone, before going back to the line-up.
The F attacks and then must backcheck and defend in the zone and assist in the breakout before returning to the lineup.

The above 2 transition games are CORE activities because they require all the skills needed in a regular game. The continuous 1-1 game can be played with the new players either passive or active (I prefer actice) or some passive and some active ( the 2-1 can have F1 active and play the low 2-2 while F2 covers the passive D at the point and both F attack 2-1 the other way. You can play this game up to a 3-2 which gives a 5-5 at each end.

The transition game with the D joining the rush can be done up to a 2-1. One F would backcheck making that a 3-2 through the neutral zone and a 4-4 at each end. A 2-2 with one D joining the rush and the high forward backchecking creates a 5-5 at each end.

I have been puzzled why so few elite teams that I watch stick with drills instead of do the progression to transition game or only use passive support or sort of use transition games because the coach blows a whistle for the team to breakout instead of allowing he players to BATTLE and do plays under pressure.

Dump ins and regroups can be added to transition games to create loose puck situations, work on breakouts and forechecks.

TRANSITION GAMES are the MISSING LINK in the practices I see. (along with games with modified rules that require certain habits or skills we want the players to have.)

E1 - 2 shot shootout. All players get one shot at each end. 2 goals = 0 laps, 1 goal = 1 lap, 0 goales = 2 laps.

All players pick up 2 or 3 pucks and put them in the bag.

All players lay on face down around the middle circle with the sticks in the middle and the captains lead a cheer.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 12:30 AM GMT  

Flyers Jan. 13 Practice Plan

B6 Puck Handling:
Loosen shoulders and increase reach.
Two circles in each zone opposite ways
1. Puck only on the forehand side of the stick
2. Puck only on the backhand side of the stick
3. Fast hands and fast feet
4. Alternate facing inside and outside each quarter of the circle.
Finish with a shot on the net.

2-0 Double regroup.
1. Double regroup and attack 2-0.
2. Double regroup and attack 3-0 with the middle D joining the play.

B6 Diagonal Double Pass
Exchange the pucks twice with diagonal corner.
Progression is to pass to the corner give and go and shoot.


Game with the rule to go onto offense you must pass to a joker behind the net who passes.
1. Play 3-3 with the jokers behind.
2. Play 3-3 but with one player at the point who can jump in and a joker behind the net. Jokers are not checked.

D200 Game with varying Situations

From 1 to 4 players are sent out for each team.
Play 20-25” shifts.
Use only one puck and pass to the teammates coming on.

DT400 3 on 3 With a Player at the Point

Use only one puck.
Coach dumps the puck in and the first 3 players from the lineup race and battle. The 4th player play the point.

- First team to get the puck can score.
- To transition to offense you must pass the puck to your point man.
- Do not check the joker at the point.
- On the whistle players race out and the goalies change. Pass the puck to the coach who dumps it in when everyone has cleared the zone.

E1 Shootout.
Change on the go.
-Place 8 pucks on each blueline
-players wait on the bench.
-If you score race to the bench and then next player pick up a new puck from the blue line.
-If you don’t score pass to a player coming off the bench who can’t leave until you are within a stick length of the bench.
-First team to score with all the pucks wins.
-Leave the puck in the net when you score.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Sunday, January 15 2012 @ 03:48 PM GMT  

You see everything in this game. As my players stepped on the ice for the pre-game warm up one my biggest D went flying around the ice with her head down and totally flattened our goalie who was supposed to play. It was 165 lbs vs 125 and the 125 lost. She is now out with a possible concussion.

The other goalie played well and we won 3-2 with no back up. Road game today and an affiliate will back up.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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Posts: 2947
By: hockeygod (offline)  Monday, January 16 2012 @ 07:09 AM GMT  

Helped with a rural PeeWee Tier 1 team this evening... The overall skill level was very good! I mentored the coaches for the first hour of practice (they ran practice while I watched and made some comments); then I ran five 1 v 1 games half ice for the second hour (Side by Side; The Hunter; Backpressure; Face to Face; 45 Degrees).

Both the kids and the coaches really liked playing the pressure-filled games, especially incorporating the aspect of always keeping the score (the accountability) and the leadership aspect. (I appointed a leader for each team who was responsible for tallying the scores of the various games and presenting it to me - then once we determined a winner and loser (or a tie), they would take the results and reward / punishment 'back' to their team). I would use revolving leadership every practice - to let other kids practice a leadership role - in the future. I set time limits on the leadership communication (15 seconds) too - to add stress! The kids need to learn how to properly collaborate and communciate under pressure too... just like in a game situation!

The coaches mentioned previously that they wanted their kids to compete more consistently and this certainly achieved that goal. The coaches couldn't believe I was able to hold their interest for the second hour - but it is easy when you turn the responsibility over to the kids - when they know there will be accountability - and I did 'exercise' that accountability on three occasions (not paying attention; taking too long with drill management (move bodies and pucks, etc.) with a series of pushups and situps!

Interesting talking to the Team Canada NJT Exercise Physiologist afterwards (a friend of mine, Steve's son is on the PeeWee team). He said the Canadian team was under incredible media scrutiny and an exceedingly tight timeline the entire tourney. He sat down with head coach Don Hay in early September for a day to plan the entire schedule, from the tryouts throught the selection to the event (travel, meals / nutrition, practices, meetings, rest and recovery - only two days!! - tests and measurements, etc.) and reported that Don was great to work with - (a very intense man - which I can attest to myself!)

Steve was fortunate to be given carte blanche to do the schedule - taking into account the games - then also had to schedule a ton of media stuff too. He was astounded by the amount or public appearances, advertising and media opps there were - far more than any other team at the championships with Canada being the host country and the championships mattering most to Canadians on the whole.

The ex. phys. geek in me really enjoyed hearing the daily monitoring and testing they did to make sure the kids were properly hydrated and rested to the best that the schedule and media would allow!

Behind the scenes conversations like this really help accelerate my own PD and learning - not like going through it myself - but the next best thing! Hopefully by sharing it here, this helps make others aware too.
It sounds like an effective seminar Dean.

When I taught PE the large classes were divided into 12 teams and one player from each team was responsible for keeping score. There would always be 6 games going on at the same time. At the end of each game the leader of each team had to come up and the winning team circle the team number. If there was a dispute about any rule violation etc. they would do 'rock paper scissors'.

I just got an email concerning a member of the National Team of India who is very interested the the ABC's of hockey and I have referred him to this site. He has read the coachng manual.

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



Registered:: 08/05/09

Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Friday, January 27 2012 @ 05:28 PM GMT  

We had 3 good on ice practices this week and one very hard spin class with 70 minutes on the bike.

I have one goalie who has to attend her teams Alberta Winter Games weekend team building sessions and my other goalie who got a concussion when her players crushed her when they were skating onto the ice before our game two weeks ago practiced last night but had head aches after and the doctor said she has to start the concussion protocol over. So now we have zero goalies for our weekend games.

We have requested permission to use an A goalie and I think she will be available. All our other affiliates are playing.

So it will be very interesting.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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Posts: 2947
By: hockeygod (offline)  Friday, January 27 2012 @ 07:24 PM GMT  

John ran a great practice with the U18 National Training Centre (soccer) girls yesterday. These are girls who have been identified by the CSA as the best age-group players in southern Alberta and who are trying to gain a roster spot with the National U 18 team. (One of these girls is currently on the National U18 team.) There are several NTC's across the country in the large cities. I helped John coach this group a couple of years ago. The skill level and desire to compete is very high. It was very enjoyable and I love going to watch / help when my time allows...

John invited some of the best U 16 girls in the city as well as some top NTC U16 and U14 boys - plus a midfielder who was just named to Canada's U22 (male) team and is on the 2012 Olympic tryout roster. He had 27 players and 3 goalies in total - perfect numbers for nine teams of 3 players each!

He ran the "Time Machine" - two cross-field 3 v 3 games play at the same time on neighboring pitches (total of 12 players participating at once - plus 3 goalies.) The remaining players (15 players) line up straight and separate the fields. The first couple of teams at the end of the line have to be alert to watch for scoring. When you score, you dig the ball out of the net and attack the other way. When you get scored on, you sprint off to the back of the line and the next 3 players run onto the field to defend their 'new' net.

One end had 3 nets - 2 on one side and 1 on the other. All three nets had goalies; they played with a regulation size 5 soccer ball. The other end had 2 small nets; no goalies; and played with a smaller, heavier 'futsal' ball. (This really encouraged quick transitions!)

This was some of the best soccer I have ever witnessed in person. They played for almost 90 minutes straight!

John had pre-established certain expectations for the teams based on age and skill level - to help challenge them and hold them accountable to their performance.

John challenged the one team of boys (an exceptional 13 year-old (over 6' tall and coordinated!), a 15 year-old NTC U18 and the 20 year-old National Team player) to win outright by a certain point spread or they would have to do 100/100 (pushups and situps). They won!

(When told (erroneously by design!) that they were close - within the point spread - with 5 minutes to play, you should have seen them turn it on! They stayed in the game for the last five minutes and cleaned house. I think they scored more than 20 goals in that five minutes!! Funny what motivation will do to some people...!)

The team with the female U18 National TC player (and 2 other NTC U18's) was challenged to finish first of the girls; they were beat by the boys (expected) AND a team of 1998 girls (U16) - none of whom are in the NTC group, but are elite players for their age - so they had to do 80/80 for finishing second to these girls.

So you see, even though a group might seem to be strong and 'win' on paper... THE GAME ISN'T PLAYED ON PAPER! I have seen this happen regularly and that is why you have to play the games... not just cede the points because of what 'should happen'! This is an important point for coaches and players to understand. It gives hope to the 'paper underdogs!"

See the Game Intelligence thread (Jan 27 2012, page 4) for a comment I overheard after this practice...

We have played this in hockey and in handball too and it really challenges the players to remain focused and intense - speed of transition is critical! Our grade 7 group which has more than 30 kids (and 5 goalies) loves to play the Time Machine! (You need numbers to do it well!)

We want to try "The Vortex" which is a "Time Machine" with a third field and an extra 'line' of players... this time, we tell the players the direction of rotation to ensure there are no screwups in substitution!

We have played with teams of 2 and it works very well as it covers off the four playing roles - sort of a precurser to playing 3 v 3!

When playing with one's own team (rather than a collection of super players, like in this case), the coach can also focus on tactical plays while the kids play this game (3 players per side is the magic number as you can work with triangulation - both on offense and defense!) With this NTC group, John focuses on principles of play and their execution - since they aren't really a 'team'.

I also recommend coaches try playing games with different weights of puck (blue, orange and black) or objects (balls) as well as different shapes and sizes of objects for handball, soccer, etc. (golf balls, squash balls, tennis balls, utility balls, footballs, basketballs, sponge balls (like Nerf), etc. This forces people to adapt their 'touch' to match the physical object they are using.

Different shapes, sizes and weights 'change' the dynamics of the game. You can't throw or pass the lighter objects as farl so this encourages short passes therefore needing close, quick support to be successful. We let the kids figure it out as we go... and often times, we will 'switch' the object partway through the games to force skill and tactic adaptations!

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



Registered:: 08/05/09

Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Friday, January 27 2012 @ 11:51 PM GMT  

This is our practice plan for Thursday. It was the final practice before two games on the weekend. Skating and shooting, lots of flow drills while passing at full speed, breakouts and then team play. Practice ended with a shootout. Diagrams on the pdf attached.

A200 Edges and Balance with a shot on goal.

B6 Double Cross Drop and one timer.-leave corner and pass across.
-cross blue line and cross and drop
-pass across nzone.
-gain blue line then cross and drop
-pass across and one timer

B6 3-0 weave

Skate inside and pass outside
Regroup at other end and attack 3-0 with offensive triangle.

B600 Double Regroup Options

A. double regroup attack 2-0, 5’
B. double regroup attack 2-2, 5’
C. regroup and instead of second regroup dump puck in and breakout using; over, counter, reverse. 5’

Goalie practice at one end so 2/3 ice

DT 400 Back Pressure Game of 2 on 2 to 2 on 4

On a goal, breakout or frozen puck the back checkers skate back to the far blue line and attack vs the original attackers.

Two players from the line-up at each blue lineback check with the puck side backchecker giving back pressure. It goes from a 2-2 to a

T D400 Team play practice.
Review the team play. Attack and on transition pass puck to coach and tag up at red line – coach shoot puck in and former offensive team defend vs new group
3 lines start from the far blue line.
-practice forecheck
-defensive zone coverage
-5-4 powerplay
4-5 penalty killing

E1 Two shot shootout

2 each

1 goal = 1 lap
0 goals = 2 laps
2 goals = 0 laps

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


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By: hockeygod (offline)  Saturday, January 28 2012 @ 06:41 PM GMT  

I ran a 75 minute, full-ice Timbits (2005) practice early this morning at 630 am.

This was my first one with this group. They have only had about 20 practices so far this year! (Sounds low to me but I don't know Timbits! Can anyone else on here tell me if this is 'normal / high / low' for this time of year (late January)?

We warmed up with a few reps of British Bulldog (8 minutes). The players had to skate the length of the ice controlling their puck, with their head up so they could see the ice (open ice and checkers and other kids). The coaches turned their sticks upside down and tried to steer the kids; they could even try to put their stick onto the individual pucks (but no knoocking pucks away!)

12 skaters, so we created four teams of 3 players each, put pinnies on, and played two cross-ice games 3 v 3 inside each end zone. We had four nets, so the coaches acted as goalies but they had to turn their sticks over (like ringette). We kept the nets a few feet off the boards; just like in a real game. The coaches kept score for their own team. We played 14 minute games (four) and after each, we checked the scores. Winners got a quick drink and relax; all of the losers had to do 10 jumping jacks on the spot (for balance) with the group - keeping it as a team 'punishment'. Then the losers got a drink and we switched opponents / ends.

We played 'normal' hockey: you attack one end and defend one end. No transition stuff... yet! I will slowly add the 'rules of engagement' as the practices go on...

'Rules of Engagement' taught today:

1) Pick captains (coaches keep track and rotate each time) to do Rock Paper Scissors to see who starts with the puck.

2) Always change sides for each 'new' game (even when switching ends to play another team).

3) If the puck goes outside the area (blueline), closest player gets the puck and brings it back to the line where it went out. Opponents have to give him 5 feet; other players get open!

4) Focus on the skills (skating, puck control, shooting, angling) - respect your teammates and opponents (no penalties!)

5) Shut up and let them play! (Coaches could encourage "heads up play" at most.) Have fun... repeat!

6) After every game, bring them in to get the scores. Ask the players first, then confirm with the coaches (goalies). Do the punishments, get water. Then a quick reinforcement of the critical things today: Heads up play!!! Ask why and guide them with their answers. Three things to do with the puck: Skate with it (puck control / stick handle / deke); pass it; shoot it.

The coaches (and parents watching) were blown away that we didn't use any pylons AND we hardly talked to the players! After two games, we asked the kids if they would rather get some pylons out and do some skills or should we keep playing these games, and they all yelled, "GAMES!" Afterwards, a couple of kids came over to say "Thanks for a fun practice" as did several of the parents!

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



Registered:: 08/05/09

Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Tuesday, January 31 2012 @ 04:53 PM GMT  

We now have 4 games left. After starting at 7 W and 7 L we are now 15-11-2 and have 4 games left. There are 3 teams from Calgary and we are in third, another Calgary team is 3 points behind with a game in hand and the other is 5 points behind with 4 games left. We are in third place in our division. There are 6 teams and the top two get a bye round one and it is 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5. One team is far behind us all but has started winning lately. We have beaten both of the team in front of us and every game is close.

So we have a realistic chance if we play well and the hockey gods are good to us.

Last night we had a dryland session on the NSD sports court, which is about half the size of a regular rink. I had them play a full court game the entire practice. is a 90 second video.

We had 14 players and 3 teams of 4 and they took turns in the net. Game to 5 goals and the losing teams had to run across and back as many times as the number of goals they lost by. Greens attack White at one end, White breaks out and attack Red at the other end. Red breakout and attack Green and continue this rotation. Switch who they attack the next game. The game went the full hour and it was a great aerobic work out.

We are on ice the next three nights. Tonight both of my goalies are out. One is sick and they other still has a concussion after getting run over by her team mate in the warm up two weeks ago. She has trouble focusing. Las night she tried the exercise bike but had to stop because of symptoms. I don't know if any of our affiliates can make it to practice so I will take my 4 small nets on and adapt.

There is a big debate whether Calgary should drop to 2 teams instead of 3. Two Bantam AAA teams supply the three teams which would be ok, as there are 3 years of midget eligibility and 2 of bantam. The thing that throws it off is that many players go to the Edge and Warner Sports Schools where they get on the ice and dryland every day instead of two or three practices, one dryland and two games per week. Midget AAA is the girls Junior as far a scholarships go. They go to college right out of high school whereas the boy's play a few years of Junior first. So getting on the ice every day makes sense to a lot of players and their parents.

I was allowed to protect 8 returning skaters and one goalie at the draft. Only 6 were returning and I had to chose a goalie. My team ended up with those six returning midget AAA players, two returning midget AAA who were not protected by their last season team, two Bantam AAA players who were my first two picks and five players who played Midget A last season and an underage goalie from the Bantam AAA league.

For comparison Edmonton has only one team and is about the same size as Calgary.

Our team has really improved as the season has progressed i.e. two players from the A league are my second and third top point getters right now.

Our focus the last games is going to be the 'war zone' in front of each net. Attack and Defend with superior numbers. We always focus on good habits but will do a lot more flow drills and transition games that require doing things at full speed skating and quick decision making skill.

We go north this weekend to play Edmonton and St. Albert, the top two teams in the northern division. It will be a really good test to show where we are right now.

If only my goalies would get healthy.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Wednesday, February 01 2012 @ 03:59 PM GMT  

90 Minute Practice with Zero Goalies

Our team has 15 skaters and 2 goalies. One goalie has the flu and the other a concussion. Two skaters have the flu and one had to leave after 30 minutes to get her knee checked by a doctor. So we started with 13 and went down to 12 skaters.

I told the rink attendant to take the big nets off the ice and I brought two small nets on to make scoring a challenge. The practice theme was good habits, skating technique, speed and competition.

15 minutes:
D1 - 3 full ice games lasting 5 min. each.
1-the puck carrier must take three strides and then pass or shoot. (puck support game as well as the habit of skating to open ice instead of the common habit of passing while standing still)
2-the puck carrier must cross a blue line before passing and if you get a pass in the offensive zone you cannot pass but must try to score. (moving to open ice with the puck with speed and using good moves and puck protection skills)
3-at least one pass in each zone and goals must result from Give and Go plays. (puck support and learning to Pass and Go instead of the common habit of Pass and Watch)

A200 - Skating and Balance exercises with a puck followed by Russian Big Moves Exercises
Work on the inside and the outside edges and carrying the puck all around the body.

B202 - moves with everyone in the neutral zone.
Start with all at once and then alternate one colour make the moves around the other colour who stands still then rotate.

B600 Continuous 3-1 with 2 F and 1 D - Finland U20
Continuous flow drill where the D defends a 3-1 then gets a pass from another D and makes a breakout to either of 2 F coming into the zone and joins the attack vs opposition D. The defending D will do the same and pass and join the attack the other way.
This is a very quick drill and with the low numbers my assistant coach had to join in. We did this about 5 minutes.

D400 Perry Pearn 3 on 3
Play 3-3 and the resting players wait at the red line. The defenders must break out of the zone before passing and then they rest and the original attackers must defend.

We played 3 games to 3 goals with the losing team skating a rep of various conditioning drills for every goal they lost by. It ended 2 games to 1 with the team that lost game one 3-0 and had to do a hard skate winning games two and three.

10 Minutes - Talk on the Talent Code and what you need to do to get better.
With the small numbers and a long practice I gave them a physical break and explained what it takes to get better. The best female player I have ever coached came to pick up tickets to the Flames-Red Wings game from me (practice made me miss this game) and I introduced her. When she left I explained how when I took over coaching college her name wasn't even mentioed by the former coach as being a good player. She worked as hard as she could every practice and became the best player in the league by a long way. She went on to play for the Oval Extreme (best women's team in the world at that time) and was a better player than any of the National Team players I coached later in the WWHL.

I told them about creating movement patterns that become faster and faster with Deep Practice.

We started off as the least talented Calgary team and struggled vs the last placed team in pre season games. Now if our goalies play as well as the goalie at the other end we have a chance to win vs all the other 11 teams in the Province if we get full effort from everyone and play with discipline in team play and technique (so we stay out of the penalty box).
D100 3 on 3 Full Ice Game with 45 Second Shifts
Extra players in the box and pass to team mate coming on when the whistle blows.

Tonight and Thursday we should have two goalies.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Friday, February 03 2012 @ 03:20 PM GMT  

February is 'Own the Slot Month'

We are refining our game down to the details in the 'War Zone' that circle in front of the net to the dots and out to the top of the circles where most goals are scored from. That is the area that most games are won and lost.

Our focus is to get there with 4 attackers and get shots and fight for rebounds on offense and on defense collapse there with a player on the puck and a box behind. On offense we keep our sticks free and tie theirs up on defense.

It was the second practice with this as our theme.

Practice Plan

- Warm up -
B202 - Everyone including goalies stand opposite a partner one on each blue line and saucer pass keeping the puck flat and dropping it on the red line. First standing still and then moving back to the top of the circles and up to the blue line. 10 of each.

B202 - Passing and Shooting: on both nets
Greens on one side and whites on the other side at the red line. Each shoot at a different net.
- Sequence One - 1 pass across to 2, 2 back to 1, 1 back to 2 back to 1 who goes in and shoots with the feet moving, follow the shot for a rebound and then circle back to rebound the next shot before returning to the line.
- Sequence Two - same two give and goes and then give and go with the last shooter who is on the goal line and shoot without handling the puck. Pass to the next shooter and after you pass step out and look for a rebound.

B202 - One on One's in Both Directions
- 1 leaves from against the boards at the red line with a puck going north and 1 leaves from the other side with a puck going south. 1 skates back to the blueline and attacks the south goal and opposite on the other side.
- 2's leaves from the red line with NO puck and the stick upside down and skates back to touch the blueline then up to close the gap and defends vs 1 on each side.
- Key offensive points are to beat the opponent with speed and good fakes and at least get a shot on net and crash for a rebound. Defenders must play a tight gap always on the defensive side and tie up the stick on rebounds.
- No whistles, which allows coaches to coach. Players watch and leave when the last group gets to the top of the circles.

D400 - Swedish Net Battles at one end and goalie with one Tender at the other end
- Green vs White - one white behind the net gets passes to the front where two whites battle for position with two greens. Each player gets two passes from the coach and then rotate. Keep score.
- Attackers fight to keep their sticks free and get open and defenders tie up the sticks and must see the puck and their man. Battle for rebounds. When the puck goes out of the 'war zone' a new puck is passed to the player behind the net by the coach.

T4 D400 - 2 on 2 from Below the Goal Line-coach pass to a low player in the corner who must attack the net from below the goal line.
-defenders check one attacker each and play until a goal or the puck is cleared.

DT400 - Team Play Review Game with the Perry Pearn Rotation:
- Players are lined up behind the red line.
- You can have the three lines play together and the 6 D are in two groups of 3. We just used two colours as we play Total Hockey and everyone needs to have ALL the skills.
- Goal is to create loose puck battles and review our forecheck and cycle on the attack and the breakout and dzone coverage defending.
- Rotation: 3 greens shoot the puck in from the red line vs 3 whites who start at the blue line. They battle for the loose puck and the greens try to score and the whites defend. The defenders must carry the puck over the blue line before passing to the next group; on a dump out the attackers regroup and dump it in again. When the whites clear the zone they pass to the next 3 whites who dump and chase vs the original greens who must skate up and touch the blue line before going back for the the loose puck battle.
- Attackers do OUR forecheck which is 1 on the puck, 2 on the second D, 3 on the puck side boards and the defenders go back with 1 and 2 and 3 gets on the boards for an outlet when they get possession. So it is an effective way to review offensive and defensive team play.
- Keep score and coaches stay at the red line and talk with players when they return to the line up.

DT100 - 2 on 2 Backchecking Game
- This game is full ice and the players line up on one side along the boards at the red line.
- Two greens attack two whites and when they cross the red line two white players follow and give passive support from inside the top of the circles as they would playing wing in a game. If the attackers bring the puck high in the slot they can challenge as they would in a game.
- On transition or after a goal the defending whites pass to the supporting whites who attack the other way and the original green attackers must backcheck and are followed by two new greens when they cross the red line.
- The backcheckers must identify who they are covering and tie up their sticks so they don't score on a rebound. They must battle for the puck and make a breakout pass to their supporting players and the attackers must now back check.
- This is a very intense game and the backcheckers have to communicate and not get the 'stare' going where they are puck focused and lose track of their coverage.

E1 Change on the Go Shootout
- 8 pucks on each blue line.
- Score race back to the bench and the new player leaves when you get one stick length away and a new player picks up a puck from the blue line.
- Don't score then get the rebound and pass to the next player at the bench door who attacks.
- Losing team pick up the pucks.

Big test this weekend as we travel to Edmonton and play the top two teams in the Northern Division.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: hockeygod (offline)  Saturday, February 04 2012 @ 06:34 PM GMT  

John and I ran a PD Session for the Calgary Catholic School Division Friday morning. We had 1.5 hours of on-ice and 12 teachers in full gear. We invited a few other coaches to come watch (we missed you Tom!)

Based on experience, it is most effective to have 1.5 - 2 hours in the gym first to teach the concepts and games off-ice (introduce and expand on the theory and our particular 'rules of engagement' (ROE); then have the coaches play handball games to learn through doing), then let the teachers hit the ice and play our games (which leads to better, more efficient utilization of ice time), but it wasn't to be. In an ideal world, we would then have the teachers run an ice session using some kids from the skill academy and we would then mentor them.

After introducing the coaches to our philosophy and ROE, we had them play four games from our 1 v 1 sequence: Side by Side, 45 Degrees, Face to Face and Back Pressure. Then we played The Spartan Box 1 v 1 and 2 v 2. We finished with a brief overview of The Fortress. We had to talk more than we liked and this led to less 'play time' but as mentioned above, we had to operate within our constraints.

1.5 hours goes by far too quickly when you are introducing new games and 'how to teach' methodology to teachers who come from a drill-centred and explicit teaching model! (We believe in game-centred, implicit learning as it has been proven to be the best method to learn long-term!) I continue on my crusade to bring teaching methodologies into the 21st century (amazing that it is based on 19th century philosophies!) to best meet then needs of today's student

I don't think we 'converted' everyone, but we did receive tremendous feedback from several teachers, with requests for further workshops in the future. At least the teachers are now aware and 'thinking' that there may be other ways to teach! (To make larger changes, we need to change how teachers are trained at university.)

Everyone involved said they had fun... moreso than if we had brought out pylons to run a traditional drill-oriented practice. I asked them to think about their students - what approach would they enjoy more? The answer was a resounding, "Games!"

I salute those who came to the session and truly appreciate the opportunity to try to make the game better for the kids.

M.Ed (Coaching)
Ch.P.C. (Chartered Professional Coach)
Game Intelligence Training

"Great education depends on great teaching."



Registered:: 08/05/09

Posts: 2063
By: TomM (offline)  Saturday, February 04 2012 @ 09:24 PM GMT  

Dean I was going to catch the last hour but my brother called me on skype just as I was
Leaving and
By the time I was off the call i had missed too much to
Make it worthwhile.
I am on a bus to our game in Edmonton now.

I just finished meeting with every player which I usually do on bus rides over 2 hours.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: Anonymous: TomM ()  Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 02:27 PM GMT  

We are coming up to the last two games of the regular season and are tied for third with another Calgary team. They have 3 games left but we play on Friday night and if we win that and Sunday we would win the season series 3-1 and remain in third spot.

Las weekdend I implemented a different forecheck for the playoffs. Instead of the Tsunami we are now using the Pounce which is a combination of left wing lock and Torpedo. It looks the same as the Tsunami with 2 forecheckers and pressure on the outlet pass to the boards on both sides but instead of reading 1-2-3 on the forecheck the left wing stays on the left side and covers their right wing on the breakout and the point when the RD pinches on the right side. The LD is a defensive defenseman and always on the puck side. I used this style for five years coaching college and we won over 70% of our games; so it has been effective with my teams.

I am attaching a 45 second clip of my college team vs the University of Calgary. #5 is the left wing, #10 is the LD, #17 the RW, #16 the C and you can see the RD pinching on that side and moving back to the point on when the puck goes to the other side.

I am pretty sure Dean was the asst. coach of U of C that year and head coach the next two seasons.

By: TomM (offline)  Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 07:38 PM GMT  

Today we will do a pre game practice.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
By: TomM (offline)  Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:56 PM GMT  

The practice is at 4 pm so some players scramble to get there on time if their classes run late. We had one goalie for the first 30 minutes as the other goalies classes have changed in the new semester that started this month.

Goal of the practice was to prepare for the two games on the weekend. Tonights game is basically for third place in the standings as the playoffs start next weekend.

5 minutes:
All 15 skaters and one goalie did the Around the Clock passing drill that I posted a few days ago.

10 minutes:
Shots from 3 lanes with one second before leaving after making the pass. Players line up in three lanes at one end and start with the middle player passing to one wing and wait one second then leave and get a pass from the other wing who waits a second then leaves and gets a pass from the far wing. They shoot before the top of the circle. We wait so it isn't Machine Gun Shooting and the goalie can prepare for each shot.

10 minutes: Forecheck Review
Don't usually do this on the ice but we reviewed our Pounce forecheck which looks exactly the same as the Tsunami but the left wing is the designated F3 and only the RD pinches with the LD filling on both sides.

15 minutes:
The other goalie got their and now one goalie worked at one end and we did a 2/3 ice review.

Broke the team into 3 sets of 5 in Red, Greeen and White. We then worked on the Pounce forecheck in a rotation.
Leave from the blueline and White attack vs Green. To focus on the forecheck white crosses the red line and dumps the puck in and they play in the far end. When Green breaks out they pass to Red who now dumps the puck in vs White who has to skate up and touch the red line before going back for the puck.

This is a semi controlled scrimmage and we stopped everyone a few times to point out important things. We have switched the centres on two of the lines so it was good to do team play together.

12 minutes: Power Play
We did the same rotation but switched who each team attacked against. Now the defending group rotated sitting out the LW, RW, C so they all got a turn at killing penalties.

The attacking team is allowed to enter the zone any way they want and the defenders can shoot it out is in the pk.

10 minutes: Double Regroup
- 5 minutes with the double regroup in the neutral zone and attack 2-0.
- 5 minutes of double regroup and attack 2-1

8 minutes: Change on the Go Shootout
All in the box and 8 pucks on each blue line. Score then race to the bench and the next player can go. Don't score then pass to a player at the bench who gets a try. First team scoring all goals wins.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'


Registered:: 06/25/08

Posts: 2947
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