Defense do an escape move when they get the puck. Forwards give game-like support on the boards and in the middle lane.
1. F1-F2-D1 leave from the neutral zone and D2 follow.
2. Coach shoot a puck in and take away one passing lane.
3. D1 make an escape move and skate between the dots before making a breakout pass.
4. One F give an outlet along the strong side boards and the other mirror D1 from the middle lane.
5. Regroup with D2 in the neutral zone giving wall and middle support.
6. F1-F2 attack 2-1 vs. D1 using the 'One high one low, one fast one slow' principle.
7. Repeat at the other end with D2-F3-F4 breaking out and regroup with D3.
* This rotation is effective up to 3-2 or send out 1 to 3 F and 1 or 2 D to teach awareness.
Skate between the dots if possible when you get a pass. Middle player fill the wide lane. Pull the defenders to the inside and do a wide entry. First player over the blue line with the puck go hard to the net. Shoot low to the far side to pass off the goalies pad. Always stop at the net for rebounds.
1. Player 1 leave from each end and one time a pass from the coach.
2. Player 2 leave from the blueline with a puck and cross and drop the puck to player 1.
3. Player 1 skate to the 'Big Ice' between the dots.
4. Player 2 cross in front to the wide lane.
5. Player 1 pass to 2 who does a wide entry into the offensive zone.
6. Attack 2-0 and player 2 makes a 'Pass of the Pads' to player 1.
7. Player 1 be ready to score off the rebound.
*Option: Give 5” for 1-2 to score to promote jumping on loose pucks and making a play.
Forwards attack with speed and the defender delay the attack and take away any back door plays. Allow the goalie to cover the strong side of the net.
1. Players are on each side in the neutral zone and at each end.2. F1-F2 attack 2-0 and D1 follow to the blue line.
2. F1-F2 attack 2-0 and D1 follow to the blue line.
3. F3 skate out of the corner with a puck and F1-F2-F3 attack 3-1 vs. D1.
4. Play out the 3-1 until the puck is out of play or D1 passes to F3 or F4 at the blue line.
5. Repeat and F3-F4 attack 2-0 and F5 join them and attack 3-1 vs. D2.
*Attack with speed and the middle drive.
* Make the first pass near the blue line then read to drive the net or make a second play.
Defend from the net side. Stick on the puck and tight gap. Attacker make quick hard fakes, shot and follow the shot.
1. Players are at both circles in the defensive zone.
2. D1 start inside the circle and one touch a pass back to F1 at the edge of the circle.
3. F1 attack 1-1 and try to score vs. D1.
4. Coach whistle when the play is over.
5. D1 repeat and play 1-1 with F2 from the same circle.
6. D2 repeat from the other circle defending vs. F3 then F4.
* This could be a contest with one colour vs. the other.
Attack with speed and make the first play early to force the defender to make a decision. Defender delay the play and prevent the puck from crossing the mid-line to allow the goalie to cover the strong side of the net. If the defender slide it must be outside the post.
1. Players line up at diagonal blue lines.
2. F1 leave from the far blue line while F2 and D1 leave from the diagonal blue line.
3. F1 pass to F2 who one touches back to F1.
4. D1 follow F2 and then pivot backward and defend vs. F1-F2.
5. F3-F4 and D2 repeat from the opposite blue lines.
Create challenging tasks that get progressively more difficult. I taught over 25, 000 PE classes in my career and this was the most popular activity. We did it as a role playing game and half were guards and the other have trying to escape from a prisoner of war camp. Everyone had to be silent and if the prisoner failed the guard said bang and they had to go back. It made it more fun to have the story attached but in a hockey practice you wouldn’t have to do this. It was such a popular activity that at noon intramural time there would be kid’s from grade 1 to grade 9 playing at the same time.
1. Have the players line up and do various skill tasks.
2. If they are successful they go to the next station. If they fail they have to go back to the start.
3. Have two teams that get between 5-10 minutes to go through while the other team judges each station. Compete to see which team has the most players finish the circuit.
4. Another alternative is to have coaches be the judges and all the players do it.
This is a link to many pictures of kid's doing Mission Impossible in PE class and Intramurals. They absolutely loved it.
Shoot with the head up from the middle, left or right. Miss the shot blocker and see where teammates are screening or looking for a shot pass.
1. Coach pass from the top of the circle to the player at the point in the middle.
2. Player must do everything with his head up and know where the shot blocker is.
3. Pass one skate to the forehand side and take a wrist or snap shot.
4. Pass one skate to the forehand side and take a wrist or snap shot.
5. Pass two slap shot from the middle.
6. On the third pass skate fake going to the forehand and skate backwards and shoot.
I am re-posting these ideas about Penalty Killing. It seems that all teams now do the Fall Under where the weak side player vs. a 1-3-1 covers the player in the middle. I was at a game vs. Washington and the pk let Ovechkin take 4 one timers from his off witng and then did the same with Stamkos. Needless to say it didn't seem like a good idea.
Instead the defenders should be in a diamond with the player on top not much farther than the top of the circles with his legs in front of the shot. Never chase a pass to the side but stay in the middle and drop down to their player in the middle of the 1-3-1 and allow the F and D on the sides to get in front of the shooter and the D in front to box out. So the middle high man goes up and down from the goal out. Be aggressive unless the pp has total control facing the play.
Skate from the net out and don't chase passes to the side but stay on the puck carrier if he skates with it. Here is a posting I made a few years ago. I still play hockey with the same group on M-W morning.
A couple of days ago I asked Bob Murdoch, former two time Stanley Cup winning player and Coach
of the Year in the NHL and Germany if he would discuss his thought on specialty teams with me. Last
year I was coaching with Pierre Page and he used a very aggressive PK that they used together as
assistants on the Flames. So I wanted to compare their ideas. Mud agreed to meet with me and we
went to an empty dressing room after our over 55 morning game and I listened for an hour.
So here are the thoughts that we talked about and drew on the coaching board.
Murdoch has gone away from the ultra aggressive penalty kill rotation that Pierre uses with the Red
Bulls. He thinks it works great if all 4 players move together every time but if they don’t rotate or
over rotate then it leave players open in scoring positions.
Scoring Area: (diagram in attached pdf.)
- The goal of penalty killing is to protect the front of the net and keep the puck to the outside.
- Go to the puck “through the net” in a straight line. Pads denying the shot and stick on the
ice in a dangerous passing lane.
- Be aggressive with the stick on the puck if you can arrive at the same time or before the
puck or if the attackers back is turned and he/she doesn’t have complete puck control.
- The closest player always challenge with the stick on the ice, skating in a straight line
while the other players rotate.
1. one player rotate to the front of the net
2. one on the puck,
3. one denying the slot pass but ready to move to a short passing option.
4. farthest player with the stick in the dangerous passing lane and usually has the 2-1.
- When they pass away drop down into the scoring area with the stick on the ice denying passes across or into the scoring area. Prevent passes through the slot.
- Penalty Killing vs the Slot Set Power Play.
- Don’t get tied up with players, you must be free to rotate. Take their stick when the puck is coming don’t wrestle them.
- Don’t finish checks on the pk. It takes you out of the play and you can’t rotate.
- Skate in straight lines up and back and Don’t Chase to the Outside.
- D should not go to the point.
- Don’t rotate positions but challenge the puck and then drop back into the slot area.
- Drop back quickly so they can’t pass behind you. It is the most dangerous play.
Defend in a collapsible diamond with the top player skating up and back and only sideways if the point man skates with the puck.
Description" from the diagram in the pdf. attached below.
1 - Skate in straight lines out from the net. Drop to the slot when the puck is passed to either side. DO NOT CHASE PASSES TO EITHER SIDE.
2-3 - Diamond when the puck is in the middle and block shot when at your side. Collapse to middle when the puck is passed to the other side.
4 - Front the screener and seal stick to the outside on a shot.
* If the mid-point player with the puck skates one way the top man has to go with him. If he skates and passes back to the middle then the player who did the 'fall under' to the middle go straight out and become the high man and the original high man switch roles with him. It is a tandem rotation. Do you never allow an unchallenged shot from the point.
This is the Czech U20 team that came to Calgary to practice and play a tournament with two teams from Canada and the Russians. Them and the Russians practiced at the Edge School just outside of Calgary. This is a short clip that I took just as I got there and caught the end of the individual warm-up. Petr Svoboda, who played for Toronto coached their defense. I worked with him in the Czech Republic doing a hockey camp and also mentored him in his practice plans for his team. The club offered me a job as coach mentor. Petr coached the Czech U17 team that came to Calgary for a Christmas tournament and has taken the top certification now and is with their U20 team. Great guy. He let me know he was coming and I attended all their practices and have posted a lot of the drills with them and the Russians here.
B5 - Breakout Reps - Czech U20
Defense go through the options for picking up a dump in. Shoulder check one way, fake, hard strides with the puck. It is great to put the players in charge of their own development. Instead of being robots they have to think of the options, good habits and skills required and then do them on their own.
1. Defense at one end and alternate options when they go back for a puck.
2. Shoulder check, fake turn right, left, counter, wheel.
3. The D to D options; over, reverse can also be done.
Battle for loose pucks. Protect the puck with the body and quick fakes and stick moves.
1. All the skaters are in the corner, the coaches around the perimeter keep the pucks in.
2. Start by shooting in 3 pucks and play keep-away.
3. Play about 40" and the players without a puck do 5 push ups.
4. Coach now shoots in 2 pucks.
5. Players fight for possession and protect the puck.
6. Repeat with 3 pucks.
7. At the end of each rep those without a puck 5 push-ups.
Stay low and turn the inside shoulder into the turn. Keep the feet moving and open the hips in the backward pivot.
1. Nets are in the corners.
2. Two players skate around a net with a tight circle then a bigger circle and hard to the blue line.
3. Repeat in the other direction around the net in the other corner.
4. Defensemen skate from the blue line backward at a 45 degree angle.
5. Pivot to the inside to a glove in the middle at the top of the circles.
Attack quickly and make the first play early to get a scoring chance before the backchecker can make it a 3-3. Attack with the middle drive. Defenders delay the play to give time for the backchecker to pick up a man.
1. F1-F2 attack 2-0 from the blue line.
2. After the shot F3 join them with a puck from the corner.
3. Attack 3-2 vs. D1-D2.
4. Coach tells the defending forward F4 when to backcheck.
5. Defenders communicate to cover one attacker each.
6. F1-F2-F3 continue 3-3 vs. D1-D2-D3 until the whistle.
7. Hustle out of the zone.
8. Repeat with the next group.
* Option is to play until a goal, puck is frozen or D skates the puck out or pass to a coach at the blue line.
T1 - A500 - Puck Control and Protection Circuit - U17
Shield the puck with the back and inside leg. Come out of the tight turns in the triple threat position. Only cross the hands when there is no defender, instead put the bottom had down on the shaft and sit low.
1. Station A puck protection.
2. Players leave from the blue line and protect the puck.
3. One coach push them with a blocking pad and another coach give passive resistance with the stick on the puck.
4. Walk out and take a shot and stop for the rebound.
5. Station B defensemen agility skate and shoot.
6. Pivot between forward and backward skating then shoot from the mid-point.
7. Station C agility skating in the neutral zone with a puck.
8. Make tight turns both ways around pylons.
9. Protect the puck from the coach and finish around pylons.
The ideas can be used from beginner to pro. It is up to the coach to decide what drills, games, contests and team play ideas are best suited for the players or team they are coaching.
If you are having trouble accessing the Dropbox I have listed all of the drill and game ideas for the AAU coaches. The link is and the drills are put together according to individual and team skill topics.
This is a small area game and good habits like facing the play with and without the puck are crucial. Everyone should cover one player on defense and give close support on offense. Take at least 3 quick strides to open ice when you get the puck and continually create offensive 2-1’s. Give a target and get open.
1. Play a cross ice game of 3 on 3.
2. Extra players line up along the blue line.
3. Take 30" shifts and pass to a teammate coming on when the whistle blows.
4. Extra players hold the puck in and coach only shoot in a new puck when the puck is out of play.
5. Keep Score!!
* Option: Allow passes to team mates on the blue line.
* Option 2: Both teams skate behind their own net when they come on.
Cover one player each from the defensive side. Defend from the net side. Seal sticks to the outside when defending in front. One attacker screen, one shot pass and one get into a one timer position when the puck is at the point. Cycle and create offensive 2-1’s. Pass and get open.
1. Play 3 on 3 below the circles.
2. Transition to offense by passing to the coach above the circles.
3. Play man to man defense.
4. The coach can pass or shoot.
5. Attackers get open, screen, set picks, cycle to score.
6. Extra players wait near the blueline and rotate in on their own.
* Modified rules can be used to focus on individual skills or team play concepts.
* No one check the Joker at the point but cover one player each.
Wally Kozak does a great job teaching puck support to U15 boy's. They start with 3-0 one touch passing and moving, then a defender is added and they get 3 chances to score. Another attacker and defender join and they play 4-2 one touch. Next they play a transition game of 2-2 with one Joker at the top of the circles. You must pass to the Joker to be on offense. They finish with two Jokers at the point and the Jokers can pass to the team that regrouped with them or shoot.
Wally Kozak takes U15 boy’s through a puck support sequence. The key is to pass and get open, give a target, have your head up so you can make the next pass, skate to open ice when you get the puck.
1. Start with 3 players one touching the puck around a triangle in the slot and shooting.
2. Add one defender and allow only one touch.
3. One point for a goal and defenders get a point when the puck is out of play.
4. Offense gets 3 new pucks.
5. Rotate new player in and continue 3-1.
6. Play 4-2 one touch.
7. Shoot when there is an open lane to the net.
8. Focus on players moving to get open.
9. Play a two touch game of 2-2 and to go on offense pass to the one Joker above the circles.
10. Add another Joker at the point. Regroup with a Joker to go onto offense.
11. Low 2 on 2 with 2 Jokers.
Play a tight gap defending and stay with the attacker after the shot. Attacker protect the puck and make a hard move, get a shot and follow for a rebound. Battle for the first rebound before the attacker leaves to defend and the next attacker watch for when to leave.
1. Players are in a line outside each blue line.
2. The line-up can be on either side or in the middle.
3. Player 1 circle everyone and shoot.
4. Player 1 skate out and defend vs. player 2.
5. Player 2 leave when player 1 is out to about the hash mark.
* This drill can be done from 1-1 up to a 3-2. With large numbers both groups can alternate leaving from the middle circle.
* This drill has both F and D taking the defensive 1-1 and prepares the F for when they cover the point on a pinch.
Battle hard for the loose puck. Defense and goalie must communicate and D must play from the defensive side. Forwards should double team along the boards to gain the puck and cycle to create openings as well as change the point of attack by passing behind the net.
1. Start with D1-D2 on the Goal line and F1-F2-F3 at the top of the circles.
2. D's skate to the dots and coach dump the puck in.
3. F1-2-3 and D1-2 battle for the loose puck.
4. Play a low 3-2.
5. Play until a goal, frozen puck or D carries the puck over the top of the circles.
I watched Mount Royal University practice yesterday. Bert Gilling took over last year and has the new CIS program ranked in the top ten in Canada. Bert ran a great practice. I was there looking to buy a new stick at the shop and didn't have my camera bo am doing these drills from memory. I will write up the other two I remember.
B600 - Pass and Shot Warm-up – MRU
Quick feet, give a target, one touch pass, shoot, follow the shot, rebound, one timer.
- 1 skate backward and exchange passes with 2.
- 1 exchage passes with 3 on the other side.
- 1 shoot, rebound and rebound for next shot.
Double Cross and Drop
- 1 leave across ice and cross and drop with 2.
- 2 skate into the offensive zone and cross and drop with 1.
- 1 cross pass to 2.
- 2 cross and drop to 1 in the neutral zone.
- 1 skate over the blue line and pass to 2 who takes a one timer shot.
- 1-2 go for the rebound.
Use many variations on the 2-0. One timers, cross and drop, drop and screen, fake pass and shoot, etc..
There is one point for every goal and each contest gets 20".
A - 1 and 2 attack 2-0 from each line-up.
B - If both teams score each team gets a point and 3-4 go on the next whistle.
C - If only one team scores then they race across to defend and steal the puck from the other team and try to score.
D - Scoring team gets a point.
E - 20" next rep.
F - First team to 20 wins.
Give a target, one touch, face the puck, keep skating, shoot and follow the shot, stop for the rebound.
A - 1-2, 4-5 exchange passes.
B - 1-3, 4-6 exchange passes.
C - 1-5, 4-2 exchange passes.
D - 3 cross pass to 1 and 6 to 4.
E - 1 and 4 skate in, shoot then rebound.
F - 1-1 circle back to rebound for next shot.
G - 3-6 repeat from the other diagonal corners.
B600 - 5-0 RG - 1-0 x 3 - 5-0 Point Shots x 2 - Czech U20
Forwards must time their skating to be available for the pass from the D. D should hinge and pass up. Shoot and follow the shot for a rebound.
1. Players at the 4 blue lines and pucks about 5 metres inside the lines against the boards.
2. D1 pick up a puck and pass to D2, up to F1 who attacks 1-0 and shoots.
3. D2 get a puck, D2 pass to D1 up to F2 who attacks 1-0 and shoots F1 screen.
4. D1 go back for another puck, D to D and up to F3 who skates in and shoots.
5. D1-D2 follow the attack.
6. D2 get a puck and pass to D1 who takes a point shot.
7. D1 get a puck and pass to D2 who takes a point shot.
8. F1 screen, F2 and F3 be at each side ready for a shot pass, one timer or rebound.
9. D3-D4-F4-F5-F6 repeat the sequence on the other goal.
The defenseman jump up into the rush as the trailer. One forward go hard to the net and the other pass back to the D for a shot. A coach give passive resistance to the rush when they enter the zone.
1. Players leave from the middle circle toward each end.
2. Coaches shoot a puck into diagonal corners.
3. D1 go back for the puck and make a breakout pass to F1 or F2.
4. Attack 3-1 vs. a coach who gives passive resistance.
5. F2 middle drive, F1 pass back to D1 from the wide lane, D1 shoot.
6. Repeat from each side.
T2 - B4 - 4-0 BO - D Middle Drive – F2 Trail - Pro
Players fill the three lanes on the attack. Stop at the net, hit the net and shoot right away. D2 screen and everyone be ready for a rebound.
1. Leave from the middle circle toward both ends .
2. D1-D2-F1-F2 BO when the coach dumps the puck in.
3. D1 pass to F1 on the boards, F1 pass back to D2, D2 pass to F2 stretching up the wall.
4. F2 skate wide, D2 middle drive hard to the net.
5. F1 pass to F2 trailing in the high slot and F2 shoot.
6. Coach deny a pass to the net.
Breakout low to beat a hard pinching forecheck and drive the defenders backward. Fill the three lanes
and attack with speed using the middle drive and a D joining the attack.
1. Coach wants the C to swing low and mirror the puck on the breakout.
2. Coach rim the puck so the goalie can stop it.
3. D1 pass behind to D2 who passes to the C who swings below the hash marks.
4. Breakout 5-0 with F1-F2-F3 and regroup with D3-D4 in the far end.
5. F1-2-3 D3-4 attack vs. D1-D2.
6. Coach release F4 to backcheck.
7. F1-F2-F3-D3-D4 play 5-3 vs. D1-D2-F4.
8. Play until the a goal, puck is frozen or defenders carry the puck out of the zone.
Use various types of passes and focus on hands away from the body and passing within the stick handling motion with wrist and not slap passes. Focus on puck protection and stick on the puck in the game.
1. Partners or groups of three skate around the rink passing.
2. Pass forehand, backhand, one backward, etc..
3. Play Keep-away on the whistle.
-------------------------------------- In about an hour I will be working with a NCAA freshman player who has trained with me the last 5 years. She is one of 15 varsity girl's playing at various colleges and universities in NA and a dozen boy's who are playing pro all over the world that I have spent a lot of practice time with over the years. I think this shows that the ABC philosophy of teaching both skills and how to play the game is an effective method and contributed to their development. Of course their passion for the game and willingness to put in the work is by far the most important thing. We had a great session with lots of edge work, Russian big moves puck handling, passing and point shots. Really nice Christmas gift as well. She brought me a hoodie from her university.
Carry the puck to the big ice between the dots to pull the D inside and then pass outside for a wide entry over the blue line. Progress to giving a trailer pass to the D who joins as the fourth man on the rush.
1. F1-F2-F3 attack 3-0. D1-D2 skate red to blue and backward.
2. F1-F2-F3 attack 3-2 with wide entry and middle drive.
3. F1-2-3 regroup with D3-D4 in neutral zone.
4. Attack 5-2 vs. D1-D2 with a middle drive.
5. Middle D join the attack as the trailer.
6. Play out the first rebound until the whistle.
7. Hustle out and the F3-F4-F5 repeat with D3-D4, D5-D6.