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Diary of a Season 2021-2022

I have been doing this Diary of a Season for quite a few years as some coaches appreciate it. I post about the team and the practice plans.

Last season our arena was closed and I rented ice in September - October and early November. We thought there would be a season winter semester but that got cancelled and we shut down training early November. It wasn't a very good hockey or school experience for the players. On line classes, no dressing room, etc..

Recruiting was totally different. Some leagues were cancelled, some teams practiced but had no or very few games. Most of my recruiting was done online and by contacting coaches. I signed 10 F, 9 D, 3 G to play. The entire athletics staff was laid off except the AD who had to handle a dozen teams alone. I no longer had the athletic academic advisor to help recruits get registered or give advise on programs. I was allowed in the rink once in 18 months to grab some sticks.

They put the ice in last week for the first time since March 2020 and Tuesday, Sept 7 was the first skate. Right now my players must change in three different rooms as there is another Covid wave.

First day of school one of my new D informed me that the funding she was promised for tuition was cancelled and she can't come. My MVP from 2019 has finished her x-ray programs but has to write certication exams and work at the hospital. She wanted to take three courses to be a full time student and play but told me she realized it is too much and will settle down a lot when she passes the exams and does her practicum. So she plans to return winter semester. So now 9 F, 8 D, 3 G.

The good news is that the 8 new forwards are very good as are the 4 new D and 2 new G. So it is more like coaching minor hockey numbers than college numbers where you have at least 12 F, 8 D and 3 G.

I have an incredible coaching staff. Terry Johnson, NHL, Stanley Cup Finalist, long time coach is in charge of the D. Mike Tschumi, McGill graduate, ten years of pro in Switzerland and recently coached players like Cale Makar, and this year first rounders Sanderson and Holloway is in charge of F. Melissa Kunzelman who had a .950 save percentage at college and lots of coaching success works with the goalies. My son Jim is too busy with his new law firm to coach this year but he will do video of the team play and player individual meetings. Stacy Allen will be our skating coach. She won 3 National Championships at university and runs a successful skating company. Wally Kozak a former National team player, Women's Olympic Champion assistant coach and all round hockey guru will do some sessions on mental training and overall coach mentorship. Devon Hardie is a great equipment manager, who also has a goaltending company.

We have five 90' practices each week and our season doesn't begin til mid November. We will have some ex games and I have organized team play practices with the U of Calgary and MRU where we take turns having 10 minute 5-4, 5-3, 4-4 etc. with a few minutes in between to go over the team play on the bench. It is a great way to get some competition. We used to do this when I was Asst. coach at U of C and we would scrimmage with the Canadian National team that Dave King coached. Willie Desjardins played for him at U of Sask and he was our HC.

All the coaches work and can come certain days. Mike and I are there all the time except Mike is going to Switzerland in October to watch his son play pro.

My job is to coordinate whole program so that everyone on the staff can contribute and not simply move pucks around, which I don't allow coaches to do. (players use them and can easily move them to where the next drill or game starts). I decide on the team play which will be 1-2-3-4-5 read and react and coaches suggest tweaks. We will focus on good habits and solid playing principles along with a lot of skill development and game situation reads. The team play is the template and the skills and habits and reading the play are the most important things.

Anyway 'Let the games begin.'

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3115
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

Practice 9-7-21

3 G, 9 F, 7 D. Another D has a separated shoulder and just skated. Focus was combining, drills, games and contests to get a bitter ideas of the skill and game understanding of the players as we have 15 new ones.

Practice plan is attached as a pdf.

I got an injured player to video the Wednesday Sept. 8 practice. Mike planned the first hour. I added a full ice power play game and a two shot shootout. No video for the game.

Practice 9-8-21

A6 - Chaos Puckhandling - College W

B202 - Pass x 2-Shot-Rebound - College W

B202 - 2-0 Pass Off the Pad - College W

C4-6 - Point Shot - Regroup. 1-1 x 2 - College W

D200 - Cross ice 2-2. Regroup with Defensive Joker

D200 - 3-3 Nets Back to Back – College W

D200 - Cross ice 3-3 – College W

E1 - Two Shot Shootout - College W

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3115
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

Practices 09-09-21 - 09-10-21

Focus on passing drills for the first 45 minutes then two one zone games and a shootout.

Facebook and YouTube Video from the first week and captains practices.

T2 - B202 - Four Chamber Attack - Big Ice Wide Entry - College M (we will do this next week)

A6 - Chaos Puckhandling - College W



B4 - Figure 8 x 2 - College W



B4-6 - Point Shot - Regroup. 1-1 x 2 - College W


B6 - S Passing x 2 - College W


B202 - Passing Sequence x 3 - College W
Part one


Part two


Part three


B202 - Pass - Post up - Pass - College W



B202 - Exchange Passes - Stretch Pass - College W



B202 - 2-0 Pass Off the Pad - College W



B202 - Pass x 2-Shot-Rebound - College W


B300 - Tschumi Around the Clock One Touch - College W



C4-6 - Point Shot-Regroup-1-1 - College W


D1 – Shinny -. Hit post Pass to Joker to Go on Offense – College W



D100 – Full Ice 2-2- College W


D100 - 3-3 - Change on Their Own - College W


D200 - 3-3 Nets Back to Back – College W



D200 - Cross ice 2-2. Regroup with Defensive Joker


D200 - Cross ice 3-3 - College W


D200 - Pass to Defensive Joker to Transition to Offense - College W


D4 - 4-4 Two Pass - Must Make Escape Move x 2 - College W



D4 - 4-4 Face the Play - Clear Zone x 2 - College W



D4 - 2-2 in Small Area - College W


D4 - 3-3 and 2-2 Games of Two Pass - College W


D4 - Two pass – College W


E1 - Two Shot Shootout - College W



E1 - Change on the Go 10 Puck Shootout - College W



G - Goalie Technique 2 - College W



G - Goalie Technique 1- College W



'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3115
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th Stacy Allan did skating with the team.

A - Skating Stacy 1 - 09-13 Practice

A - Stacy Skating 2 - 09-14-21 College W

Wednesday 15th practice is attached.

SAIT W Trojans Practice Plan Date:09-15-21 Time:6:15-7:45 Venue: SAIT
Breakout principles 1-3 pk
1-3-1 pp Pp rugby breakout
Specialty team sequence

T2 - Breakout Sequence - Wally Kozak – College
Key Points:
Practice the low breakout skills first with the goalies
passing and they versus no pressure and regroup with
the goalies in the neutral zone, then against pressure.
Player one skate between the dots before passing.
Sequence One:
1. Set up with one player on each side of the net to
make the breakout passes.
2. Player 1 pass to player 2 beside the net then skate
for a breakout pass.
3. Players 1 pass then swing to the boards for a pass,
then pass to player at the red line.
4. Player 1 pass to the player on the other side and
skate low and slow for a pass to the middle.
5. Player 1 pass to the far low player and pick up a
wide rim along the boards.
Sequence Two:
6. Player 1 pass and go to wall for rim and player 2
support low and slow for a touch back pass.
7. Add the coach or a player who just did a rep pinch
on the boards.
8. Four players leave, 1 dump and retrieve, 2 on
boards, 3 low and slow and 4 pressure one player.
9. Player 1 wheel behind the net and pass to either
player 2 on wall or player 3 low and slow.
10. Players line up at the top of the circles and goalies
at the red line ready to pass.
11. Player 1 shoot the puck in, retrieve and pass to
player 2 who supports ‘Low and Slow’.
12. Regroup with the goalie who passes back to the
other player.
13. Player 1 now pass to player 2 who supports from
the boards - pass to goalie.
14. Player 1 pass to player 2 who ‘Jack Hammers’ the
puck back to 1 then to goalie.

B600 - Multiple One Touch Passes – Pro Add 1-1
Key Points:
This drill is done from diagonal corners. Keep skating and
make firm passes. Give a target and call for the pass. Face
the puck.
A. 1 exchange passes with 2.
B. 1 turn out and exchange passes with 3.
C. 1 skate across and exchange passes with 4.
D. 4 skate to the inside and pass to 1 skating wide up the
E. 1 shoot and follow the shot.
F. 1 either screen, rebound for the next shooter or defend a
1-1 vs. the next shooter.

T4 – 1-3 Penalty Kill Rotation
Key Points:
Forwards play in an I with one forcing the puck at the
point and on the sides. The defense play low on each
side. When the puck is low play and aggressive low
press. Pressure any bobbled puck or poor possession.
Good defensive skating in straight lines with stick on
the puck and toe caps facing the puck.
Forwards Rotation:
1. All 4 defenders spin and then orient themselves
into a 1-3.
2. Attackers set up in a high umbrella and move the
puck starting at the mid point.
3. F1 at the top force the mid point and chase a pass
to either side with stick denying return pass.
4. F2 move challenge a return pass to the mid point
and F1 FALL UNDER and replace F2.
5. F1-F2 continue this tandem rotation with mid slot
coverage when the puck high.
6. F1 or F2 pressure down if the attacker is at the half
Defense Rotation:
1. Attackers set up at mid point in a high umbrella and
defense start together in the low slot.
2. Puck is moved to one side D1 moves toward that
side and D2 stays in the middle.
3. When puck is moved to the other side D2 move to
that side and D1 to the middle.
4. D1 and D2 keep their sticks in the dangerous
passing lanes and be ready to block shots.
Walk Through 4 on 5:
1. Set up in a 1-3-1 power play and 1-3 penalty kill.
2. Start from the mid point and had a controlled
scrimmage of 5-4.
3. Divide the defensive zone into four quadrants of
responsibility; F1-F2 high, D1-D2 low.
4. F1 pressure down the wall with the stick denying a
pass to the point.
5. F2 pressure a return pass to the point and F1 fall
under and cover the mid slot.
6. Play a low press if the puck moves from the half
boards down.
7. Constantly decide whether to pressure or contain.

Power Play breakout
Rugby breakout.

15’ Walk through
T2 – D400 – Diamond 1-3-1 Power Play
Key Points:
Players on the sides be on their off wings for one
timer shots. Rotate positions and create constant
movement. One timer shots are most effective from
the dot and lower.
1. Outwork the defenders with one extra attacker
battling for loose pucks.
2. When the puck is at the half-boards the player in
front should support from the goal line.
3. When the puck is at the mid-point move into a 1-3-
4. The player in the middle give close support to the
players at on each side and the mid-point.
5. Move the puck quickly with one touch passes that
beat one defender unless a seam opens for a cross-ice
pass that beats two defenders.
6. Either the player or the puck moves at all times.
7. Mid-point player always look to shoot first and miss
the shot blocker. Pass when there is no shot.
8. Create rebounds and then outnumber the
defenders in the slot.
9. Attack in waves with constant rotation, quick
passes and shots to continually create open passing
and shooting lanes.

T2-4 - Power Play-Penalty Kill
Sequence – Pro
Key Points:
Develop a power play that fits the skill of each five
player unit. Practice the Diamond 1-3-1 both from the
blue line and below the goal line. Defend from the net
out, stop and start, stick on puck and in the passing
lanes. Swarm when the offense doesn’t have control
along the boards. Weak side forward fall under and
cover the middle attacker. Power play create shooting
lanes, screen, crash for rebounds.
1. Start with an offensive zone face-off and run one
option 5-0.
2. Breakout from the far end vs. penalty killers 5-4.
3. Use controlled breakouts for each group.
4. Penalty killers come off the bench to defend against
the breakout.
5. Power play versus penalty kill.
* Breakout with a double swing and five attack.
* Breakout in the three lanes and two forwards swing
behind for a trailer pass and attack late, these players
attack the static defense and carry in, pass to each
other or the wide players at the blue line.
* Aggressive penalty kill when the puck is loose or the
attackers back is turned.
* Option one is to have the wide players on their
forehand side for one timers.
* Option two is to have a passing PP with right and
left handed shots on the right and left sides.
* Rotate positions and keep moving.
* Defender stay with the puck carrier but do not chase
* Play a 4-4 on the strong side and deny the cross ice
pass with sticks in the lane.
* Many teams give the goalie the walk out player jam
and cover the other four.
* Power play create confusion with quick puck
movement, switches and back door options,
outnumber the defenders on rebounds.
* A coach can use this sequence to practice from 3-3
to 5-5.

Pucks and in middle

16-17 practices shut down as a Covid precaution.

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3115
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

SAIT W Practice Plan Date: 09-20-21 Time:4:30 Venue:SAIT

I stressed the players handle the puck before
1 G – 6 D – 7 F
Passing with rotation heel to toe and hands
Away from body.

B2 – Give and Go – Shot x 3
B2 Pass x 3 Shoot U22

B3 – Pass – follow pass – skate behind.

DT400 – 2-2 then 3-3

C6 – 1-1 Mike

DT400 Perry Pearn 3-3

E1 – Gambling shootout

Practice SAIT W Practice Plan Date: 09-21-21 Time: 6:15 Venue:SAIT Arena
Pass after handling the puck Gain ice between the dots. Timing

Defensive zone skating Murdoch Dzone concepts
3-3 with point shots PP contest vs. 1 and 2 active defenders

15; Mike run
B600 – Multiple Pass and 1-1
Handle puck once and then pass to gain
feel of the puck.

B6-600 Flow - Breakout 2 F Shoot - D Point Shot -
Finland U20


T4 - Defensive Zone Skating - - RB Pro


15’ Walk through at one end. (Bob Murdoch)
T4 Teaching Defensive Zone Coverage 2-1-2
Key Points:
Tie up sticks in the slot, keep sticks in the passing lane
and shin pads in front of the
When doing man on and box behind closest player is
aggressive from the inside to the
outside body on body and stick on the puck.
Teach defensive zone coverage by giving the offense
45 seconds to score.
A. Play a tight box and one in the low slot area.
Players can only move a few strides but
stay in a tight 2-1-2 formation.
B. Closest defender pressure the puck right away
while teammates form a box behind.
When the puck is passed away drop to a corner of the
box or take the player to the net.
If the offense has three attackers cycling on one side
D2 must move to that side and F2
drops to the hash marks to cover the front of the net.

15’ Mike run
DT400 3-3 Krusel Battling Game - ProW
Key Points: Battle for loose pucks, screen
the goalie, shot passes, cycle, man on
man, tie up sticks, tip, low zone play.
Description: 1. Line up with the face-off
dots and 1 to 3 players race for a loose
puck on the whistle. 2. Pass to the point to
transition to offense. 3. Point player must
shoot or pass within 2 seconds. 4. If a
point pass goes out the other point man
gets the puck. 5. Either leave the puck in
the zone or pass to the coach on a

T2 - Johnston PP Game vs 1 or 2 PK – College

Puck and meet in middle.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3115
Location: Calgary, Canada
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