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Reduce the space, increase the pace

01/14/2014, 2:15pm EST
By Ontario Minor Hockey Association

Bring the Pond Indoors by Introducing Small Area Games

Playing outdoors on ponds or backyard rinks provides players with the opportunity to be creative and to use their skills in a fun environment competing against their friends – but … access to outdoor ice isn’t always possible. However, Coaches can bring the pond indoors through small-sided cross-ice games.

Coaches can use cross-ice games to re-enforce skills and tactics taught in practice through game-like situations – small area games reduce time and space for players to make quicker decisions. But, don’t tell the players … they will be having too much fun!

3 VS 3 - Any Net

Basic 3 vs. 3 cross ice play with the teams allowed to score on either net.

Additional restrictions can be added for example; require a pass to teammate after transition before you can score.

KEP (Key Execution Points):
This offensive game allows players to think outside the box and work on their deception skills.

Fake in one direction then attack in another to manipulate the defenders. Defensively, players must work hard to regain defensive side body position on the attackers as the area being attacked is constantly changing.

3 vs 3 - Any Net

Build Up Game

Begin using 2 vs. 2 cross ice format.  Each team can activate additional players by passing twice to the first person in their team’s line.  Once the player in line has received two passes he then activates into the play and the next player in line gets ready as a possible outlet.  There are no limits to the number of players a team can build up too during their shift.

KEP (Key Execution Points):
Since the number of players in the game can change, active players must read the odd or even man situations and play accordingly. 


Build Up Game

3 VS 2 - Alternating

Cross ice game with a 3 vs. 2 man advantage. On the whistle to change the advantage is reversed to the X’s.

KEP (Key Execution Points):
Offensively players work at passing the puck quickly and skating movement into offensive support positions, creating passing lanes. Defensive players must protect their net front area and read the level of control by the offense.  They must read when to press and when to contain.

3 VS 2 - Alternating

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Tag(s): Features  Coaching Resources