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Video Coach

Faking Out the Defence For Scoring Opportunities

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 06/14/20, 11:00AM EDT


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym

Manipulating the gap, creating deception and changing shooting angles are all areas that we have discussed in previous editions of Video Coach.

We look at all three concepts as well as the technical ability to ‘underhandle’ the puck to create a scoring opportunity.

Fake Shot & Push

  • TBL91 receives the puck at the offensive blueline and enters the zone
  • As he drives wide, he kicks the puck back to the middle of the ice to TBL21, who has just entered the zone
  • TBL21 has a large gap between himself and defender PHI9 – the gap is so big that you can only see his stick in this frame
  • TBL21 drives towards the net with speed and this reduces the size of the gap between himself and the defender
  • Usually, it is the defender that wants to control the gap but in this case, TBL21 controls the gap with his speed and then sets up to take a slap shot using the defender as a screen

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  • The shot was a deception and serves as the ‘set-up move’
  • The fake shot forces the defender to bring his legs together and freezes him as he prepares to block the shot
  • On the downswing of the shot, in one fluid motion, TBL21 pushes the puck on his forehand away from his body
  • His top-hand comes off his body and the bottom-hand drops 
  • This is the ‘pay-off’ move
  • TBL21 has now completely changed the shooting angle and opened up the shooting lane
  • PHI9, who had a comfortable and controlled gap, is now out of position and lunges to get back in the shooting lane 
  • From this angle, you can see PHI9 set up in the shooting lane and TBL21 is not a threat to attack the net
  • TBL21 is reading the body position and reaction by the defender…
  • Set-up move…

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  • The fake-shot freezes the defender as he aims to block the any shot on goal
  • Pay-off move…
  • Here you can really see the technical skill involved – push on the forehand, no dusting the puck off, top-hand comes off body to allow the bottom-hand to cradle puck and push away laterally 
  • This can also be used as a puck protection technique 
  • The shooting lane is now clear
  • PHI9 crosses over and tries to close gap again and fill lane
  • The lateral move by TBL21 also pulls PHI goaltender laterally
  • TBL21 shoots back across the grain away from the far bottom corner
This goal is a brilliant compilation of technical ability and offensive tactics including deception, underhandling, and creating a false gap.

Here is a similar example where PHI28 does not use the fake slapshot but rather uses a fake snapshot and weight shift to freeze the defender and pushes the puck on the forehand to create space and change the shooting angle.

Video Coach is a series of articles which reviews a video clip from game action and then breaks down the sequence into frames identifying key skills, individual and team tactics, strategy and hockey IQ. Video is a great teaching tool that can be used by both players and coaches.

The Hockey IntelliGym is a breakthrough cognitive training technology that hones hockey sense and has been scientifically proven to improve player safety. IntelliGym has been used by thousands of players - from OHL teams to USA Hockey to OMHA Minor Midget champions - to improve individual players' points total, heighten spatial awareness, and foster better anticipation of the play. Research from the University of Delaware suggests training with IntelliGym is a great way to reduce concussions and other on ice injuries. The software, which can be used on any computer, can be purchased here.

"What I'm noticing with IntelliGym is that it compliments my use of area games or situational pressure drills in practice. My players are recognizing and executing their options faster than they have in the past. This improvement has translated to games. They are moving to open areas to support their teammate with the puck."


Ian Taylor is the Executive Director of the OMHA and former Director of Hockey Development. A proud hockey dad of two, Ian has over 25 years of instructional and coaching experience.

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