“I think the other thing that gets missed in changing to full ice from modified ice is kids at a younger age are having those moments of incidental contact. They’re getting comfortable being pushed off balance or bumping into one another,” said Michael Dundas, Manager of Hockey Development. “When you play in a full ice game and you’re chasing all the time, it’s almost like you’re doing a power skating session on you’re own.”
On frozen lakes and small ice surfaces, players need to protect and battle for the puck while using skating maneuvers in tight areas. When the ice surface expands, players don’t get those chances for transition, balancing or learning how to protect the puck because of the fewer puck touches and passing and shooting opportunities.
“The moment when you do go to full ice at U9, when we transition and forevermore, the ice surface from that point on is getting smaller because players are getting bigger and faster,” said Taylor.