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Move the Puck Up The Ice

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 03/27/15, 11:45AM EDT

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When It Comes To Effectively Passing, Accuracy Is The Key

One of the most important skills in hockey is being able to make a tape to tape pass. Skating through an entire opposing team is next to impossible, therefore, using your teammates and working together to move the puck up the ice is crucial. We have all heard the line “the puck moves a lot faster than anyone can skate.”

When it comes to effectively passing the puck, accuracy is the key. You want to look at your intended target and make an accurate, crisp pass. Make sure to follow through and point the toe of your stick at the intended target. It’s important to keep your head up when passing the puck as most turnovers in hockey are caused by not looking up to spot your intended target.

Follow these 10 quick tips to better give and receive passes.

Weight Transfer - Just like in shooting, weight transfer is also important when passing. You want to use you entire body and transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot when passing. 

Cushion The Puck - When receiving a pass you need to have soft hands with the puck when it hits your stick blade in order to maintain control. This is especially important when receiving hard passes. 

Work On Your Backhand - You should feel just as comfortable giving and receiving passes on your backhand as you do on your forehand. With most players this is not the case and extra time needs to be spent on improving backhand passing skills. 

Communicate – Communication is key when giving and receiving a pass. Call out to your teammates to get their attention instead of hitting your stick on the ice.

Give A Target - Position your blade on the ice where you want to receive the puck. This gives your teammates a target to aim at and eliminates confusion.

Move The Puck Quickly – Hesitation is one of the biggest reasons for passes being intercepted or blocked. Think quickly and when you have a chance to advance the puck do so.

Lead Moving Targets – Make sure to always pass to where a player is going to be, not where they were. Pass out in front of a moving target in order for the puck to hit the intended mark. A pass too far in front is always better then a pass too far behind.

Use The Boards - Use the boards to make bank and area passes when the opportunity presents itself. You should look to make a tape-to-tape pass first, but in some situations area passes are necessary.

Don’t Pass In Front Of Your Net - Avoid passing in front of your own net whenever possible. A passing mistake made in front of the net usually results in an immediate scoring chance for the other team.

Practice Saucer Passes - Saucer passes are needed when you have to pass over an opponent’s stick or over an opponent sliding to block the pass along the ice. Make sure to master the sauce pass on both the forehand and backhand. Work on making the puck land flat so that it can be easily handled by teammates.

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