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Best of Breakaway

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 04/28/16, 11:15AM EDT


Here are some of the best moments from the Breakaway Podcast

The first season of the Breakaway Podcast has officially wrapped up. Host Dan Pollard spoke to some of the leaders and innovators in minor hockey over the 30 episodes about skill building, proper nutrition and equipment, coaching schemes, tryouts and many other important topics.

From TSN’s Darren Dreger and Craig Button to retired NHLers Patrick O’Sullivan and Matthew Barnaby, every week held new discussions on Breakaway. One of the first podcasts solely related to minor hockey, Breakaway the minor hockey podcast crew are already planning to make next season even better.

Building an Outdoor Rink – Darren Dreger (TSN)

“I've honed the construction phase of the project to a point where assembling the boards and preparing the rink for water takes only a few hours. However, getting to this stage has involved many years of trial and error, countless trips to the local lumber yard and a couple of backyard renovations in what has been a constant search for leveling perfection.”

The Most Important Line of the Ice You've Never Heard of – Chris Boyle (Sportsnet)

Scoring and preventing goals is the driving force behind every drill created in hockey. Defensive structure, neutral zone play and offensive flow dominate practice rinks across Ontario. Teams that produce and prevent high quality shots win more games. With hockey continually transitioning deeper into analytics, a blueprint has begun to emerge on how to create more efficient opportunities. Recent studies of the neutral zone and teams creating offensive and limiting defensive zone entries with speed has shown an increased ability to control the possession game.

The Art of Stick Handling – Jeremy Rupke (

There are few things in hockey that make jaws drop more than a finessed deke around a defender, but the art of stick handling is so much more than that.

It is an essential skill in hockey that can add to a player’s game if learned correctly.

With the speed of the game always increasing, it is important for the development of stick handling to keep pace.

Is dump and chase hockey undermining skill in our players? – Justin Bourne (The Score)

Without question, technical skills provide the foundation for a young player’s ability to play the game and will fuel their continued enjoyment of the game. But, are our players less skilled?

Today, players are exposed to cutting edge training and skills development programs, skating and shooting instruction, and professional goaltending coaches. Without question, players today have been provided an incredible assortment of skill development opportunities.

Player Evaluation and Tryout Selection - David Manning (St. Andrews College)

Each year in Canada close to 3,500 minor hockey associations undertake the task of placing players on teams. The ultimate goal of this process is to provide players with the best possible experience in an environment where they can grow as hockey players and young people.

For many minor hockey executives, evaluators, coaches, parents and players this can be a tension filled, strenuous and frustrating experience. Tryouts are a necessary evil.

Player evaluation and placement, like player development, is a process - effective management of the process will make a young players experience in hockey a more positive one.

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