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Video Coach

Supporting Below the Goal Line for Scoring Chances

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 05/04/18, 3:00PM EDT


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym

Time and space are at a premium in today’s game and as we have discussed in previous Video Coach editions, manipulating the feet of defenders is a key way to create space. Playing behind the net in the offensive zone provides another opportunity to expand the zone and maximize space.

Using the full offensive zone forces the defence to account for what's happening behind the goal line. This can create new offensive opportunities as seen below.

Game Date: March 30, 2018

Now, let’s take a closer look and break it down…

  • TOR29 drives into the zone to retrieve puck off the rim
  • TOR 11 moves from net front below the goal line to provide support
  • From this angle, you can see that NYI has four players in-screen and control the ‘house’ in front of their net
  • TOR34 is high in the zone above NYI91 and reading outcome of corner battle
  • From this angle you can see TOR29 beat NYI7 to the puck and TOR11 immediately provide an outlet behind the net
  • TOR29 pushes the puck along the boards to TOR11
  • NYI7 has been left behind and NYI55 is activated
  • NYI6 holds net front
  • TOR11 corrals the puck and TOR29 skates past him and creates a forced switch
  • NYI55 releases from TOR29 and moves to check TOR11
  • TOR11 prepares to absorb the check from NYI55 and slides puck to open ice where TOR29 is skating
  • NYI6 maintains net front and denies any possible pass out from behind the net
  • Notice how all four NYI players are focused on the play behind the net
  • From this angle you can see that there is no imminent danger
  • The puck is behind the net, NYI55 seals his check, TOR11 and NYI6 & NYI91 are protecting net-front
  • We now see TOR34 who has dropped lower into the zone and seeing his teammates win possession moves to Hunt the Dot
  • TOR29 opens up and slides backwards reading pressure and options
  • NYI has three players in the low slot all focused on the puck
  • NYI6 motions to NYI14 - who has come down low to support – to pressure the puck carrier
  • TOR34 – who had started high in the zone now attacks the net with speed
  • The delay from TOR29 has mesmerized the defenders and given him the opportunity to arrive late driving the far post
  • From this angle you can see that NYI has numbers back - all five skaters are below the goal line
  • NYI14 has his stick in the air not on the ice in the passing lane
  • NYI7 who released his check in the corner has not picked up TOR34 as he dropped into the zone and NYI91 identifies him late

Watch the video again to see how to support the puck with speed, turning the feet of defenders and use the area below the goal line create time and space and, as we have discussed before, the late man is often the most dangerous player on the ice.

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 last year's OMHA Minor Midget champions - to improve individual players' points total, heighten spatial awareness, and foster better anticipation of the play. Recent 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."

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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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