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Video Coach

Creating Offence From Behind the Net

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 03/01/19, 11:00AM EST


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym

With time and space at a premium, teams are using the back of the net to maintain possession and create offensive opportunities. Using the back of the net forces defenders to make decisions to contain or pressure and this leads to mismatches and breakdowns that lead to scoring chances. Teams can take full advantage of all of the space in the offensive zone.

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Let’s take a closer look and break it down…

Creating Offence From Behind the Net

Game Date: December 23, 2018

  • FIN24 carries the puck below the goal line and reads options for support
  • CAN5 has good inside position with stick extended on puck and body-on-body
  • CAN is set up with all five players ‘in-screen’ below the hashmarks with active sticks in passing lanes
  • With no options available, FIN24 chooses not to force the puck into coverage and turns back into the corner and below the goal line
  • CAN continues to be in a position of strength with 3V5 down low
  • FIN24’s tight turn has created separation between himself and CAN5 and he drives back behind the net
  • FIN23 releases from net-front to provide support
  • FIN29 maintains F2 net-front position
  • CAN22 & CAN17 continue to ‘cut off the top’ to the FIN points and maintain a numerical advantage down low
  • FIN24 continues behind the net with CAN5 tracking him
  • CAN18 maintains his position on the near post and FIN24 creates a forced switch and now occupies both CAN5 and CAN18
  • FIN23, now free of CAN18, moves to ‘scissor’ with FIN24 behind the net
  • In an instant, CAN’s control and advantage are gone
  • FIN23 skates back behind the net without pressure
  • CAN5 maintains inside position on FIN24
  • CAN18 comes back to net-front
  • Although there isn’t imminent danger, FIN23 has gained time and space and created confusion for CAN
  • CAN18 has moved from the near post across net-front
  • FIN29 has maintained his net-front positioning throughout and CAN11 stays with him
  • For the second time in this segment, one FIN player occupies two CAN players which creates a second mismatch
  • FIN29 now has two players checking him while FIN23 is free to walk-out from behind the net
  • CAN22 maintains his positioning taking away a pass to the point, however, the shot from the point is not the most dangerous threat after this breakdown
  • FIN23 calmly waits for the CAN goalie to drop before scoring

Watch the video clip again to see how the forced switches and using the space behind the net and maintain possession create breakdowns and leads to offensive opportunities.

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. 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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