2 vs. 2 Finnish Buffet Game

2 vs. 2 Finnish Buffet Game diagram

2 vs. 2 Finnish Buffet is a full ice game that becomes a continuous full ice 2 vs. 2 where all players are put into offensive and defensive scenarios with & without the puck. This game can be modified to be a 3 vs. 3 or a 4 vs. 4.

Set Up:

  • Teams are set up at opposite blue lines with benches (Home on one side; Away on the opposite)
    • 2 Players in Red (1 and 2) have the puck & are attacking 2 Players in Black (1 and 2) as shown in the diagram.
    • A Player in Black (3) and a Player in Red (3) wait in the neutral zone
  • The best place for the head coach is at the Red Line between the benches
    • Have extra pucks next to you
  • Players are attempting to Score in a 2v2 scenario with the entire offensive zone available


Object: Play a Game up to a certain number (3 is a good place to start)

  • When the whistle blows, the first two Players in Red attack the Black Players who defend
    • If a goal is scored, the Offensive Players get a new puck from Coach
      • If the goalie covers the puck, the Offensive Players back away and allow the Defensive Players to gain possession
      • If the puck goes out of play, coach can decide which side gets the new puck
  • Once the Defensive Team (Black) gain possession of the puck, they MUST pass the puck to their teammate in the neutral zone
    • Black Player 3, upon seeing his teammates gain possession, must work to become available for a pass in the neutral zone
  • After the puck has been advanced in the to neutral zone:
    • Back 1 and Red 1 must change (hard) to their respective benches
      • This allows the next players Red 4 and Black 4 to come off the bench and into the neutral zone
    • Black 2, who was just defending, tries to beat Red 2, who was just on offense, up the ice to create an odd man attacking situation
    • Red 2 attempts to keep defensive positioning on Black 2 as they transition up ice


The brilliance of this game is that is becomes a continuous full ice 2v2 where all players are put into offensive and defensive scenarios with & without the puck

  • The game incorporates:
    • Defending 2v2 (in a large space)
    • Transition up ice (move to get open for the neutral zone pass)
    • Attacking 2v2
    • Changing Hard to the Bench (so his teammate can join the play)
  • Players must constantly talk & perceive the ever changing environment to solve problems as they happen
  • The Defenders must manage challenging the offensive players within a large space of ice
    • Stick positioning, matching speed, communicating switches all must be implemented to be successful
  • The Offensive player WITH the PUCK must constantly assess if he has a 1v1,1v2, 2v1 or 2v2 opportunity to score
    • The Offensive teammate WITHOUT THE PUCK must attempt to create a 2v1 on one of the defenders by finding space (going to net, teammate, away from teammate)
  • If the Offensive players create an odd man scoring chance, they must ‘finish’ play to reward themselves
  • Coaches can address the ‘transition’ from defense to offense and how to take advantage of that gap when the puck is transitioned out of the zone
  • This game can also be implemented in 4 vs. 4 or 3 vs. 3 variation

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