3 on 2 Keep Away Game

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The 3 on 2 Keep Away Game from Jeff Meredith is utilized to reinforce good defensive habits and concepts. Two games are set up in zone with one going at a time.


  • Setup two 3v2 games around each of the face-off circles in the zone. 
  • Coaches can create boundaries of the game by using the line of the face-off circles, paint, makers, cones, tires (or anything else).
  • On the whistle, 3 offensive players work to pass the puck around while the 2 defenders work to block and deflect passes.
  • One 3v2 goes until a coach determines a winner. After the game ends, the second 3v2 game starts.

Coaching Points

  • Defense:
    • Keep sticks on the ice to block passing lanes.
    • Practice stick on puck poke checks.
    • Work to return to the middle of the circle with your stick on the ice to block passing lanes.
  • Offense:
    • Keep sticks on the ice to let your teammates know when you want the puck.
    • Utilize flat crisp passes around the outside of the circle. You do not have to force a puck through the middle.
    • Utilize fakes & deception to create passing lanes.
    • Make area passes if needed.


  • Can set up one game instead of 2 games as shown.
  • This game can be played 3v2 or 3v1.
  • If offensive players are struggling to complete passes, coaches can have the defenders start by flipping their sticks over. Once the offensive players are able to get the hang of it and complete passes, coaches can progress to have defenders use their sticks normally.

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