3 v 3 Mystery Player Game

3 v 3 Mystery Player Game diagram

The 3 v 3 Mystery Player Game from Alyssa Gagliardi is a fun small area game that can be played with one goalie (as shown in the diagram) or played cross-ice with two goalies. The game encourages communication, puck movement and problem solving.


  • Before their rep, players on each team strategize and choose the order of when the 3 players on their team can shoot. For example, players 1, 2 and 3 on Team Red must communicate and choose which player gets to be the shooter first, second and third.
  • Team Blue doesn’t know their order and must react accordingly.
  • When a change of possession happens, the defensive team that now has the puck must pass it to one of their teammates that is waiting in line for a change of possession. Once that happens they can now attack on offense. You can also have the players pass it back to a designated coach if that is easier for your team.
  • Let the game play out for 40-50 seconds and then change groups.

Coaching Points & Questions

  • How do players work to create an advantage for their first shooter? How do they create time and space, set picks, and use deception, to find a way to get that player in a good position?
  • After the first shot is completed, players must win retrievals and now strategize for shooter #2, but now the defensive team knows it's now narrowed down to two players.
  • Encourage players to discuss new strategies after each rep - what went well? What could they have done differently? 

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