3 x 1 v 1's to 3 v 3

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This drill from Coach Alyssa Gagliardi starts out with three 1 vs. 1's taking place at the same time and on the whistle, a 3 vs. 3 game begins. The drill can be full ice (as shown in the video), or modified to be half-ice.


  • The drill starts out with three 1v1s happening at the same time in the neutral zone. Players are encouraged to practice different puck protection skills, with the main focus on being "cutting the hands" of the defender.  Cut the hands is a puck protection move where you skate into a defender's extended stick position to protect the puck and limit their ability to take the puck, while also allowing you to see options on the ice.
  • Players play out their respective 1v1s for 10-20 seconds. On the whistle, the coach throws a new puck in a different area of the ice, and players must assess the situation and play 3v3 full-ice. Play it out for 15-30 seconds. 


  • Starting Setup: This drill can be set up in any zone or limited space to establish different spatial awareness, transition patterns, and communication.
  • Half-Ice: For half-ice practices, start the drill with 3 x 1v1's in a small area in one zone. Have one outlet player for each team located just outside of the blue line. On the whistle, the coach throws in a new puck and the 3 vs. 3 begins. Teams must first pass to their outlet player before they can play offense and try to score. When you are on offense you can use your outlet at anytime. View the half-ice diagram below.


hockey.coach.esteves on 10/3/2022

Play the 3 V 3 in the NZ. One net with a Tutor on it. 

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