The Neutral Zone Angle 2 V 2 to 3 V 2 forces players to step up and make a play in the neutral zone! The drill is a valuable exercise to help defenders practice angling techniques in the neutral zone while offensive players can practice making plays instead of dumping the puck.
- Goal: Forwards can not dump the puck and are trying to score. Defenders are trying to angle, make a play and stop the forwards before the blue line.
- Split up the team and at each blue line there will be a line of forwards and a line of defensemen.
- On the whistle, 2 forwards and 2 defensemen skate out into the neutral zone.
- The forwards receive a pass from a coach and begin the 2 on 2.
- Forwards try to score while the defense tries to create a turnover at the blueline.
- Coaches should give players reps at both sides of the ice.
- This drill is continuous and can progress to a 3 V 2.
- Coaches can keep score by giving the defense a point if they take the puck away before the blue line and forwards get a point if they score a goal.
- Always keep the stick on the ice.
- Try to match the speed of the players you are defending against.
- Do not let them cut back in the middle of the ice.
- Try to angle the players into the boards & go stick on stick to take the puck away.
- Try to create space between you and the defenders.
- Cut back into center ice if they commit too far.
- Communicate and use your partner as an outlet.
- Create give & go situations!
- Can make this drill 1 v 1, 2 v 2, or 3 v 3.
- Coaches can change up where they are passing from.
- Can make this a half ice drill if you do not have access to full ice (see half-ice setup below).