Picket Fences Game (2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3) diagram

Picket Fences is a great small area hockey game that can be setup as a 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3 game. The offensive team gets 2 points for scoring a goal and the defensive team gets 1 point by skating the puck between the tires.


  • Teams are set up in one of the offensive zones in line with Dots.
    • Players help keep the puck in play if it comes over towards the line of players
  • Net is set up in the Blue Paint (per usual)
  • There are two cones 10-15 feet apart just above the tops of the circles in the zone
  • Coaches set up just outside the Blue Line with a pile of pucks


Objective: Play a Game up to a certain Number (1 point for the Defensive Team skating the puck between the tires & 2 points for the Offensive Team when they score)

  • When the whistle blows, three players in White (Offensive) get a puck from coach while three players in Red (Defensive) being to defend
    • The team in White attempts to score while the Team in Red attempts to steal the puck & skate it between the tires
  • The coach allows the players to compete for 20-30 seconds
    • There is NO change of possession (White is offense the entire shift)
  • When the next whistle blows, three new players enter from the White and Red team
    • Now, Red is on Offense and White is on Defense
  • Coach can give a new puck to the Offensive Team if:
    • If the goalie covers the puck
    • If the puck goes out of play
    • A goal is scored
    • The defensive team skates the puck between the tires


The brilliance of this game is both teams are attempting to ‘score’ while one attacks the goalie & one aims for possession to skate the puck between the tires.

The game incorporates:

  • Defending 3v3 (in a condensed space)
    • Once the Defenders gain possession of the puck, they must thinking ‘offensively’ to skate/get open to score a Goal (skate puck between tires)
    • Communication with other teammates is essential so each defender can operate in a ‘man on man’ scenario
  • Attacking 3v3 (in a condensed space)
    • The offensive players are can either challenge a defender 1v1 with the puck or try to isolate and create a 2v1 on a defender
      • Player without the puck must work to get open, drive net or create space for teammates
      • Must find a way to create space & opportunities to get off a quality shot with pressure
      • ‘Play after the Play’ – anticipate loose puck/rebounds and regain possession for more offensive zone time with the puck
    • Players must constantly talk & perceive the ever changing environment to solve problems as they happen (both offensively & defensively)

Related Game / Variation

The picket fences 3 vs 3 uses the full zone and incorporates 2 gates. This way the defenders can use deception or are forced to use another option in order to carry the puck through the gates.



mihamaki on 11/21/2020

Great drill to teach "Heads Up" hockey for D - (Breaking out of zone)

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