2 on 1's in Tight Areas

While this is a half ice practice plan you can easily use this in full ice practices by splitting up your players into each end. This way players get more repetitions.

This practice plan is for working on quick offensive decision making by using a selection of 2 vs 1 drills in small areas. The key to creating good scoring chances is taking advantage when out numbering opponents in small areas. Throughout this practice plan you should emphasize the following:

  • Quick decision making
  • Protect the puck and make plays when they are available
  • Take space when it is given to you, pass when it is taken away from you.

Practice Outline

  • 2 vs 1 rebound battle drill (10 minutes)
  • Quick 2 vs 1 attack situational drill (15 minutes)
  • Corner to half wall 2 on 1 (15 minutes)
  • Swedish 2 vs 1 (cross ice)

2 vs 1 Rebound Battle Drill

2 vs 1 Rebound Battle Drill - Hockey Drill
Drill Description

Winning loose puck battles can be a major deciding factor in the outcome of a game. This battle drill challenges players to compete for a loose puck after a rebound. After the loose puck battle is won, the player with the puck must pass it back to the point, which will begin a 2 vs 1. 

Setup:

  • A coach or player dumps the puck on net and the goalie plays it to either corner.
  • 2 players are spread out and charge into the corner to compete for the puck. Whoever comes out with the puck must pass it to the point player to begin a 2 vs 1.
  • The drill is stopped after a goal, the goalie freezes it, or the puck is moved out of the zone.

Offensive Coaching Points:

  • Players who arrive at the puck first should work on deceptive fakes with their body to escape from the corner. Fakes with your hips are extremely effective in this situation.
  • Once you have the puck, protect it, get your head up and make a pass to the point.
  • The point should be active calling for the puck and moving to space.

Defending Coaching Points:

  • The defender should work on playing the body in the corner.
  • When 2 vs. 1 begins, the defender should hold the middle and try to force a bad angle shot.
  • Have good stick position. Do not swing your stick as it will open up passing lanes and make you off balance.

Variations

  • You can add a second point player to make this battle a 2 vs 2. Watch a video demo here.
Length of Time: 
10 Minutes

Quick 2 vs 1 Attack Situational Drill

Quick 2 vs 1 Attack Situational Drill
Drill Description

This situational 2 on 1 drill practices attacking and defending 2 on 1's off of a turnover. This particular situation comes up frequently after a turnover occurs in the offensive zone and the loose puck is obtained by the attacking team. It is important for the forwards to transition quickly to the net while the defense holds their ground and works to force a bad angle shot.

Setup:

A coach or player passes to one of the two forwards to start the drill. The two forwards cross each other and attack the net as quick as possible. The coach or player that is passing the pucks should alternate what side they are passing to so all players remain alert.  

This can be set up as a half ice drill or as a 1/4 ice station drill. The 1/4 ice set up is great for younger players, limited ice space or if you want to reduce the amount of time and space available to make decisions.

Forward Coaching Points:

Forwards starting with the puck should attack quickly and consider a few options to create space from the defender so they can get off a shot or slide a pass to the other forward. A few options consider:

  • Drive wide
  • Drop pass
  • Fake shots and passes to freeze goalie and the defender (use deception with eyes, head, body, and stick)
  • The forward without the puck should be reading the play, communicating and jumping to space to give your teammate an outlet. 

Defending Coaching Points:

  • Hold the middle and try to force a bad angle shot. 
  • Have good stick position with the blade of the stick flat on the ice. 
  • Do not swing and sweep your stick. Swinging your stick opens up passing lanes and gets you off balance.
  • Use peripheral vision to watch both players.
Length of Time: 
15 Minutes

Corner to Half Wall 2 vs 1

Corner to Half Wall 2 vs 1 Hockey Drill
Drill Description

The Corner to Half Wall 2 vs 1 is an excellent small area game for all age levels that helps players practice a 2 vs 1 in a small space along the boards in the corner of the ice. The game reinforces important skills like keeping your head up, moving to open spaces, protecting the puck, and verbal & non-verbal communication. Offensive players should practice using the bords to make bank passes.

The goal of the game is for the offense is to connect on 4 consecutive passes in a row. If they do so, they win and are allowed to shoot on net. If the defense takes the puck away, or the puck goes out of bounds 2 times during the game the defense wins and is awarded a shot on net.

Setup

  • Playing Area: Use 4 cones or tires that create a triangle from the half wall to the corner that lines up with the inside post.
  • Goalie Setup: This can be set up as a station with a goalie, or without. If you use a goalie they can be placed in the crease or the net can be moved to the point.
  • Players: Alternate players. It is beneficial for players to get reps on both offense and defense sides.
  • Passes: You can require 4 (or a different amount) of consecutive passes to win.
  • Defense: If the defense is taking the puck away too much, you can tell the defense to flip their stick over.
  • Winner: The winning side gets a shot on net. You can allow the winners to do a few options:
    • If the offense wins:
      • The last person with the puck gets a shot on net.
      • Both players are given a puck and can shoot on different goalies.
      • The game moves to a 2 vs 1 in front of the net and offense is allowed one shot if they can get it off.
    • If the defense wins:
      • They get a shot on net.
      • The game moves to a 1 on 1 in front of the net and the defense is allowed one shot if they can get it off. The losing offense team needs to communicate with each other as to who is going to go after the defense.

Coaching Points

  • Use the boards! They are your friend!
    • If used properly, the boards can be used as an extra player out there and are helpful for bank passes and puck protection.
  • Offensive players need to protect the puck until they can make a play and then expose the puck to make a pass.
  • Offensive players have to move without the puck. Think "Give & Go!" Go to open space!
  • Defensive players are most successful with active sticks and stop and starts. There are no short cuts!

Progressions

  • Require more consecutive passes. 
  • Make the game 2 vs 2.
  • Create a smaller "playing area" to make it tougher on the offense.
  • Move to the Point to Half Wall 2 vs 1 Game.

Related Links

Length of Time: 
15 Minutes

Swedish 2 vs 1 (Cross Ice)

Swedish 2 vs 1 (Cross Ice)
Drill Description

This is a phenomenal drill in several ways. First, the concept of this drill can be used in many different areas of the ice. Secondly, it forces players to think 2 on 1's in tight spaces. Third, it includes a competitive aspect by rewarding the players who are successful.

To set up the drill create a square area with the players in two lines well outside the boxed area. The coach will also be outside the box without the pucks. Two offensive players and one defensive player go into to the playing area. Players should take turns playing offense and defense. The coach starts the drill by passing a puck to one of the offensive players. The players will play 2 vs 1 inside the playing area. The goal of the offensive players is to make 3 (or another number specified by the coach) consecutive passes. If they succeed then the player with the puck chooses a net to shoot at while the other offensive player looks for a pass from the coach and takes a shot on the other net. If the defensive player knocks the puck out of the playing area two times then they get a pass from the coach and take a shot on one of the goalies.

Coaching Points

  • Offensive players have to move without the puck.
  • Offensive players need to protect the puck until they can make a play and then expose the puck to make a pass.
  • Defensive players are most successful with active sticks and stop and starts. There really are no short cuts!
  • Have offensive players thinking "Pass & Move".
  • Give & gos are very successful in this game.

Progressions

  • Create a smaller "playing area" to make it tougher on the offense.
  • Vary the number of passes required for the offensive players.
  • Eventually, make the game 2 vs 2 or 3 vs 2.
Length of Time: 
15 Minutes