Score to WIN!:
You need to be able to SKATE TO PLAY!
You need to be able to SCORE TO WIN!
Everyone loves to score goals, after all that is
why the players do all the skating, passing, back
checking, stickhandling and sacrificing... To
score a goal!
There are a couple of things your players can do
to increase their chances of scoring that goal.
Scoring is a game of numbers...
The more you shoot the greater the chances of
scoring. Studies have demonstrated that the
average player gets 2-3 shots in a game.
Work to goalie weakness: low (6-12") to the
corners of the net from the hash marks out.
Best percentage is to the goalie stick side.
Shooting from the hash marks in... Think top
shelf (top of the net). With a lot of goalies
dropping to take away the bottom of the net... in
close to the net: upstairs is usually the best
Increase your odds of 'finishing' the play
with a goal:
1. Watch the puck... Take a quick look at the net
and find the goalie and net... Then find the puck
on your stick... Your stick follow-through
determines the path of your shoot.
2. Train your players to focus on the visible net
and not the goalie. If they look at the goalie
they will shot at the goalie.
3. Studies have shown that 80% of goals are
after the initial shot... Don't watch the shooter...
get to the net for a rebound, deflection or screen.
4. Rebounds are a player’s best chance to score.
Get to the net, the goalie is usually off balance
and not prepared for the second attempt. Pretty
goals don't win games... UGLY goals through
'mucking around the net' are the hallmark of a
hard working, winning team.
5. Speaking of rebounds... It is hard to get a
rebound if the shoot misses the net! Players
have to get their shot on the net. There is
nothing more frustrating than working your way
down the ice for a shot and watching the
attempted shot sail wide, go around the boards
and end up back in the neutral zone or your end!
6. Know where to shoot to optimize the rebound
opportunity... if you want a rebound to go to a
player breaking in from the opposite side of the
net. Shoot low to the far side of the net and not
the short side. Use the goalie, like you would
the boards, to create a rebound pass to your
7. After your shot don't go for the ‘SKATE’ into
the corner or turning your back on the goalie,
net and puck... STOP! Be ready and looking for
8. Your scoring attempt does not stop with the
initial shot... until you hear the whistle the play
is 'live'. Don't stand there expecting the goalie
to hand you the puck for a 2nd shot... keep after
that puck... but stop immediately when you hear
9. Be prepared... if you are in front of the net
after the puck… you need to expect to be
roughed up. Don't stand there with locked
knees in an upright position. Keep your stick on
the ice with your knees bent in a power position.
Additional ideas to help increase your
Screens – Shoot through traffic in front of the
net, keep the puck down... Making it harder to
see the puck and easier to bounce off shin
pads, skates and sticks.
Tip-ins – Stand in line with the shot between
the puck and the goalie. Try to deflect the puck
as it goes by you rather than waving at it in
front of you.
Shoot Often – There is no such thing as a bad
shot. You need to shoot to score goals. Don't
worry about the angle however you must 'hit'
the net! You may need to shoot an average of
4-10 shots per goal you score.
Rebounds – Always head to the net when a
teammate is about to shoot. Don't wait until
the shot is taken, get to the net first! Don't be
'proud'... be a ‘garbage goal collector’. Most
goals are scored on rebounds, always
expect a rebound, even from your own shot.
Shoot Quickly – A quick release often catches a
goalkeeper before he can get feet set,
challenge the shot and establish their
Don't forget the 5-Hole – Always it is best to
get your shot on net and the 5-Hole is a great
location. If your aim is bad, you’ll probably
‘hit’ the corner and always crash the net for
Odd Player Rushes – Should always end with a
shot on goal. Unless your teammate is wide
open, look to shoot, every pass you make is an
opportunity to lose the puck (this really applies
the younger the players). A shot and rebound
usually results in a better scoring opportunity
than a pass. Some coaches of younger players
tell their defense to always take the puck
carrier and force the pass...
Know the Goalies Strengths and Weaknesses -
Know the opposing goalkeeper’s weaknesses.
Example: stick side, high blocker, big
Shots from the Point - Shots need to be about a
foot high. This gives the forwards the best
opportunity to screen, redirect or get a
Bottom-line - Good goal scorers are hungry for
goals. Skill is important but often guts, heart,
grit, 'can do attitude' and hockey smarts can
get you that goal!
Hockey Practice Guide
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