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Drill of the Week: 3 vs 3 Middle Breakout

By Minnesota Hockey & CoachThem, 11/18/20, 10:00AM CST



Many breakouts start with turnovers caused by good defensive zone coverage so teaching players how to transition quickly from defending to starting a rush is critical. This breakout game from Owatonna High School coach Josh Storm emphasizes using the middle of the ice to fuel possession breakouts.


  • Teams play 3 vs 3 below the top of the circles. Play for 20-25 seconds. Teams rotate defense to offense to out.
  • Offensive team receives one point for a shot on net and two points for goals. The defensive team receives one point for a blocked shot, one point for a breakout through the middle tires and have a chance to score on the goalie/net in the neutral zone for a bonus point.
  • Offensive team must sprint to the blue line after the whistle or allowing a breakout. 
  • To emphasize possession breakouts, the defending team is not allowed to "clear pucks". If a puck is chipped out, give a new puck to the offensive team. 


  • Defensive team - One player on the puck, good sticks, use appropriate body contact, puck support
  • Offensive team - Move with and without the puck, be "above" the puck, create switches, shoot off the pass and hunt rebounds

Find this drill in the Minnesota Hockey Drill Share Group on CoachThem.

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