By Minnesota Hockey & CoachThem, 02/25/21, 7:30AM CST
Henry Sibley High School coach Ted Cheesebrough shares a small area game he uses to jump start practices for any age group because it requires every player to be focused and engaged at all times.
Coaches must active, vocal and send out new pucks ASAP to keep the game moving quickly.
Focal points include awareness, communication, quick reads and decisions, and transition play.
Line up one team across the goal line and the other across the top of the circles. The front of the team's line is next to the net they're defending.
Coach spots a puck and calls out the number of players who enter play from the front of their line and who compete against the corresponding number of opponents for that shift. Starting 2v2 is usually best; but coaches should mix it up from shift to shift, sometimes sending 1v1 or 3v3
Every player (including those in line) is eligible to shoot, score, pass, or receive a pass. The players in line can pass to any teammate, shoot, etc. but must stay within their space on the line.
If a puck is scored, frozen, or exists the zone, coach must instantly put in and call out “new puck!”. Coach should mix up the new pucks by passing it to different players in the respective lines, keeping everyone on their toes, or also sometimes tossing out 50/50 pucks.
Shifts last 25-35 seconds. At the end of each shift, the skating players go to the “back” of their line, which is nearest to the net they’re attacking, putting them in a potential rebound position while in line during the next shift.
Play games up to 3. Can make it a best-of-3 series.