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Three-on-Four Penalty Kill

Three-on-Four Penalty Kill

Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies

The three-on-four penalty kill adds its own complexity and is similar yet different from killing the three on five. The difference is that the defending three must decide if they are going to take away the top two shooters or stay near the front of the net. Usually the 4 on 3 is much easier to kill than the five on three. The PK unit focuses on playing around the man at the net leaving them three on three against the shooters.



Most teams on a four-on-three power play will set up in a diamond with one player at the net, so the triangle penalty kill with one high is the most effective system to use. F1 stays in the middle of the ice (figure 10.26). When the puck is up top, he stays head to head with the one opposing D. When the puck is passed, F1 stays in the middle and uses his stick to deny the pass from O2 to O3. D1 and D2 are ready to move out and take the shooting lane away from O2 and O3. D1 and D2 do not tie up with O1 at the net but are ready to defend his stick and get body position if the puck is shot through.

Figure 10.26


Remember the old adage that “defense wins championships.” Working on your teams PK structure, getting all players on the same page and having your goaltender be your best penalty killer are all ways to give your team a better chance to win.

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