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Low Zone Collapse

Low Zone Collapse

Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies

In this system, all five defensive players collapse in tight and basically play the opponent five on three low (figure 9.6). The theory is that you take away all plays to the slot by outnumbering the opponent and clogging up the scoring area. Most NHL teams use this collapse around the net style of play when the puck is below the goal line or after a point shot. Once the puck is passed back to the defenseman, the wingers who have collapsed in tight now move out to block the shooting lane.

Figure 9.6 The low zone collapse coverage areas.



D1, F1, and D2 work together and play the three low zones (hit zone, support zone and net zone; figure 9.7). The first forward back assumes the position of F1. Most of the time you want your center in this position, so an exchange may be made when appropriate. The other two forwards sink in tight as well. The adjustment from the 2-3 system is that D2 can now move to the strong-side post F3 plays close to the net, covering the low slot while F2(who is also collapsed below the dots tries to deny passes back to the point.

Figure 9.7 Low five on three coverage.



When the offensive team moves the puck back to the point, F2 expands out in the shooting lane (figure 9.8). F2 should move quickly but be under control when the defenseman is ready to shoot. Get into the shooting lane when you anticipate a shot. At times it will be necessary when the opponent passes the puck D-D, F3 will move out in the shooting lane and F2 will rebound back to the low slot.

Figure 9.8 High zone coverage.

Continue Reading: Half-Ice Overload

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