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Two on One

Two on One

Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies

Coaches have several different theories about how to play a two on one, but there is no factual evidence to say which is better. First, the defenseman should stay in mid-ice regardless of whether the two on one is down the middle or wide. Early, try to push the puck carrier wide. Once the attack moves into the circles, the defenseman has two options:

  1. Be responsible for the player without the puck, and leave the player with the puck to the goaltender. To execute this tactic the defense must turn to take the wide player at the last moment in order to minimize the risk of the opposition puck carrier cutting to a better shooting position. When the defense turns to take his check, he should still keep an eye on the puck carrier so he knows what is happening. The primary responsibility of the defenseman in this tactic is to make sure no pass can be made to the back door for an empty-net tap-in (figure 8.3a).
  2. The second way to play a two on one is for the defense, to slide flat on the ice with feet facing the net to take away the passing option and force the puck carrier to shoot (figure 8.3b). This slide must be executed with proper timing. The problem with the slide is that until they perfect it many defensemen slide too far or leave their feet to early – allowing the puck carrier to cut in. Also once the defenseman slides, he is in no position to defend a rebound.

Figure 8.3 During the two on one the defenseman either (a) makes sure no pass can be made back door or (b) slides flat on the ice with feet facing the net to take away the passing option.

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