Youth hockey program, Arlington MA

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                                       Breakouts from the Defensive Zone




Assuming we get control of the puck in the corner, D1 looks to either a) Skate it either to the strong side or behind the net, b) Pass the puck to the strong-side wing (shown as the LW) who has dropped down to the hashmark to support, c) Or pass D to D behind the Net to the other defensemen D2.  Once we get clear possession, the center should release and fill the open center lane and D2 releases and is ready to either go behind the net to receive a D to D pass or trail the play up ice n the weak side.




RW is the low forward in this illustration (in the slot) and once we get clear possession releases and goes towards the weakside hashmark. The RW must initially be patient to see which side the breakout is going and therefore might not go all the way to the hashmark if the breakout is going out the strong side.  Assuming it does come out the strong side, the RW stretches across the zone, supporting the left wing and is also available for a pass from the D as well.  The LW is the high forward and drops down to the strong-side hashmark and is the close support.  LW must read the play and support the puck properly, either by making themselves a good passing option at the hashmark or by moving up ice if the defenseman starts skating the puck.  RW reads the breakout and provides stretch support as applicable.  The center will join the breakout, filling the center or outside lane.  If there is an opposing D pinching on the LW, then the LW can go back to D1 to regroup or knock puck of the boards and out of the zone.  This could release the RW with a potential offensive threat the other way.


Forward options on the strong side of the breakout:


A)    If the opposing D is pinching, LW makes an indirect pass to RW who is coming across to support

B)    If the opposing D is pinching, pass back to the D1

C)    If the opposing D is not pinching, carry it yourself

D)    If the opposing D is not pinching, headman the puck to the RW who is supporting

E)     If the opposing D is not pinching, make a cross ice pass to the weak side, to center who is filling the lane



If you go out the weak side (D to D pass) the RW and LW have switched roles as the RW becomes the strong-side wing who is supporting at the hashmark and the LW is coming across to support.  The forwards now have the same options described above.