The 3 on 2 Attack Rush Should be Played as a Pressure Tactic

In Tactics by Mike ColdhamLeave a Comment

Young hockey players should be taught the 3 on 2 Attack Rush as a pressure tactic because it requires speed and skills to effectively execute. This is a tactic that becomes more and more important as players get older, but no matter what age or level, attacking off the rush still requires understanding of five cornerstone skills:

  1. Skating
  2. Shooting
  3. Passing
  4. Checking
  5. Stick Handling & Puck Control

The 3 on 2 Attack Rush should be played as a pressure tactic for the following reasons:

  1. Forces the opponent to provide excellent back pressure support from their forwards or they will get beat with proper execution of the play.
  2. Takes advantage of the odd player advantage situation when executed properly.
  3. Takes advantage of your team’s speed and skills.
  4. Forces the D pairing into man on man coverage which creates an open offensive player (the shooter).
  5. Creates quality passing and shooting lane options.

Execution Keys:

  • The puck must be moved to the player in the outside lane at or just before the blue line (stay onside!)
  • The player in the outside lane should try to beat the strong side D to the outside with speed and take the puck deep into the zone to force man on man coverage
  • The player in the outside lane can take the puck in behind the net or delay and turn back should there not be a play option on net off the Attack Rush
  • The offensive player taking the puck wide and the player(s) without the puck driving the net (middle or outside lane) must use their speed
  • Players driving the net must have their stick on the ice to give a target for a pass and be ready to receive the puck
  • Players driving the net should try to get on the offensive side of the puck (between defender and the player with the puck)
  • The width and depth of the offensive zone should be used to create time and space
  • Setting of quality passing lanes by the players without the puck
  • One of the players without the puck should drive the middle or outside lane (weak side) to force the weak side D into man on man coverage
  • Forward 3 without the puck control skates into open ice (soft spot) above the puck in the slot and sets a quality passing lane
  • Players go to the net hard, sticks on the ice to receive a pass, rebound or deflection opportunity on the net

Player Development Focus

Driving the net hard with speed and skill is one of the best plays in hockey. Teach the kids the 3 on 2 Attack Rush with speed so that can add the skills learned to their tool box. 

About the Author
Mike Coldham

Mike Coldham

Mike has over 25 years of coaching experience as a Technical Mentor Coach of people in Business and Sports. Now retired after 35 years of public service, Mike created the TLPF website to support the development of competitive minor hockey players. Mike works with competitive hockey players to help them learn how to play faster which requires tactical knowledge and skills.


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