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:
- Stick Handling & Puck Control
The 3 on 2 Attack Rush should be played as a pressure tactic for the following reasons:
- Forces the opponent to provide excellent back pressure support from their forwards or they will get beat with proper execution of the play.
- Takes advantage of the odd player advantage situation when executed properly.
- Takes advantage of your team’s speed and skills.
- Forces the D pairing into man on man coverage which creates an open offensive player (the shooter).
- Creates quality passing and shooting lane options.
- 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.