As the fourth article in this series on checking skills, we look at the primary and direct interaction between opponents: the use of the stick. Using the stick to check is an individual tactic that bisects the gap (the distance between the checker and the puck-carrying player) and is used to knock the puck loose and/or take it away.
This action requires the effective use of the stick. More accurately. the correct use, concealment and placement of the stick. In fact, being deceptive and hiding the check is crucial in the success of this type of check.
The stick check’s action originates at the shoulder, then elbow and finally the wrist and involves the correctly timed displacement of the stick. Regardless of the type of stick check, all stick checks involve a flexed and preloaded upper extremity and a well-timed placement into the puck carrier’s pocket (the location of the puck). They are most frequently stick-on-stick contact, but may also involve direct stick-on-the-puck contact. Executed too early and you’re beat in a lunge, completely extended, locked out and “undressed.” Too late and you’re poking at pads, the puck is protected, and you are unnecessarily in chase mode.
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