How do you play defense in non-contact Play? – Hockey Resource

Playing as a defenceman in non-contact ice hockey is different than when contact is permitted since you are unable to surprise the opponent with a good hit to take them out of play. The way to play defense is similar but relies much more on poke-checking and being more passive than playing the body.

In order to reduce the chances of scoring, keep the players towards the outside of the ice surface by making sure you are between the attacking player and the centre of the width of the ice. Although it is non contact, you can still use your body to block the opponent’s path to a certain degree and prevent them from going around you so use it to your advantage. If the player attempts to cut towards the centre of the ice and you are in their path, you will not get a penalty, that player is running into you vs you hitting them.
Keep making the player go to the outside while backing up to prevent them from going around you (They should always be in front of you if you’re skating backwards). Angle the player to give less and less room in the centre and force them along the boards. Use your stick to block potential passes towards the centre, and poke check if the player comes too close. Set a “limit” on the ice where you will no longer back up, usually between the hash marks and the crease, discuss this with your goaltender. At that point you becomes agressive, stop and poke check. Backing up any more will just screen the goaltender and prevent them from stopping the puck. If the player does manage to go around you, they won’t really have time to get a good shot off or deke the goaltender. If the player goes towards the corner, you can likely switch tactics to contain them and block a pass or a walk-in.
If while backing up you notice the player has a lot more speed than you do, it’s time for plan B, turn around and skate forwards forcing them to the outside and try and poke the puck off the stick. While skating forward you can really use your body weight to push (not hit) your opponent towards the outside. You want to make sure the player can’t cut back towards the middle or has too much time to deke the goaltender. The switch between backwards and forwards is all about timing, too quickly and you’ll lose sight of the player, they may cut back towards the middle. Too slowly and they will be past you with a lot more speed on a breakaway.

Regardless, keep on the player, try and block the centre, try and poke the puck from their stick or even lift their stick up a bit so they lose control of the puck. Never stop skating to try and put pressure on that player and reduce their chances of deking or getting a proper shot off.

If the play is a 2 on 1, you have to play the pass, be less aggressive, place yourself between the two players to block the pass and slowly try and box the puck carrier to the outside. At this point, your job is to stop the pass and prevent the puck carrier from cutting in front of the net. The goaltender is given the shot. If you pass the “set point” go more aggressively on the puck carrier while still blocking the pass. Your stick should be positioned between the two players so you can cut the pass, in some cases, some players use their entire body on the ice with stick extended to make sure a pass can’t make it through. The player with the puck has no choice but to shoot at a bad angle, or try an extremely difficult pass with the puck in the air above your body.

Lastly, learn from your mistakes, the timing, what you did right and what you did wrong. If a player got away once, figure out why and fix it for the next time! Hope this was helpful, feel free to leave your comments below!






One response to “How do you play defense in non-contact Play? – Hockey Resource”

  1. Elizbeth Porcelli Avatar
    Elizbeth Porcelli


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