The power play occurs when one team has a penalty and therefore the offensive team has a one player advantage (at least.) There are many versions of the power play but most have three important characteristics:
- Because the offensive team has a one player advantage it is important for the attackers to find the “open” player. As the defensive team moves to this player, another attacking team members should be open and available for a pass. Quick and crisp passes make the power play work well.
- The play is controlled by the points – usually the defensive players. If the goalie is screened or there is a lot of traffic around the net – the point player can shoot and hope for a deflected shot or one that the goalie cannot see. Another useful option is for the point to pass quickly to an open teammate for them to shoot. A fake shot is helpful from the point and can freeze the goalie.
- The third key is to make sure one or two offensive players are in front of the net screening the goalie or tipping a shot from the point. Although no check hockey has some limitations on defensive play, an effective offensive player must be courageous and prepared to take some pushing, shoving and hacking from defenders
The play illustrated in the diagram is known as a “funnel.” It is a basic power play and can score goals. The main idea is to keep the puck in the funnel (see initial diagram.) The points can shoot and hope for a deflection/tip or screen. They can also pass to a wing that has moved into the slot. Both ideas are illustrated in the diagram.
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