List Of Hockey Strategies

Ice Hockey Strategy

Teams use certain strategies within a game depending on who the opponent is that they are playing. Strategies are often developed and built open during practices throughout the course of a week leading up to gamedays. Strategies help a team feel prepared and in sync on the ice at all times. Players are more likely to be where they are supposed to be and will know where their fellow teammates are positioned as well.

Hockey Strategies List

There is a lot of strategy involved in the sport of ice hockey. It's up to the coaches to design plays that give their team a strategic advantage over the opposing team. Here is a list of hockey strategies.


Ice Hockey 2 On 1

2-on-1 in hockey is a situation where there are two attacking players against one defending player of the opposing team.


Ice Hockey 3 On 2

3-on-2 in hockey is a situation where there are three attacking players against two defending players of the opposing team.


Ice Hockey 5 On 3

5-on-3 in hockey is a power play during regulation, when one team is at full-strength with five skaters while the other team has three skaters and is short-handed on the ice.


Ice Hockey 5 On 4

5-on-4 in hockey is a power play during regulation, when one team is at full-strength with five skaters while the other team has four skaters and is short-handed on the ice.


Ice Hockey 5 On 5

5-on-5 in hockey is how many skaters can be on the ice for each team not including the goalie. In this scenario, both hockey teams are on full-strength.

1-3-1 Formation

Defensive minded teams often like to sit back in a 1-3-1 or 1-2-2 formation. This means that they only send 1 forward to forecheck (apply pressure on the opposing team), while having the other forwards and defenders sit back in the neutral zone. Teams will often use this strategy if they are winning a game in order to prevent a team from scoring.

2-1-2 Formation

Offensive minded teams often run a 2-1-2 or 2-2-1 strategy. This means they send 2 forwards on the forecheck while having another forward and/or defenseman hanging by the blue line just in case there is a loose puck. Teams will often use this strategy if they are losing a game and in need of a goal.

Attack Zone Play

An attack zone play in hockey is the zone on the ice where the team with possession of the puck tries to score. This can be on either side of the ice depending on the period of the game.

Bench Management

Bench management in hockey is how a coach sends their players on the ice and for how long. Also how they adjust the lineups depending on matchups and player personnel.

Box Formation

A box formation in hockey is when a defending or offensive team is in a formation that resembles a box. This is common on the penalty kill where there are two players up high and two players down low. This formation can also be used for an offensive team when they are on the power play.

Box Play

A box play in hockey is when a team in a box formation makes a play on the puck or the opposing player.


A breakaway in hockey is when a player with possession of the puck enters the attacking zone with no defenders ahead of him, creating a one-on-one scoring opportunity against the opposing team's goaltender.

Breakaway Face-Off

A breakaway face-off in hockey is a play that can happen after a faceoff is won by a team, they send one of their players on a breakaway. This is a high-risk play that results in a turnover most of the time.

Breakout Play

A breakout play in hockey is a specific play that is conducted by a team when they want to break out from their defensive zone to the offensive zone. This could be where a player tries to go on a breakaway or multiple passes are done in order to move the defense.


Counters in hockey is where a player does the opposite in order to fake the opposing player. This can either be a counter deke, pass or shot.

Czech Press

A Czech press in hockey is a type of defensive zone coverage where a forward on the defending team presses the puck carrier down low by the goal line. This is also a common coverage on the penalty kill.

Defense Splitting

Defense splitting in hockey is when a defense breaks down during a play and the opposition gets a scoring chance.

Diamond Formation

A diamond formation in hockey is the defensive system that has one defender up high in the zone and the rest are in a box formation by the goalie.

Torpedo System

A torpedo system in hockey is a system that has a team's skaters in a 2-2-1 formation. The four skaters are in a box formation while there is only one defenseman back. This was a system used to counter the trap in the 1990's. Team Sweden used this formation often in international play.