Half Ice Hockey Drills – Splitting the Ice

To keep costs low most hockey house leagues have their practice time split between two teams. Think of this as a plus, two teams means two coaches. You can spend the first 15 minutes or so practicing together and then split up and do your own half ice hockey drills.

In house league you have a wide range of skill typically and this will be true in all age divisions, from Novice all the way up to Midget or Juvenile. Having a few set plays and planning out your practices well, will help you succeed in your House League season.

Half Ice Hockey Drill – Positioning

Position is an integral part of hockey, and Half Ice hockey is a perfect time to focus on the positioning of your team. Use this time to practice your power play and penalty kill plans. You will need to incorporate all your players into it, but have them setup where you want them for example a box penalty kill and make them run through some real game situations.

Figure 8 Shooting and Deflection

Sometimes forwards get into slumps or you have a team that is having trouble scoring, it can never hurt to get your players to remember the basics and start throwing pucks at the net and then crashing the net for a “dirty” goal. This drill promotes helps promote this tactic.

1. Forwards line up in corner with pucks.
2. Three defensemen across the blue line. Two have pucks, one doesn’t.
3. First forward passes to the defenseman without a puck then skates around the top of the circle and drives the net.
4. Far defenseman times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
5. Forward deflects the puck then continues down around the other circle.
6. Forward continues up around the top of the circle then drives the net again.
7. Defenseman who received the initial pass times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
8. Forward deflects the puck then stops in front of the net to screen the goalie and get ready for the third shot.
9. Middle defenseman fires a low, hard shot. Forward deflects it then drives in any rebound.


This drill is a continuation of the above, forcing players to get comfortable shooting the puck. Player 1 passes to Player 2, Player 2 shoots on net, Player one continues around top of circle into the slot for a shot, then player 1 goes to the front of the net for a screen/deflection from a shot from Player 3. Player 3 to time shot accordingly.

1 on 1 Battle

Battle drills are not only fun for the players, but it is an important skill to have while playing a game.

1 on 1 in the circle focusing on puck protection while moving in the circle, the players around the circle keep the pucks in play. On the whistle (10 -15 seconds) break out for the goal on a 1 on 1, finish with shot and rebound.

3 3 3 half ice hockey drill

Treat the half ice as 3 zones as outlined in the picture below. The objective of this drill is to have your forwards maintain control of the puck while making as many passes through the middle zone as then can. Defense is the fore checker and is trying to take away time and space, while angling the puck to where then want it to go.

Coach passes puck to one of the 6 Forwards on the outside. 1 of the 3 D can enter the zone and fore check the puck, work on Angling and steering the puck into an area that is beneficial to us. The two defenders left in the zone are to defend the passing lanes. Once pass is completed, new D becomes fore checker and the new 2 D are defending the pass, then keep changing with the movement of the puck.

This drill can be done with or without a goalie, If using a Goalie, Forwards should look for a good opportunity to shoot.

Coaching Board

1 Comment

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