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In this article we’ll be looking at puck protection. Puck protection is a fundamental skill that every hockey player should know and use on the ice. Let’s take a look at how to keep control of the puck in those tricky or tight situations.

Your main objective with puck protection is to use your body to create barrier between the opponent and the puck.

Puck protection – Edge work

With anything we do on the ice, our edges play a vital role. That’s where our control comes from. Without control, we can’t create strength or resistance to keep control of the puck. Your inside skate will be on it’s outside edge. Your outside skate will be on it’s inside edge.

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Puck protection – Hockey stance

Your hockey stance will directly affect your balance and control on the ice. In order to have the best level of control, maintain a slightly wide base. Make sure to utilise the knee bend, this will give you a low centre of gravity improving your balance and control.

Puck protection – Upper body

Using your entire upper body strength is key, you’ll need to create resistance between you and the opponent by engaging your core, shoulders, back and arms to maintain control of the puck. This is hockey, it’s a contact sport! Don’t be shy to use your upper body strength to push the opponent out of the way.

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Puck protection – Stick control

Depending on the situation, some players will prefer to keep one hand on the stick while using the other to create more of a barrier between the opponent and the puck. Read the situation to identify what will be the best option.

With one hand on the stick, this allows the player to further extend the stick away from the opponent making it much more difficult for them to reach the puck.How to protect the puck in hockey - Puck protection How to protect the puck in hockey - Puck protection 3

 

Key points 

  • Slightly wide base
  • Good knee bend to give you a low centre of gravity and increased balance and control.
  • Use your body to create a barrier between the puck and the opponent.
  • Create resistances and use upper body strength to push them away
  • Full stick extension to move the puck out of their reach
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