Shooting and dekeing is not the only way to beat the goalie, sometimes a well timed and executed pass will leave a goalie completely helpless. We have covered how to beat the goalie with a shot and with a deke, and in this article we are going to learn how to beat the goalie with a good pass.
When to Pass
It's a 2 on 1 and you have the puck, what should you do? Well, that depends, lets take a look at a few scenarios.
The defencemen is covering you
If you find the defencemen has come right over to you to try to play the puck, or take away your shot, you need to dish the puck. Defencemen should try to stay neutral during a 2 on 1 and try to take away the pass, but this doesn't always happen. Sometimes a defencemen gets caught out of position, or wants to be the hero. If the defencemen is close to you, that means your team mate has a lot of time and space, give him the puck as he has a better chance of scoring.
The goalie is taking away your shot
The goalie notices you want to shoot, he comes out of the net and challenges you, now he's toast! Usually goalies should play the shot, but still stay close to their post, that way if there is a pass they don't have to travel too far to play the pass. If the goalie comes out to challenge you just slide the puck over to your teammate for a tap-in goal.
Your team mate passed it to you and the goalie slid with the puck
Sometimes your the option on a 2 on 1 and your team mate give you a great pass, but the goalie is quick and tracks the puck right across the crease. If you can make a pass back to your team mate do it, this usually results in a beautiful looking goal. (a note to first guy giving the pass, after making the pass stop at the post, too many players make the pass and then drift behind the net) If you have a high guy you can also hold the puck for a second and then give the puck to the third man in, he can usually see a lot of the net and will bury.
Don't wait too long
Yes you want to make the beautiful back-door tap-in goal, but the longer you wait the harder it will be for your team mate to get his shot off, and the more likely the goalie will be able to stop the pass by putting his stick down and blocking the lane. Use your intuition, but if you find none of your passes are getting through it could be because you wait too long
Make it easy
Want to give your team mate a really good pass and a better chance to score? If you have the time you can help freeze the goalie by faking a shot first and then passing. This is especially effective if the goalie is playing you and expecting a shot, fake the shot and hopefully the goalie reacts, now pass over to your team mate.
When Not To Pass
A few times when you probably shouldn't pass
The goalie is cheating and expecting a pass - you will usually have some net to shoot at
The defensemen is taking away your passing option - Don't waste a good scoring chance by trying to feather a pass through the defencemen, if he's giving you the shot, take it. There is a chance you will score, or generate a good rebound
The clock is ticking - sometimes there are only a few seconds left in the period or game, unless the pass is a sure thing, just get a shot on net
You have a clear shooting lane - Some guys don't shoot the puck enough, if you have a clear lane to the net, get a good hard shot.
Want more tips?
I run a hockey training website called How To Hockey. I regularly add articles and videos on how to improve shooting, stickhandling, skating and more. If you are a hockey parent check out my website New To Hockey. I have guides and tips that will make being a hockey parent a little bit easier!