The Breakaway Shot – Master it
The puck squirts out into open ice. You are the first one to it. You take off. When you look up, there only clean ice between you and the goalie. You, my friend, are now on the breakaway!
One of the most exciting plays in hockey, the breakaway is thrilling, exciting, and more than a little bit nerve-wracking. When nothing is between you and the hockey goal, it is all on your shoulders to either score or be stoned by the keeper.
The next time you find yourself in this position, fear not! With these few tips and some breakaway training, you will be ready to light the lamp and have your moment in the spotlight.
Take Your Angle
Depending on where you start the break, sometimes this is determined for you. However, many times you can decide exactly what angle to take. Straight on gives you the most options but if you have a go-to forehand or backhand move you want to use, you may want to take an angle slightly off-center to better set it up.
Regulate Your Speed
Chances are, you are starting the break skating at top speed. When you get inside the blue line though, you want to be prepared to slow down if necessary. If the goalie is coming out to cut down the angle or you want to set up a multi-stage deke, you want to slow down a bit to give yourself more time. Just remember, the D is never far behind!
Set the Goalie Up
The breakaway is a one-on-one battle between the puck carrier and the goalie. So, when you have the puck, reading the goalie is the number one thing to think about. You want to get them leaning one way or the other to expose some of the hockey net. Think about everything you do inside the blue line in relation to how it sets the goalie up. It seems like a lot but it will become second nature with practice.
Shoot Your Shot
There is nothing worse on a breakaway than not getting a shot off. If the goalie exposes some shooting net right away, do not be afraid to take the shot early. If you do need to deke, keep it simple and make sure you have enough room to complete the move and still get the shot off.
Wait for Your Teammates to Catch Up…
if you execute all these things right, the puck will be in the back of the net and all you will have to do is turn around and wait for your teammates to get there to celebrate!!
Training for your Breakaway Moment
Of course, taking breakaways on a live goalkeeper is a great way to practice breakaways. Because this is not always possible, there is a lot of great dryland training equipment you can utilize to help you be ready when the moment arises. Working with a shooter tutor or a shooting tarp as your hockey net will help you become better at picking out the corners, even high speed. Working with a range of stickhandling training pucks will help you become a better dangler as well, allowing you to set the goalie up for your perfect shot.
On the breakaway, the benches stand up, the crowd starts to scream, your heart starts to race, and the only thing between you and ultimate glory is the goalie. Next time you or your young hockey player are in this situation, follow these few tips, train with the right equipment and, next thing you know, you will be a breakaway master.