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Breakout Plays All Hockey Players Should Know

Hockey is a challenging sport that requires the player to be on his feet at all times and to find the best strategy fast in order to get an advantage over his adversary. The trick to a good hockey game is to master plays, strategies, and tactics in order to achieve perfection. Therefore, if you want to improve your hockey game and to become a great player, continue to read this article. Here you will learn everything about breakout plays in order to have a better understanding of the game and your relationship with your teammates when you’re on ice.


In the “up” breakout, the first defender moves for the puck, while the second defender has an eye on the play. The second defender calls “up” to the first defender when it’s time to let him know that the best play is to turn up the strong side of the ice, passing the puck to the winger on the boards. In case the winger isn’t available, the first defender must pass the puck to the centerman for support. The best moment to use this breakout tactic is when the other team has players near or behind the net.


In the “over” breakout, the first defender must move to pick up the puck, while the second defender reads the position of the other team. The second defender will notice that the enemy team has flooded one side of the ice. Therefore, he calls “over” to the first defender. At this moment, the first defender realizes that he must pass the puck behind the net to the second defender. This breakout should be used only when the opposing team has flooded the first defender’s side of ice.


The “wheel” breakout requires the first defender to move for the puck and step on the forechecker. The second defender will yell “wheel” to the first defender in order to tell him to skate with the puck around the net. The second defender has to remain in position as a “pick” for the forechecker to not cut across the top of the crease easily. The first defender must use the net as a screen by cutting close to it while skating behind it. The second defender must hold his position in front of the net while the second defender makes a pass. The “wheel” breakout should be used when the first defender has speed, and the other team doesn’t have pressure down low.


The “reverse” breakout is a good backup plan for the “wheel” breakout. Here, the first defender starts to skate the puck behind the net while having the forechecker behind him. The second defender screams “reverse” to signal the first defender to bank the puck hard off the boards to him. The centerman will support the play by moving with the first defender. When the reverse pass is made, the left wing player will move inside for a while, and then he will move back to the boards when the reverse pass is made. This way, he will receive a breakout pass. The right wing player will move to prepare for the “up” pass, moving across the ice to support the breakout once the reverse pass is made. To finish the breakout, the second defender will pass either to the left wing player or to the centerman.

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