Players Benefits

 Practices every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Excluding game days & rest days.

·         3-5 times(4-6hrs) hrs of practice time/s per week

·         Game night is Friday/Sat, Away Game Sat or Sun

·         Prospects of America Contact for SAT testing Available

·         Gym Memberships (Located inside the arena)

·         Community Team Events

·         42 game regular season schedule

·         Bus to all Away game (if available), carpool to games 40mins away.

·         Equipment Package offered for the season – Gloves, Pant Shell, Home/Away Jerseys/practice Jerseys/socks

·         Game Tape

*Showcase and Promotion packages available.

*Mental & Physical strength coaches available

Tillsonburg Hurricane Hockey Club: How to play hockey

Hockey is a winter sport played on an ice rink between 2 teams made up of 6 players each. To win, all you need to do is score points by shooting the puck into your opponent’s goal.

Overall, this activity is not only fun to play but offers many learnings such as teamwork, cooperation, discipline and many more. Are you planning to play hockey? If yes, we recommend following the tips in this blog to practice skating quickly and efficiently. Rest assured that with a lot of practice and hard work, you will be able to join a professional hockey team. 

Learn the basic rules

Before doing anything else, make sure that you know all the basic rules of hockey. Learn more about it below.

Wear protective equipment. 

Remember, hockey is a full-contact sport so it is important that you wear protective padding and helmets to prevent injuries if you ever fall on the ice. When purchasing equipment, however, make sure that it fits your body type so that it will remain secure. Additionally, we recommend buying a good pair of hockey skates that offer ankle support and mobility. Here are the things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t play ice hockey without any protective gear since it can lead to injuries.
  • Keep in mind that wearing regular ice skates limit your mobility and will not be as effective as skates designed for hockey.

Study the layout of the rink. 

When just starting out, it can be confusing to play the game especially if you are not familiar with the layout of the rink. So, make sure to study it well and do your own research about it. One thing you need to remember is that the hockey rink is divided into 3 sections marked by the blue lines on the ice. Here are other things to keep in mind: 

  • Always remember that the semicircle on each goal line represents the area where the goalie plays.
  • There are also multiple circles on the rink that represent different functions, so make sure to study them properly.

Start the game at the centre of the rink. 

The dotted circle in the centre of the rink is the starting position where you’ll have a face-off at the start of the game. So, once the referee drops the puck in the dotted line, you need to use your hockey stick to fight for control of the puck. Here are other things to keep in mind:

  • Once the puck comes down, the game clock will start running.
  • If you are still new to hockey, keep in mind that you will also have face-offs at the start of each game period and after each point.
  • You will also have face-offs after certain penalties as well.

You can score by hitting the puck into the opponent’s goal.

When playing the game, your main goal is to get the puck into your opponent’s goal on their side of the rink. You need to use your stick to shoot the puck into the goal to score 1 point for your team. On the other hand, if you are playing goalie, you must try to defend your goal from the puck so the other team can’t score. Here are other things to keep in mind: 

  • There will be no limits on how many points you can score during the game.
  • Every time you score, you must always be ready to have a face-off on the centre line.

Avoid suffering any penalties. 

Hockey has minor and major penalties that could take you out of the game for a few minutes. So, when the referee blows the whistle, make sure to stop playing the game and watch the hand signals they give to know what the penalty was and who it was called on. Some of the most common penalties include:

  • Using the stick for slashing or high-sticking
  • Hooking or tripping the other players
  • Interfering with other players who are not doing anything
  • Targeting their head

Reminder: Once you are in the penalty, the team cannot substitute you with a different player.

Complete the game by playing through 3 periods.

Basically, every period takes about 12-20 minutes depending on the league you are playing in. However, since every period takes a long time, we recommend training your endurance so that you can last longer while playing.

Have the right fundamental skills

Once you have all the essential knowledge regarding the rules of hockey, it is now time to learn all the fundamental skills you need.

Learn how to skate forward and backwards. 

The first thing you need to learn is how to skate forward and backwards. To do this, you must keep your knees bent while you are skating to get the most range and power. Try to push off 1 leg and lift the opposite leg to practice gliding on the ice to maintain your balance. On the other hand, if you want to skate backwards, try to glide your feet back in a C-shape. Here are other things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to learn how to skate before you start playing hockey so you feel more confident on the ice.
  • Another thing you can do is practice gripping the ice with your skates and take side-steps to improve your game. Basically, these are known as crossovers and can help you change directions quickly while you are skating.

Learn how to move and control the puck with your hockey stick.

Using your non-dominant hand, try to hold the ball at the end of the stick handle while centring the stick with your body. Afterwards, you need to place your dominant hand a couple of inches down from the top for a firmer grip. Once done, make sure to shuffle the puck back and forth to dribble it so learn how to have the most control. Here are other things to keep in mind:

  • The first thing you can do to become better is to practice dribbling while you are standing still before you start to skate with it.
  • Additionally, it is important that you are using a stick curved in the opposite direction as your dominant hand. For instance, if you are right-handed, use a stick where the blade curves to the left.
  • You must also keep your eyes up and forward rather than looking down at the puck.

Learn how to pass the puck to other players.

Another thing you need to learn is how to do a quick sweeping motion to push the puck to other players. Make sure to keep the puck as low to the ground so you don’t lose control. Here are other things you can do to become better:

  • Make sure to follow through with the sweeping motion completely to get the speed and angle correct. Additionally, if you are catching a pass, try to angle the blade on your stick down so the puck does not jump off the ice.
  • You must also avoid using full swings when passing the puck since it will be hard for your teammate to catch it.

Know how to flick your wrist forward to make precise shots.

To make precise shots, you must learn how to shift your weight onto your back leg and keep the puck as close to the middle of the blade as possible. Once done, you must also learn how to sweep the puck forward and flick your wrists at the last minute to give the puck momentum and thrust. 

When taking shots, it is also important to remember that the end of the hockey stick’s blade guides the direction you want to shoot.

Playing during the game

Once you have learned all the fundamental skills needed, it is now time to learn the essential things you need to know while playing. 

Keep your head up.

Rather than looking down at your feet or the puck while you have it, you must stay alert and look forward to where other players are. Additionally, you must also keep an eye on your opponents as well as your other teammates so you can set up passes and shots.

Spread your team. 

Another essential thing you need to do as a team if you want to win is spread out. You must never stand still in one place or your opponents can easily defend the puck from you. For this reason, we recommend moving around and finding new gaps between players where you can pass and shoot the puck. Here are other things to keep in mind:

  • Try to communicate with your teammates and always watch where they’re moving to find opportunities to score.
  • You must also avoid handling the puck and score by yourself since you can easily get caught up by another player.
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Tillsonburg Hurricanes Jr.A Hockey Club