14. Set Play

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This is an example of a good teamwork helping transition the puck from the defensive zone to a goal-scoring opportunity. The main focuses of this play are finishing at the goal and transitioning out of the defensive zone into the middle zone through a solid back. There are several things that have to happen in order to make this play happen. Let's visualize that one of our backs has the puck and is clearing to the wall.

Transitioning from the defensive third/zone to the mid zone, and into the goal:

  1. Our back has to swim it up to the opposing player and draw them in - our back can either try to beat them or pass over them. The Back has to keep in mind that any premature shooting of the puck stalls the play and shooting on a bad angle makes it difficult to pick up and carry the momentum of the play. The shot should go straight through opponent (preferable aiming through their upper arm/shoulder as this is the hardest shot to block).

  2. Two forwards need to be down and swimming hard at the opponent's defense. When our back shoots to either forward they need to pick up the puck and pull it through the opponent. Both forwards should be tight to the opponent and hold their position (maybe put a forearm up if you know you're going to get abused).

  3. As soon as one forward gets position of the puck they chip, punch, push or shoot the puck forward (as cleanly as possible) while the other forward pulls and digs for the puck until they get it free to move forward with. This can take several attempts by both forwards as the opponent curls and moves to find an opening. If this is effective their only recourse should be to go under their body between the forwards. This of course will be stopped by our back that has cycled into position perfectly and only has to pop the puck back up to the forwards to keep the play moving forward.

  4. Now if our back or forward is able to break free of their opponent at any time, then their partner forward must swim ahead for a nice lead forward pass shot straight through the opponent (never laterally -- that's the easiest shot to block).

  5. So now our forward has broken free due to excellent teamwork, extreme fitness -- and of course killer instinct, and resolve -- and is streaking down the pool but is running out of air. Now the offside forward (the one who has been enjoying the action on the surface) is either going to drop right beside the person with the puck, if they're encountering resistance, or is dropping ahead of the person with the puck moving into a solid position, to receive a pass and continue the play into the goal.

  6. While the forwards are all charging the goal, two of the backs have slid in behind the forwards to clean up any messes and pop the puck back up to the forwards.
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