General Face-Off Rules – When to Force, When to Avoid

For younger goalies it can be confusing as to when to stop the play by covering the puck. Below is a list of general instances for when to either cover the puck or keep it in play.

  1. When to Force
    1. team having trouble getting puck out of zone
    2. need a line change
    3. loose puck in crease area
    4. save made with opponent within a few feet
    5. puck stuck in gear after save
    6. team is outnumbered in skaters
    7. teammate is hurt on the ice and whistle has not been blown
    8. goalie has equipment problem needing addressed immediately
  2. When to Avoid
    1. little pressure on defense and puck can be moved by goalie
    2. little pressure from opposing team on goalie
    3. PP – in own zone or during 2nd period when opposing team is changing
    4. goalie’s team has better match-up on ice (i.e. goalie’s #1 line vs. opposing team’s #4)
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