Sometimes your team might not be able to settle the game in regulation, and it comes down to the always exciting SHOOTOUT!
I’ve included some tips in order to help you become the hero of the game. These will ensure that your team will be carrying you out on their shoulders, all the way to the nearest sponsor bar!
Eyes on the Prize
When you’re carrying the ball towards the goal, keep your head up! This will allow you to see the goalie and start to plan your move. If the goalie notices your head down, best believe they’re going for the poke check!
One of the most embarrassing things to happen during the shootout is losing the ball and not even getting a chance to score. One common mistake by overzealous shooters is running as fast as you can towards the net. Approaching the net at a decent pace gives you time to analyze the goalies position, and it will also keep you from losing the ball into the corner and showing up on Misplays of the Month.
Read the Goalie
You can begin your turn in the shootout with a solid idea of what you want to do, but it all comes down to reading the goalie. As you near the net, look at what the goalie’s positioning looks like and where they’re standing. Are they deep in the net, and not cutting down the angle? Use this as an opportunity to find a corner and shoot. Are they at the top of their crease? Make a quick move and deke it behind them.
When it doubt, deke em’ out! The shootout is your chance to show off your stickhandling skills, without the worry of a defender taking the ball away. Throw in a head fake, shot fake, or even a classic Matt Hendricks leg kick! Getting the goalie to react to a shot fake and commit to a save will allow you to find an opening and tuck it in the back of the net.
By using one or all of these tips we hope with a little luck and practice that all your shootout dreams will come true!