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St. Cloud State hockey strategy
December 15, 2011 - Burt Angeli
Kingsford’s Kevin Gravel, a sophomore at St. Cloud (Minn.) State, discussed the hockey team’s defensive thinking with the St. Cloud Times.
St. Cloud State, according to the newspaper, wants to transition the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone quickly. Coach Bob Motzko’s philosophy is that the less time a team spends in its own end, the fewer scoring opportunities the opposition will get and the more scoring chances his team will get.
“When we make tape-to-tape passes and get our feet moving, we play more in their zone,” Gravel said. “The idea is two passes and we’re in their zone. He shows us that on film and it’s true. The neutral zone and the transition (game) is very big for our unit.
“In our defensive zone, if we get stuck out there for a little bit long shift, we tend to panic a little bit and run around … If we get stuck out there, sometimes we just need to take the icing (call) or chip (the puck) off the glass and get it out of the zone.
Sometimes, we try to be too cute back there.”
Gravel (6-foot-4, 198 pounds) has tallied four assists in 18 games this season. The Huskies stand 6-8-4 overall and 4-5-3 WCHA.
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