Your job as a ringette defender when playing one versus one is to “channel”. Channeling is what you do when you try to force an opponent away from the front of your own net.
Too many athletes get burnt 1 v. 1 because they keep the wrong amount of space between them and the ring carrier. If you get too close to the ring carrier, the forward will drive around you and get a breakaway on net. If you remain too far away from the forward, you will screen your goalie and the forward can shoot for the open corners.
Killer ringette tip: The secret to channeling
The secret to awesome ringette channeling is to master a skill called “gap control” – keeping the perfect amount of space between you and the ring carrier at all times.
Great gap control is all about foot speed. If you do not move your feet the forward will get “too close” and blow by you. If you skate too quickly too early you will back in on your goalie and screen her.
A good gap is about a stick length away from the forward. As a defender you must constantly adjust your foot speed to keep the right distance between you and the ring carrier.
As you do this, you can use your body position to steer the forward away from your team’s Hot Spot. Once you get close to the net you will be in a position to block the forward’s shot, steal the ring from her, or force her to take a weak shot from a bad angle.
The following pictures show:
- Too large of a gap
- Too small of a gap
- The ideal gap
Check out these video clips of perfect ringette channeling:
Master these skills and you will be the kind of defender who drives the other team crazy.