Hockey 101

Get In The Game

Goaltender - The player protecting his team’s goal
Defensemen - These players try to stop the incoming play at their own blue line. They’re the last line of defense between the opposition and the goaltender. Offensively, they get the puck to their forwards and follow the play into the attacking zone, positioning themselves just inside their opponent's blue line (also known as “the point”).
Center - The player who leads the attack by carrying the puck on offense. He exchanges passes with his wingers to steer the play toward the opposing goal. On defense, he covers the opposing team’s center and attempts to carry or clear the puck out of his defensive zone. A team’s top player is commonly their best center.
Wings - The wingers combine with the center on the attack to set up shots on the opposing goal. Defensively, they attempt to break up plays by their counterparts and upset shot attempts.



Hey, Ref!


Dangerously hitting another player from behind into the boards; Two-minute penalty


Intentionally taking a prolonged skate at and then hitting a player in an attempt to injure; Two-minute penalty

Cross Checking

Holding your stick horizontally with both hands and intentionally hitting a player; Two-minute penalty


Hitting an opposing player with your elbow in an attempt to injure; Two-minute penalty

High Sticking

Hitting an opposing player with your stick anywhere above the shoulder; Two-minute penalty, unless there is blood drawn from the opposing player's face, in which case it is a 4-minute penalty


Holding or slowing down an opposing player either with your stick around his body, or by physically grabbing him with one or two hands; Can also be called for grabbing the opposing player's jersey in order to slow him down


Up-ending an opposing player by putting your stick around them, through their legs, or any other means that drags that player down to the ice; Two-minute penalty


Any action that intentionally impedes an opposing player's skating progress; Can also be called for interfering with the play of the goalie within the designated crease area; Two-minute penalty


An arbitrary call by the referee against a player either for unsportsmanlike conduct, aggravated attempt to injure, or other unacceptable behavior; 10-minute penalty, which the player does not serve in the penalty box but rather the team's dressing room; Can also be a game misconduct that removes the player from the remainder of a game


The act of swinging your stick (axe-style) with two hands in a manner that slows down or injures an opposing player; Two-minute penalty


Bringing down an opposing player either with your stick, between or around his legs, or with your foot; Two-minute penalty


When a play is deemed onside, or when an attempt to ice the puck by a team is negated by the opposition retrieving it first; No penalty

Hockey A-Z

A - Letter worn on the uniform of the alternate captain(s)
Assist - An assist is awarded to a player for helping set up a goal. Assists are awarded to the last man or two men to handle the puck before the goal is scored.
Attacking zone - The area of the rink from the opponent's blue line to the end of the rink that contains the opposition's goal; the zone where the team attempts to score
Backcheck - Forwards in the enemy zone pick up their man and skate back quickly to their own end of the ice to protect their goal and keep the opponent from shooting.
Blue line - There are two of them on the ice. Each indicates a team’s defensive (when protecting) or offensive (when attacking) zone. It is the line that decides whether or not a play is “onside” or “offside.” The puck must be the first thing to cross over a team’s offensive blue line when attacking the opposition’s goal.
Boards - The wall that encloses the ice surface
Bodycheck - A bodycheck is used to slow or stop an opponent with the puck by using the hip or shoulder.
Butt-ending - To illegally hit an opponent with the end of the stick farthest from the blade
C - Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain
Clearing the puck - When the puck is passed or shot away from the front of the net or other congested area, the player is clearing the puck.
The crease - The painted semicircle in front of the goal. No player from the attacking team is allowed inside the crease unless the puck is there.
Defensive zone - A team's end zone—from inside their blue line to behind their own goal—where a team tries to prevent goals from being scored.
Deke - A fake move by a puck carrier to stickhandle his way around an opponent or to make the goalie move out of position; pronounced "DEEK"
Drop pass - An offensive maneuver that occurs when the puck carrier leaves the puck behind to be picked up by a trailing teammate
Face-off - To start the play at any time, the puck is dropped between two opposing players facing each other. Time starts when the puck is dropped.
Five-hole - The open area between the goalie's legs where shooters attempt to shoot the puck. It’s considered the fifth hole a shooter might consider… the top left corner, top right corner, bottom left corner, and bottom right corner are the first four, and then the five-hole.
Forecheck - Forwards forecheck by hustling in the opponent's defensive zone to either keep the puck there or take it away.
Freezing the puck - A player freezes the puck by holding it against the boards with the stick or skates.
Hat trick - The scoring of three goals by a player in one game
Head manning - A forward pass made to an attacking player
Man advantage - A team with one or more players on the ice than its opponent; also known as a “power play”
Major penalty - A five-minute penalty assessed for fighting and other flagrant infractions. These include fighting, and high-sticking where blood is drawn.
Minor penalty - A two-minute penalty assessed for general infractions
Neutral zone - The central area of the ice between the two blue lines
Offside - When an attacking player precedes the puck over the offensive blue line
Offensive zone - The area of the rink within the opponent's blue line that contains the opposition's goal; also known as the “attacking zone”
One-timer - Shooting the puck directly after receiving a pass, without first stopping it or slowing it down in any way
Penalty killing - The act of preventing goals while playing shorthanded; also known as “killing off a penalty”
Penalty shot - A penalty shot is a one-on-one showdown between a player and the opposing goalie. Penalty shots are called when a player is denied a clear breakaway scoring opportunity. They're also called when a defensive player other than the goalie covers the puck with his hand in the goal crease, or when a defensive player throws his stick to hit the puck or prevent a goal.
Poke check - When a goalie uses his stick in a quick jabbing motion to dislodge the puck from an opponent
Power play - A power play occurs when a team has a one-man or two-man advantage because of an opponent's penalties; also known as a “man advantage”
Screened shot - A shot taken when the goaltender's view is blocked by another player
Slapshot - Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after taking a full backswing; the hardest shot in hockey, sometimes faster than 100 mph
Slot - The area immediately in front of the goal. It is from this zone that most goals are scored and where most furious activity takes place.
Splitting the defense - The player with the puck attempts to squeeze between the opponent's two defensemen.
Stickhandling - The art of carrying the puck up the ice often deking opponents
Top shelf - When an offensive player shoots the puck high past the goalie, putting the puck in the top part of the net; also known as “going upstairs”
Trailer - A player skating behind the puck carrier, or coming late into an offensive play
Wrap-around - When an offensive player attempts to score by skating around the net, hoping to tuck it into the opposite side of the goal with the goaltender out of position
Wrist shot - A shot where the puck is propelled off the blade of the stick with a hard, fast, flicking motion of the wrist. Although it has less velocity than a slapshot, it’s commonly the most accurate way to shoot the puck.


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