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Hockey Terms




2-Man Advantage: When one team has two more skaters on the ice the opposing team.

Assist: A touch that leads to a scoring play.

Attacking Zone: The area inside the opponent's blue line, where the opponent's net is located.

Backchecking: When a player tries to bother the opponent with the puck in the neutral zone or in the defensive zone, with the intention of creating a turnover.

Blue Line: A hockey rink is separated into 3 zones - defensive zone, neutral zone, and attacking zone, by the two blue lines, with the area between the blue lines called the neutral zone.

Breakaway: When an offensive player has possession of the puck with no defensive player between him/her and the goalie.

Butterfly Style: A style of goaltending where the goalie drops to his or her knees to block shots.

Center: A forward in hockey whose primary zone of play is in the center of the ice, as opposed to the boards on either end.

Center ice: The area between the two blue lines. Also called the neutral zone.

Change On The Fly: Making a line change while play is still live.

Clearing The Puck: The act of moving the puck out of the defensive zone to stop the opposing offensive threat.

Cross Bar: The horizontal bar at the top of the net.

Defensemen: A position in hockey whose primary responsibility is to prevent opponents from scoring.

Defensive Zone: The area inside a team's own blue line, where its goal net is located.

Delayed Offside: When an offside happens, but the defensive team has control of the puck. In this situation, the referee will not stop play. Once all offensive players get onside, the play will continue. If an offensive player touches the puck before he or she gets onside, the play will be stopped.

Dlayed Penalty: When a penalty is called on one team, but the other team has possession of the puck. In this situation, the referee will make it clear that there's a delayed penalty in effect, and the team not being called with the penalty often pull the goalie for an extra attacker, as play will be whistled dead as soon as the other team gains control of the puck, so there is no risk that the empty net can be scored upon.

Dump And Chase: A strategy in hockey where the offensive team will dump the puck deep in the attacking zone and then attempt to either chase down the puck before the defensive team gains control or to control of the puck in the attacking zone by forechecking.

Empty Net: When a team pulls its goalie and there is no one to guard the net.

Empty Net Goal: When a goal is scored into a net when the goalie is not on the ice.

Enforcer: An unofficial role in hockey, whose responsibility is to be the physical presence who protects his/her own teammates, especially the star players. Sometimes an enforcer will also instigate a fight with opponents.

Even Strength: When two teams have the same number of skaters.

Extra Attacker: When a team pulls its goalie, it is able to substitute a skater in that goalie's place. That skater is called an extra attacker.

Extra Man: When a team pulls the goalie, the extra skater is referred to as the extra man.

Faceoff: Faceoff is how play in hockey starts. In a faceoff, two opposing players stand opposite to each other. The referee drops the puck between them, and the players attempt to gain possession of the puck.

Five Hole: Between the legs of a goalie.

Forechecking: When a player (usually a forward) tries to bother the opponent with the puck in the attacking zone, with the intention of creating a turnover.

Forward: Center, left wing, and right wing are considered forwards in hockey.

Full Strength: When a team has the full complement of skaters (usually 5).

Game Misconduct Oenalty: A penalty where the player is ejected from the game and may not return to that game.

Goal: When the attacking team place the puck completely behind the goal line between the goal posts and below the cross bar.

Goal Judge: A referee in a hockey game whose responsibility is to determine whether a goal has been scored or not. A goal judge is located outside of the playing surface.

Goal Post: The two vertical metal bars that the net is attached to.

Goalie: A position in hockey whose primary responsibility is to guard the goal post to keep opponents from scoring.

Goaltender: The same as goalie.

Goon: The same as enforcer.

Hand Pass: Passing the puck by hand. In the NHL, hand pass is legal in the defensive zone, but not in the offensive zone.

Hat Trick: Socring three goals in a single game.

Healthy Scratch: When a healthy player is not dressed for the game.

Icing: When an defensive team clears the puck through the red line and the opponent's goal line and the puck is not played by the opponent's goalie, the play is called icing and the ensuing faceoff would return to the defensive team's own zone. The exceptions to these rules are 1) if the defensive team is shorted-handed, and 2) if the shot was on goal. In these cases, play continues. In some instances, a player other than the goalie on the defensive team must touch the puck for icing to occur. In other cases, icing is automatically called as soon as the puck crosses the goal line.

Intermission: The break in between periods.

Left Wing: A forward in hockey whose primary zone of play is on the left side of the ice.

Lighting The Lamp: In hockey, the lamp will light up when a goal is scored, so lighting the lamp refers to scoring a goal.

Line: A group of forwards (one center, one left wing, and one right wing) who play together.

Linesman: A type of official in hockey whose responsibility is to watch for infractions in center ice and around blue lines, such as offsides.

Major Penalty: An infraction where the offending player needs to spend 5 minutes in the penalty box.

Man Advantage: When a team has more skaters than the opposing team because the opposing team has more players in the penalty box.

Match Penalty: A penalty where the player is ejected from the game and may face additional penalty such as suspensions and fines.

Minor Penalty: An infraction where the offending player needs to spend 2 minutes in the penalty box.

Natural Hat Trick: When a player scores 3 consecutive goals in a game.

Neutral Zone: The area on the rink between the two blue lines.

Odd Man Rush: Where a team enters the attacking zone with more skaters than the defensive team.

Offensive Zone: The area inside the opponent's blue line, where the opponent's net is located. Also called the attacking zone.

Offside: When a player crosses the blue line into the offensive zone ahead of the puck.

One Timer: When a shot is taken right off the pass without the shooter attempting to stick handle the puck.

Penalty Box: An area right next to the hockey rink where a player who is serving a penalty sits. As soon as the penalty is over, that player returns from the penalty box to the rink to join play.

Penalty Killer: Players who are on the ice when the team is at a one- or two-men disadvantage.

Penalty Shot: A shot awarded to a player who was interefered with while there was a clear scoring chance. In the NHL, regular season games that end in a tie after the overtime period are deteremined by penalty shot. In a penalty shot, the only defensive player between the offensive player and the goal is the goalie.

Plus-Minus: A plus one is awarded to a player who is on the ice when that team scores at even strength. A minus one is given to a player who is on the ice when the opposing team scores at even strength.

Power Play: When a team has more skaters on the ice than the opposing team.

Pull The Goalie: Sometimes when a team is trailing near the end of the game or when there is a delayed penalty, that team will pull the goalie so it will have more skaters than the opposing team, thus making it easier to score. The risk is, without the goalie, it becomes pretty easy for the opposing team to score should they gain possession of the puck.

Rebound: When a shot on goal is saved by the goalie, but is not controlled by the goalie and stays on the playing surface.

Red Line: The line in the middle of the rink.

Referee: The primary official in a hockey game. The referee has the final decision over all other officials.

Right Wing: A forward in hockey whose primary zone of play is on the right side of the ice.

Screened Shot: When the goalie's line of sight is obstructed by players not taking the shot so he or she cannot see where the shot is taken.

Shift: The amount of time a skater stays on the ice before being replaced by another skater.

Shorthanded: When a team has fewer skaters on the ice than the opposing team.

Shortside: Refers to the side of the goalie where he or she does not hold a stick.

Shot On Goal: When a shot would have gone into the net had the goalie not stopped it.

Slot: The area of rink between the goalie and the two faceoff circles.

Splitting The Defense: When an offensive player goes in between two defenders while maintaining control of the puck.

Stick Handling: When a player uses his or her stick to move the puck.

Sudden-Death Overtime: An overtime period when the game ends if either team scores a goal. In the NHL, sudden-death overtime is only used in the playoffs.

Top Shelf: Refers to the space between a goalie's shoulder and the crossbar.

Zamboni: A machine used to clean the ice, usually in between periods.