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Hockey 101

Hockey Terms:

Assist: Assists awarded to players who help set up goals. Maximum of two assists per goal.

Attacking zone: Area between opponent's blue line and goal line.

Back check: When forwards in the attacking zone skate back to their own (defensive) zone to protect their net and prevent an opponents' scoring opportunity.

Blocker: Pad goaltender wears on arm used to hold stick.

Blue lines: The pair of one foot wide blue lines which extend 85 feet across the ice and a distance of 64 feet from each goal.

Blueliner: Another name for a defenseman. It's derived from defensemen lining up on the blue line to start a game, playing near the blue line in the offensive zone and protecting the defensive blue line against opposing forwards.

Boarding: An excessively violent board check against an opponent.

Boards: Wall, which is 42 inches in height, that circles rink connected with plexiglass.

Body check: The legal use of the body (most often hip or shoulder) to knock an opponent from control of the puck.

Box: A penalty-killing setup in front of the net where the defensive team forms a "box" in front of its goalie to reduce the opponent's ability to shoot at close-range.

Breakaway: A clear scoring opportunity where no defensive player is between the puck carrier and goaltender.

Breakout: Beginning an offensive rush by passing the puck out of the defensive zone up into the neutral ice zone.

Center: Usually leading the team's attack by carrying the puck up the ice, the center primarily operates up and down the middle of the ice but has more freedom to roam than his linemates. He is the playmaker, passing between his two wings to set up at goal. As the play moves back toward his own goal, it's his job to get back to try to break up the opposing team's play.

Changing on fly: Teams switch players during play.

Clearing the puck: Knocking the puck from in front of the net.

Crease: The shaded blue area directly in front of the goal where only the goalie is allowed. It is four feet wide and eight feet long and marked off by red lines. The crease is designed to protect goalies from interference and attacking players.

Defending zone: Area inside blue line when opponents attack.

Defensemen: The left and right defensemen try to stop the incoming play from the other teams before they have any chance to score. They block shots, clear the puck from in front of their own net and cover the other team's forwards. Offensively, they pass the puck up the ice to the forwards, then follow the play into the attacking zone and try to keep it there.

Deke: To fake an opponent out of position.

Dig: An attempt to gain control of puck in corners.

Dive: Player falls to ice in attempt to draw penalty against opponent.

Drop pass: A pass in which the player carrying the puck leaves it behind for a trailing teammate.

Dump and chase: A style of hockey where a team shoots the puck into one of the corners of the offensive zone and then pursues it. This is opposed to carrying the puck into the zone.

Empty-net goal: Goal scored after opponent's goaltender is pulled in favor of extra skater (See 'Pull the Goalie').

Face off: The act of dropping the puck between opposing players to begin play.

Face-off circle: Areas to right and left of goal mouths where puck is dropped for faceoffs.

Five-hole: The area where a shooter would attempt to score between a goalie's pads.

Forecheck: To pressure an opponent in order to prevent an offensive rush.

Freeze the puck: To hold the puck against the boards with either the stick or skate to get a stoppage of play.

Full Strength: A term used to describe when both teams are matched evenly at five skaters apiece.

Glove: Goaltender wears this on non-stick hand.

Goal: Entire puck must enter net for a goal.

Goal judge: Office official who signals when goal is scored by turning on goal - or red-light.

Goaltender: This players job is to keep the puck out of his team's net. He can use any part of his body or any piece of his equipment to do so and is allowed to catch or smother the puck.

Hat trick: The scoring of three goals by a player in one game. A natural hat trick is when a player scores three consecutive goals.

Icing: Shooting the puck untouched from beyond the red line (center ice) past the opponent's goal line and then being touched first by the opposing team. There are several instances when icing can be waived off by the referee:
A) When a team is a man down because of a penalty.
B) When the referee decides that the opposing could have played the puck.
C) When the puck goes through the crease or the opposing goalie touches it.

Linesmen: Officiate game with referee. Each game has two linesmen, who are responsible for calling icing, offsides and two-line passes. They also drop puck for faceoffs not at center ice, and can recommend penalties to referee.

Man advantage: A team with one or more players on the ice than the opposing team.

Natural hat trick: Player scores three consecutive goals.

Neutral zone: The area (neither offensive nor defensive) between the two blue lines.

NHL: National Hockey League was formed on November 22, 1917; currently contains 30 teams.

Off-ice officials: Officials helping referee run game including official scorer, timekeeper, penalty timekeeper and two goal judges.

Offsides: The blue lines carve the ice into three zones - one for each team with a neutral zone sandwiched in between. No member of an attacking team can cross the blue line and enter the opposing team's zone until the puck does. If any attacking player crosses the line before the puck, that's offsides, and the official blows the whistle and the puck comes back out to center ice for a face-off. Once the defensive team has successfully cleared puck back across the blue line and into the neutral zone, everyone from the attacking team also has to clear the offensive zone and begin the attacking process all over again.

One-timer: When a player shoots the puck as he receives a pass without stopping first.

Overtime: If the score is tied after three periods of play, there will be an extra five minute overtime period to decide a winner. The first team to score wins the game, but if no team can score in the five minute period, the game goes to a shootout.

Penalty killing: The act of preventing goals while playing shorthanded.

Penalty shot: One of most exciting plays in hockey occurs when an offensive player is attacked from behind and denied a breakaway scoring opportunity, when the goaltender deliberately displaces the goal post during the course of a breakaway or when a defensive player falls on the puck in his own crease. The puck is placed at center ice and the offensive player is allowed to move in alone on the goaltender for a shot.

Pipe: Goalposts.

Player lines: Because hockey doesn't demand a stop in play for substitutions, players can go on and off the ice while the play is in progress. Each line, which consists of groups of three forwards and two defensemen, change about every minute. Each team usually carries four lines of forwards (center, left and right wing) and three sets of defensemen.

Point: A position just inside the blue line usually occupied by defensemen when their team is in control of the puck inside the attack zone.

Poke Check: A defensive play in which the puck is removed from the possession of an attacker with the blade of the stick.

Power Play: A crucial situation which occurs when a team has a one- or two-man advantage over the opposition due to penalties.

Puck: The puck is make of vulcanized rubber and measures 3" in diameter and 1" thick. Each puck weighs approximately 6 ounces. The pucks are frozen prior to each game, this prevents them from bouncing on the ice.

Pull the goalie: To replace the goalie with an extra skater. This high-risk attempt to tie the game occurs when a team trails, usually by one goal, in the last minute of play in the game.

Red line: Line dividing the rink equally at center ice.

Referee: Head official who supervises the game, issues penalties, makes decision on goals, handles faceoffs at center ice.

Rink: The dimensions of a hockey rink are 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. International competition including Olympics and World Championships are played on International rinks which measure 200 feet in length and 100 feet wide.

Save: When goaltender stops puck from entering the net.

Shootout: Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in the order the coach selects. Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots is the winner. If the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format. Regardless the number of goals scored during the shootout portion of overtime, the final score recorded for the game will give the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time.

Shorthanded: A situation which occurs when the opposing team has a one- or two-man advantage due to penalties.

Slap Shot:
The act of hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after taking a full backswing.

Slot: The area directly in front of the goal crease (between the face-off circles) where many scoring opportunities take place.

Stanley Cup: The oldest trophy competed for by professionals in North America, this trophy has been awarded to the National Hockey League Champion since 1926. The trophy was purchased in 1893 by Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston at a cost of $48.67. Lord Stanley decreed that the trophy be awarded annually to the best hockey club in Canada.

Stick: Sticks may not exceed 63 inches in length. The blade is 12 and 1/2 inches in length and 3 inches wide. The handle is one piece with a lamented blade attached to it. The blade of a goaltender's stick is 15 and 1/2 inches in length and 3 and 1/2 inches wide. The handle varies according to the netminder's height and reach.

The Goal or Net: The goal posts extend vertically four feet above the surface of the ice and six feet apart measured from the inside of the posts.

Top shelf: Term used to describe when an offensive player shoots high in an attempt to beat the goalie by putting the puck in the top part of the net.

Trap: A defensive formation designed to keep the opposing team from scoring.

Two-line pass: When a player passes the puck to a teammate and it crosses two lines to reach him.

Wings: Right/left wings predominately move up and down the sides of the rink with the direction of play. Offensively, they skate alongside the center, passing back and forth and positioning themselves for a shot on goal. In the defensive zone, they guard the opponents pointmen and try to keep them from shooting.

Wraparound: An offensive maneuver used by a player who skates around the opposing goal and attempts to wrap the puck around the goal post under the goalie.

Wrist Shot: The act of hitting the puck with the blade of the stick by using a quick snap of the wrist rather than a full backswing.

Zamboni: A popular brand of the ice resurfacing machine that was invented by Frank Zamboni in California during the 1940s. During NHL games, the machine resurfaces the ice between each period by simultaneously removing chipped ice and shaved particles from the rink and filling grooves with a light coating of water, thereby making the ice smooth.