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Hockey 101

Common Hockey Terms

BACK CHECK: To hinder an opponent heading toward and into the defending zone.

BLUE LINES: The two one-foot wide blue lines which extend across the ice at a distance of 60 feet from each goal. These lines break up the ice into attacking (offensive), neutral and defending zones.

BODY CHECK: Use of the body on an opponent. It is legal when the opponent has possession of the puck or was the last player to have touched it.

BUTT-ENDING: To hit an opponent with the end of the stick farthest from the blade. It is illegal and results in a penalty.

CREASE: The area directly in front of the goaltender. It is four feet wide and eight feet long and marked off by red lines and is painted light blue. Offensive players who do not have possession of the puck may not enter.

DEKE: To fake an opponent out of position.

FACEOFF: The dropping of the puck between one player from each team to start or resume play.

FORECHECK: To check an opponent in his end of the rink, preventing an offensive rush.

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

GOAL LINE: The red line which runs between the goal posts and extends in both directions to the side boards.

GOAL MOUTH: The area just in front of the goal and crease lines.

HAT TRICK: The scoring of three or more goals by a player in one game. A natural hat trick occurs when a player scores three consecutive goals.

ONE-TIMER: Shooting the puck directly after receiving a pass. The offensive player starts his backswing while the puck is on its way to him and tries to time his swing with the arrival of the puck.

PENALTY BOX: The area opposite the team benches where penalized players serve time.

POWER PLAY: A power play occurs when a team has a one- or two-man advantage because of the opponent's penalties.

PULLING THE GOALIE: When one team replaces its goaltender with an extra skater. This can occur when a team trails, usually by one goal, in the final minutes of a game. It is a high-risk attempt to tie the game.

SAVE: A shot blocked by the goaltender, which would have been a goal if not stopped.

SCREENED SHOT: Occurs when a goaltender's view is blocked by players between him and the shooter.

SLAP SHOT: Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after taking a full backswing.

SLOT: A prime scoring area located between the faceoff circles and in front of the goal.

SPLITTING THE DEFENSE: The player with the puck attempts to squeeze between the opponent's defensemen.

STICK HANDLING: To control the puck along the ice.

TOP SHELF: Term used to describe when an offensive player shoots high in an attempt to beat the goaltender by putting the puck in the top part of the net. 

WRAPAROUND: When a player skates from one side to the other of the goal, from behind the goal, and tucks the puck into the other side of the goal before the goaltender recovers to be in position.

How to Figure

ASSIST: An assist is awarded to the player or players (maximum of two) who touched the puck prior to the goal, provided no defender plays or possesses the puck in between.

GAME PLAYED: A player receives credit for playing in a game if: i) he steps on the ice during time played or; ii) serves any penalty.

GAME-WINNING GOAL: After the final score has been determined, the goal which leaves the winning Club one goal ahead of its opponent is the game-winning goal (example: if Team A beats Team B 8-3, the player scoring the fourth goal for Team A receives credit for the game-winning goal).

GAME-TYING GOAL: The final goal in a tie game.

GOAL: A goal is awarded to the last player on the scoring Club to touch the puck prior to the puck entering the net.

GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE: Multiply goals allowed (GA) by 60 and divide by minutes played (MINS).

GOALTENDERS: A goaltender receives a win, tie or loss if he is on the ice when either the game-winning or game-tying goal is scored.

PENALTY-KILLING PERCENTAGE: Subtract total number of power-play goals allowed from total number of shorthanded situations to get total number of power-plays killed. Divide the total number of power-plays killed by the total number of shorthanded situations.

PLUS-MINUS: A player receives a "plus" if he is on the ice when his Club scores an even-strength or shorthand goal. He receives a "minus" if he is on the ice for an even-strength or shorthand goal scored by the opposing Club. The difference in these numbers is considered the player's plus-minus statistic.

POWER PLAY GOAL: A goal scored by a Club while it has a manpower advantage due to an opponent's penalty. Following are some examples of what is and is not considered a power-play goal:

  • if a Club has an advantage on a minor penalty starting at 2:02 of the period and it scores at 4:02, the goal is not a power-play goal.
  • if a Club scores on a delayed penalty, the goal is not a power-play goal.
  • if a Club has an advantage due to a five-minute major or match penalty, that Club is always credited with having one more advantage than the number of power-play goals it scores during that advantage, because the penalty does not expire. A new advantage begins after each power-play goal. For example, if Team A scores three goals during a major penalty, it is credited with four advantages.
  • if a Club is on a power-play for any length of time, it is considered to have had an advantage.
  • if a minor penalty is incurred by a Club on a power-play due to a major penalty, a new advantage is given to that Club when its minor penalty expires, provided the opponent's major penalty is still in effect.

POWER PLAY PERCENTAGE: Total number of power-play goals divided by total number of power-play opportunities.

SAVE PERCENTAGE: Subtract goals allowed (GA) from shots against (SA) to determine saves. Then divide saves by shots-against.

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE: Divide the number of goals scored by the number of shots taken.

SHORTHANDED GOAL: A goal scored by a Club while it is at a manpower disadvantage. The same cases apply for shorthand as for power-play goals, but in the opposite manner.

SHOT ON GOAL: If a player shoots the puck with the intention of scoring and if that shot would have gone in the net had the goaltender not stopped it, the shot is recorded as a "shot on goal."

SHUTOUT: If two goaltenders combine for a shutout, neither receives credit for the shutout. Instead it is recorded as a Club shutout.

TENTHS OF A SECOND: If a penalty or goal occurs in the last minute, the time is rounded off to the previous second (ex: if a penalty is called with 12.4 seconds left in a period, the time is indicated as 19:47 and not 19:48.).