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“The Basics”

“A”: Letter worn on the uniform of the assistant team captain.

Assist: An assist is credited to a player who helps set up a goal. Assists are awarded to the last two men to handle the puck immediately preceding the goal. There is a maximum of two assists per goal.

Boards: The wall around a hockey rink (which was at one time really made of wood but which is now usually of fiberglass) measuring about 42 inches high and topped off by synthetic glass to protect the spectators while giving them a good view of the action.

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

“C”: Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain.

Center Ice: The area between the two bluelines; otherwise known as the Neutral Zone.

Clearing the puck: When the puck is passed, knocked, or shot away from the front of the goal net or other area.

Defensive zone: The area between the goal line and the blue line.

Deke: A deke is a fake by a player in possession of the puck in order to get around an opponent or to make a goalie move out of position. To deke, you move the puck or a part of your body to one side and then in the opposite direction. ("Deke" is taken from "decoy.")

Delay of game: This is called when a player purposely delays the game. Delay of game is commonly called when a goalie or defenseman shoots the puck into the stands without the puck deflecting off a skater or the glass. Delay of game also occurs when a player intentionally knocks a goalpost out of its stand (usually in an attempt to prevent a goal from being scored).

Delayed off-side: In this situation, an attacking player has preceded the puck into the offensive zone (normally a case for off-side), but the defending team has gained possession of the puck and can bring it out of their defensive zone without any delay or contact with an opposing player.

Delayed penalty: Whistle is delayed until the penalized team regains possession of the puck.

Diving: When a player exaggerates being hooked or tripped in an attempt to draw a penalty.

Empty net goal: A goal scored against an opponent that has pulled the goalie for an extra attacker in an attempt to tie the game. This typically happens late in the 3rd period with under 2 minutes to play in the game.

Face-off: The action of an official dropping the puck between the sticks of two opposing players to start play.

Forecheck: Forwards forecheck by hurrying into the opponent's defensive zone to either keep the puck there by pressuring the opposition or take it away.

Freezing the puck: A player freezes the puck by holding it against the boards with the stick or skates. A goalie freezes the puck (when the opposition is threatening to score) by either holding the puck in the glove or trapping it on the ice. Note: A delay-of-game penalty can be called if the goalie freezes the puck when the opposition is not threatening.

Full Strength: When a team has five skaters on the ice plus their goaltender.

Hat trick: A player who scores three goals in one game achieves a "hat trick."

Icing: An infraction called when a player shoots the puck from his side of the red line across the opponent's goal line. Play is stopped when an opponent (other than the goalie) touches the puck. The face-off is held in the offending team's end of the ice. A team that is shorthanded can ice the puck without being penalized.

Intermission: A fifteen minute break in between each of the three periods. In the playoffs, there are additional intermissions before each sudden death overtime period.

Linesman: Two linesmen are used to call offside, icing, and handle all face-offs not occurring at center ice. Although they don't call penalties, they can recommend to the referee that a penalty be called.

Officials: In each game there are two referees and two linesmen.

Offside: A team is offside when a player crosses the attacking blue line before the puck does. A face-off then takes place just outside that blue line (in the offending player's defensive zone). The determining factor in most offside situations is the position of the skates: Both skates must be completely over the blue line ahead of the puck for the play to be offside.

One-timer: Shooting the puck immediately upon receiving it without stopping it first. A one-timer is an effective way to beat the goalie before he can slide from one side of the crease to another.

Major penalty: (Five minutes) Called for fighting or when minor penalties are committed with deliberate attempt to injure. Major penalties for slashing, spearing, high-sticking, elbowing, butt-ending and cross-checking carry automatic game misconducts. During a 5 minute Power Play the team with the man advantage can score an unlimited amount of goals before the penalty expires.

Minor penalty: (Two minutes) Called for tripping, hooking, cross-checking, slashing, charging, roughing, holding, elbowing, delay of game, diving or boarding. If the team on the power play scores, the penalized player returns to the ice.

Misconduct: (10 minutes) Called for various forms of unsportsmanlike behavior or when a player incurs a second major penalty in a game. This is a penalty against an individual and not a team, so a substitute is permitted.

Penalty Box: Off-ice area at the neutral zone where penalized players serve their time.

Penalty killing: When a team is shorthanded and attempts to prevent the opposition from scoring, this activity is known as "penalty killing."

Penalty shot: A free shot, unopposed except for the goalie, given to a player who is illegally impeded from behind when he has possession of the puck with no opponent between him and the goal except the goalie. The team which commits the offense is not penalized beyond the penalty shot, whether it succeeds or not.

Power Play: When a team has a one or two-man advantage over the opposition due to penalties.

Rink: The frozen surface inside the boards on which game of hockey is played. The surface is typically 200 feet long by 85 feet wide.

Save: When a goalie stops a shot from going in to the net that is called a save.

Screen: Occurs when one or more players are between the shooter and the goalie, blocking the goalie’s view of the play.

Shootout: Used to decide the outcome of regular season games that remain tied after the overtime session. In the playoffs, games are decided by sudden death overtime.

Shot on Goal: An attempt by the attacking team to score a goal by shooting the puck toward the net. This results in either a save or a goal.

Shorthanded: When the opposing team has a one or two-man advantage due to penalties your team is “shorthanded”.

Slap shot: A slap shot occurs when the player swings the stick back and then quickly forward, slapping the puck ahead with a forehand shot.

Snap shot: A snap shot is a like an abbreviated slap shot. The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and the slap shot (puck speed).

Stick-handling: A term for carrying the puck along the ice with the stick.

Turnover: Just as in basketball or in football, you can make a turnover in hockey by losing control of the puck to the opposing team.

Zamboni: The vehicle used to prepare the rink's ice surface before the game and after each period. The Zamboni scrapes a thin layer off the ice, and puts down a fresh layer of heated water that freezes to form a new layer of ice.