Hockey 101

Off-sides:  A player may not skate into his offensive zone ahead of the puck. If that happens, a whistle is blown, and a face-off is held just outside the zone where the breach-offside- occurred. What matters in an offside is the position of the skates: Both skates must be all the way over the blue line for a player to be potentially off-side. The location of the stick does not matter. Offside is also called if a player makes what is called a two-line pass.  Offside is called to keep players from hanging around the red line at center ice, or all the way down in their offensive zone, and waiting for a pass that will give them a breakaway (skating toward the goal with no defenders around except for the goalie) and an easy chance at a goal.

Icing:  Icing is called when a player behind the red line in his end of the rink shoots a puck past the goal line in his offensive zone when both teams are playing at even strength. Play is stopped when an opponent other than the goalie touches the puck. Icing is considered an infraction because it can be used by teams to take away legitimate scoring chances from skaters on the offensive.

Two-Line Pass:  An off-side pass is also called a two-line pass. A defenseman with the puck in front of his own net, for example, cannot snap it to a teammate beyond the red line at center ice because it would have to go over two lines, first the blue and then the red, to get there. For that play to work, the player at center ice would have to skate inside the red line, closer to his own net, to receive the pass. See also Off-sides.

Tripping:  Using a stick, arm, or leg to cause an opponent to trip or fall. No matter how you trip your opponent- with your stick, knee, foot, arm, or hand-it still adds up to tripping.

Hooking:  If a player impedes the progress of another by “hooking” him with his stick and keeping him from making a play, then he is called for hooking. Generally that happens when a skater has scooted by the person in charge of guarding him, and the defenseman has no other recourse but to hold the player up by “hooking” him with his stick. Not only does that break up a play illegally, but it can also injure a player, especially if the stick used in the hooking comes up high and hits the opposing player in his face. Hooking is also known as water skiing – which gives you a good idea of what is involved.

Cross Checking:  If a player picks their stick up off of the ice and holds it in two hands to check an opponent (using the shaft of the stick), they may be called for cross checking.

Holding:   Using your hands on an opponent or the opponent’s equipment to impede their progress is not permitted. Holding can prevent a player from being able to exhibit their full range of talent…and can reduce their ability to score a goal.

Boarding:  The officials whistle for this infraction when a player hits an opponent who is not aware of the impending contact and therefore cannot defend himself from behind. It is a very dangerous infraction that can lead to serious injury to the person who has been hit. It may even lead to a major penalty being given.

Charging:  This penalty occurs when a player takes more than three strides before deliberately checking an opponent. A minor or major penalty may be imposed upon a person who skates or jumps into, or charges, an opponent in any way. Whether its determined to be a major or minor penalty depends upon the seriousness of the infraction; the more dangerous the hit, the more likely it will be a major.

High Sticking:  Any contact made by a stick on an opponent above the shoulders is not allowed, and a minor penalty will be assessed. This rule is supposed to protect the players from being hit in the face, eyes, or head. Also, players cannot bat the puck above the normal height of the shoulders; play is stopped if that happens. In addition, any apparent goal scored as a result of a player striking the puck with his stick above his shoulder is not allowed.

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.

Back Checking: To hinder an opponent heading toward and into the defending zone.

Breakaway:  An offensive rush when there is no opponent between the puck carrier and the opposition’s goalie.

Breakout:  When the attacking team comes out of its defensive zone with the puck and starts up ice.

Changing on the Fly:  When players on the ice switch with fresh players on the bench while the game is going on.

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.

Drop Pass:  A sometimes dangerous play in which a puck carrier leaves the puck behind him to be picked up by a trailing teammate. When employed successfully, the puck carrier acts as a screen to give the teammate a clear path with the puck.

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

Game Played (GP):  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 (GWG):  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 (GTG):  The final goal scored in a tie game.

Goal (G):  A goal is awarded to the last player on the scoring Club to touch the puck prior to the puck entering the net.

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

Goals Against Average (GAA):  Multiply goals allowed (GA) by 60 and divide by minutes played (MINS).

Penalties in Minutes (PIM):  An accumulation of penalties shown in minutes.

Penalty Box: The area opposite the team benches where penalized players serve time.

Penalty Killing Percentage (PK%): 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.

Poke Check:  To dislodge the puck from the puck carrier by stabbing at it with the blade of the stick.

Power Play Percentage (PP%):  Total number of power-play goals divided by total number of power-play opportunities.

Pulling the Goalie:  Replacing the goalie with an extra skater. This occurs when a team trails, usually by one goal in the last minute of the 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.

Save Percentage (Sv%):  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 (SHG):  A goal scored by a Club while it is at a manpower disadvantage due to a penalty. The same cases apply in a similar but opposite way for shorthand as for power-play goals

Shot on Goal (SOG):  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 (SO): If two goaltenders combine for a shutout, neither receives credit for the shutout. Instead it is recorded as a Club shutout.

Slap Shot: Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after taking a full back swing.

Slot: The area immediately in front of the net between the two face-off circles, extending from the bottom of the circles up to the top of them. It is from this zone that most goals are scored and where most furious activity takes place.

Stick Handling:  To control the puck along the ice.

Wrist Shot: Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick using a quick snap of the wrist rather than a full back swing.