The Official Website of the drayton valley thunder
Hockey Terminology

Hockey Terminology
A- Letter worn on uniforms of alternate (assistant) team captain.
Altercation-Any physical interaction between two or more
opposing players resulting in a penalty or penalties being assessed
Assist- One point given to a player who helps to set up a goal. It is
usually given to the last two offensive players who touch the puck
before the goal.
Attacking zone-The area between the opponents’ blue line and
their goal.
Back check-A forward’s attempt to regain the puck on their way
back to their defensive zone.
Backhand shot-A shot or pass made with the stick from the left
side by a right-handed player or from the right side by a lefthanded
Beat the defense-To get by one or both of the defensemen.
Beat the goalie-To get by the goalie, usually resulting in a goal
Biscuit - A slang term for the puck.
Blind pass-To pass the puck without looking.
Blocker-Glove the goalie wears on their stick hand
Blue lines-Two blue, 12-inch wide lines running parallel across the
ice, each 60 feet from the goal; they divide the rink into three
zones called the attacking, defending and neutral (or center) zones;
defending blue line is the line closer to a player’s own net;
attacking blue line is the one farther from his net; used in
determining offsides.
Boarding (board-checking)-A minor penalty which occurs when
a player uses any method (body checking, elbowing or tripping)
to throw an opponent violently into the boards; if an injury is
caused, it becomes a major penalty.
Boards-or board wall-A wooden wall 3 1/2 to 4 feet high, which
surrounds the rink to keep the puck and players from accidentally,
leaving the rink and injuring spectators; above it is usually
shatterproof glass to provide additional protection.
Body Checking-A legal body check is one in which a player
checks an opponent who is in possession of the puck, by using his
hip or body from the front, diagonally from the front or straight
from the side, and does not take more than two fast steps in
executing the check. Legitimate body checking must be done only
with the trunk of the body (hips and shoulders) and must be above
the opponent’s knees and below the neck. If body checking is
unnecessarily rough, it must be penalized.
Box - A penalty-killing setup in the defensive zone where the
defensive team players form a "box" in front of their goalie and
keeps the opponents on the outskirts.
Break-A chance to start a rush when the opposing forwards are
caught out of position.
Break-away-A condition whereby a player is in control of the
puck with no opposition between the player and the opposing
goal, with a reasonable scoring opportunity.
Breaking pass-A pass to a teammate who is trying for a
Breakout-When a team comes out of their defensive zone with the
Butt-Ending-The condition whereby a player uses the shaft of the
stick above the upper hand to jab or attempt to jab an opposing
C- Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain.
Catcher-Glove the goalie wears on their nonstick hand Center
(center forward)-The center player in the forward line who usually
leads his team’s attack when they are trying to score a goal; he
takes part in most of the face-offs; he controls the puck and tries to
score or pass it to a teammate who is in a better position to score a
Center face-off circle-A circle, measuring 30 feet in diameter, at
the center of the ice where the puck is dropped in a face-off to start
the game and to restart the game after a goal has been scored.
Center ice-The area between the two blue lines, also called the
neutral zone.
Centering pass-A pass from an attacking player towards the
middle of the ice to a teammate with better angle at the goal.
Center line- a red, 12-inch wide line across the ice midway
between the two goals.
Charging-When more than three strides are taken before checking
another player.
Check-Any defensive or guarding tactic used by hockey players
accomplished by moving their bodies against an opponent to get
the puck away; there are two main types of checks: stick check and
body check; these are only allowed against a player in control of
the puck or against the last player to control it; checking with too
many steps or strides becomes charging.
Checking from behind-A player hits an opponent who is not
aware of the impending contact and therefore cannot defend
himself from behind. Results in major penalty/game misconduct.
Cherry-picking - When a player, generally a forward, hangs out
near or beyond his own blue line waiting for a loose puck so that
he can have a breakaway.
Clearing the puck- Getting the puck out of one’s own defensive
Clearing the zone-When a defending player sends the puck out of
the attacking zone; all the attacking players must leave or clear the
zone to avoid being called offsides when the puck reenters the
Coach-A Coach is a person primarily responsible for directing and
guiding the play of his team. Along with the Manager, he is
responsible for the conduct of his team’s players before, during
and after a game.
Coast to coast - When a player carries the puck from his own end
into the offensive end.
Cover-When a player stays close to an opponent to prevent him
from receiving a pass or making a play on offense.
Creases-Goalkeeper's: Areas marked on the ice in front of each
goal designed to protect the goalkeepers from interference by
attacking players.
Referee's: Area marked on the ice in front of the Penalty
Timekeeper's seat for the use of the Referee.
Crease lines-The red lines that form the semi-circular area with a
6-foot radius in front of the goal called the goal crease.
Cross bar-The horizontal bar that connects the top of the two
Cross Checking-To hit a player with both hands on the stick while
the stick is not touching the ice.
Dead puck-A puck that flies out of the rink or that a player has
caught in his hand.
Defensemen-Two players who make up a team’s defensive unit
usually stationed in or near their defensive zone to help the goalie
guard against attack; sometimes they lead an attack. The left
defenseman covers the left half of the rink, the right defenseman
plays to the right, but they can skate into each other’s territory.
Defensive line-Consists of two defensemen.
Defensive zone-The zone or area nearest a team’s goal (the goal
they are defending).
Deflection-The action of the puck contacting any person or object,
causing it to change direction.
Deke (deking)-A decoying or faking motion by the puck-carrier;
the art of making a defensive player think you are going to pass or
move in a certain direction when you are not. There are shoulder
dekes, stick dekes and head dekes.
Delayed Off-Side-A situation where an attacking player has
preceded the puck across the attacking blue line, but the defending
team has gained possession of the puck and is in a position to bring
the puck out of their Defending Zone without any delay or contact
with an attacking player.
Delayed penalty-When an official raises his arm but does not
blow his whistle, waiting to see the outcome of a play before
calling a penalty; this is done so as not to penalize the nonoffending
team by stopping its momentum; a penalty that is
delayed, and then not called, is waved off and play continues
uninterrupted; also a penalty against the team that has only 4
players on the ice, which is assessed only when one of its players
gets out of the penalty box.
Delay of game-A minor penalty imposed on any player who
purposely delays the game in any way, such as shooting or batting
the puck outside the playing area or displacing the goalpost from
its normal position.
Directing the Puck-The act of intentionally moving or positioning
the body, skate or stick so as to change the course of the puck in a
desired direction.
Dive-When a player exaggerates being hooked or tripped in an
attempt to draw a penalty.
Double minor-A type of minor penalty given for certain
accidental infractions that result in an injury to another player;
penalty time of 4 minutes is served, double the time of a normal
minor penalty.
Down Low - The area around the net or behind it.
Draw Man - A player who takes faceoffs.
Drop pass-When a player simply leaves the puck behind for a
teammate following him to pick up.
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.
Elbowing-A minor penalty, which occurs when a player strikes his
opponent with an elbow to impede his progress.
Empty-net goal-A goal scored against a team that has pulled the
Endboards-The boards at each end of the rink.
Enforcer-Also called the policeman; is usually the most penalized
player on a team; he has the job of protecting his teammates from
harm; generally a larger player who is not afraid of any fight.
Exhibition game-A game not included in the regular-season
schedule and which does not count in the standings; the All-Star
Game or other games generally played before the season begins.
Expansion-The addition of teams.
Expansion team-A team that has been recently added.
Facemask: The protective mask worn by the goalie.
Face-Off-The action of an official dropping the puck between the
sticks of two opposing players to start play. A face-off beings
when the Referee indicates its location and the officials take their
appropriate positions and ends when the puck has been legally
Falling on the puck-A minor penalty, which occurs when a player
other than the goalie closes his hand on the puck, deliberately falls
on the puck, or gathers the puck under his body while lying on the
Feeding-Passing the puck.
Fighting-A major penalty which occurs when two or more players
drop their sticks and gloves and fight; if a referee deems one player
to be the instigator, that player gets a game misconduct; the minor
penalty for a less severe pushing and shoving fight is called
Five-hole-The area between the goalie's leg pads.
Flat pass-When a player passes the puck to a teammate along the
surface of the ice.
Flip pass-A pass by a player to a teammate that lifts the puck from
the ice and sends it through the air, usually for the purpose of
getting it over an opponent’s stick.
Flip shot-A shot in which a player cups the puck in his stick, then
flips it with his wrists up off the ice towards the goal; this
sometimes makes the puck harder to block.
Forecheck-To keep opponents in their end while trying to recover
the puck.
Forehand-A shot or pass taken from the right side of a righthanded
player or from the left side of a left-handed player.
Forward line or attacking line-Consists of two wings (right and
left) and a center; these three players play nearer the opponent’s
goal and are responsible for most of the scoring.
Forwards-The three players who make up the attacking line or
forward line of a team — the center and the right and left wings.
Foul-Any infraction of the rules that will draw a penalty.
Franchise-A team; the legal arrangement that establishes
ownership of a team.
Freezing the Puck-When the puck is held against the board with a
stick or a skate.
Full strength-When a team has its full complement of 6 players on
the ice.
Game Suspension(s)-When a player, Coach or Manager receives a
game suspension(s); he shall not be eligible to participate in the
next game(s) that were already on the schedule of that team before
the incident occurs.
Get the jump-To move fast and thereby get a good start on the
Goal-Provides one point; scored when a puck goes between the
goalposts from the stick of an attacking player and entirely crosses
the red line between the goal posts; also the informal term used to
refer to the area made of the goalposts and the net guarded by the
goalie and into which a puck must enter to score a point.
Goal cage-A 6 foot wide by 4 foot high tubular steel frame
consisting of a cross bar and two goal posts to which a net is
Goalkeeper-A goalkeeper is a person designated as such by a team
who is permitted special equipment and privileges to prevent the
puck from entering the goal.
Goal line-The two-inch red line between the goalposts that
stretches in both directions to the sideboards.
Goalposts-The metal bars that frame the area to which the net is
attached which rests on the center of the goal line and between
which a puck must pass to score a goal.
Hat Trick-When a player scores three goals in one game.
Hash Marks - The straight lines emerging from the two big circles
in front of both nets. These lines direct players where to line up for
Head-Butting-The physical use of one's head in the course of
delivering a body- check (head first) in the chest, head, neck or
back area or the physical use of the head to strike an opponent.
Head deke-When a player drops his head as though moving one
way and quickly moves in another to fake out the opponent.
Headmanning-When a player passes the puck ahead to a
HECC-The Hockey Equipment Certification Council is an
independent organization responsible for the development,
evaluation and testing of performance standards for protective ice
hockey equipment. There are standards for face masks, helmets
and skate blades.
Heel of the Stick-The point where the shaft of the stick and the
bottom of the blade meet.
High Sticking-When a player brings their stick above shoulder
level. It is a penalty when used against another player.
Holding-A minor penalty which occurs when a player grabs and
holds onto an opponent (or his stick) with his hands or arms to
impede the opponent’s progress.
Home team-The team in whose arena the game is being played.
Usually the team wearing the lighter uniforms.
Hook check-A sweep of the stick low to the ice to take the puck
from an opponent’s stick. Hooking-The action of applying the
blade of the stick to any part of an opponent’s body or stick and
impeding his progress by a pulling or tugging motion with the
Icing-When the puck travels from behind the center red line over
the other team’s red goal line.
Injury Potential Penalties-Injury Potential Penalties include Butt-
Ending, Checking from Behind, Head-Butting, Spearing, Board
Checking, Charging, Cross- Checking, Elbowing/Kneeing, High
Sticking, Holding the Facemask, Slashing and Roughing. The
Linesman may report such infractions to the Referee, following the
next stoppage of play, that have occurred behind the play, and
were unobserved by the Referee.
Interference-To keeps a player from playing the puck when they
are not directly involved with a play.
Intermission-A “recess” between each of the periods of a hockey
Kneeing-A minor penalty, which occurs when a player uses a knee
to hit his opponent in the leg, thigh or lower body.
Last play face-off-The location at which the puck was last legally
played by a player or goalkeeper immediately prior to a stoppage
of play.
Lead pass-A pass sent ahead of a moving teammate designed to
meet the player at the location he is headed.
Lie-Angle made by the shaft of the stick and the blade.
Line change-The entire forward line and/or defensive line will be
replaced at once, which puts players on the ice who work well
Linesmen-The two officials on the ice, one toward each end of the
rink, responsible for infractions of the rules concerning off-side
plays at the blue lines or center line and for any icing violations;
they conduct most of the face-offs, sometimes advise the referee
concerning penalties, and separate players who are fighting;
They wear black pants and an official league sweater, and are on
Major Penalty-A five minute penalty.
Match-up-A pairing of players on opposing teams who will cover
each other during the hockey game.
Minor Penalty-A two minute penalty.
Misconduct Penalty-A ten minute penalty against an individual
player but not the team - so a sub is allowed.
Net-The goal; netting attached to the goalposts and frame of the
goal to trap the puck when a goal is scored.
Neutral Zone-The center of the rink between the two opposing
Off-ice (Minor) Official-Officials appointed to assist in the
conduct of the game including the Official Scorer, Game
Timekeeper, Penalty Timekeeper and the two Goal Judges. The
Referee has general supervision of the game and full control of all
game officials, and in case of any dispute the Referee's decision
shall be final.
Officials-One referee and two linesmen on the ice calling
infractions and handing out penalties; up to five off-ice officials
including two goal judges, the game timekeeper, the penalty
timekeeper and the official scorer.
Offsides-When players enter the offensive zone before the puck.
Offsides Pass-When the puck is passed to another player across
two or more lines - the puck is then brought back to where the pass
was made for a face off.
On the fly-Making player changes or substitutions while play is
under way.
On the road-When a team plays games away from its home arena.
Open ice-The part of the ice that is free of opponents.
Overtime: An additional period of play used to break a tie; see
Passing-When one player uses his stick to send the puck to a
Passout-A pass by an attacking player from behind his opponent’s
net or goal line to a teammate in front of the net.
Penalty-A penalty is the result of an infraction of the rules by a
player or team official. It usually involves the removal from the
game of the offending player or team official for a specified period
of time. In some cases the penalty may be the awarding of a
penalty shot on goal or the actual awarding of a goal.
Penalty box-An area with a bench just off the ice, behind the
sideboards outside the playing area where penalized players serve
their penalty time.
Penalty killer-A player expert at backchecking and keeping or
gaining control of a loose puck under difficult circumstances who
is trained to break up a power play when his team is shorthanded.
Penalty shot-A free shot awarded a player who was illegally
interfered with, preventing him from a clear scoring opportunity;
the shot is taken with only the goalie guarding against it.
Player-Member of a team physically participating in a game. The
goalkeeper is considered a player except where special rules
specify otherwise.
Points-The left and right positions taken by the defensemen of the
attacking team, just inside the blue line of the attacking zone; also
the term used to describe the defensemen playing at this location;
also an individual statistic for players equal to their goals plus
assists; also a team statistic used to determine team standings
(2 points for each win and 1 point for each tie during the regular
Poke Check-To take the puck away with a short jab with the blade
of a stick.
Power Play-When a team has more players on the ice than their
opponents due to a penalty.
Proper Authorities (Proper Disciplinary Authority)-The
immediate governing body of the team or teams involved, except:
1.In USA Hockey Tournaments and Play-Offs, the body shall be
the Discipline Committee of the Tournament or Play-Off.
2.In matters relating to assault of official, the body shall be the
Affiliate Association of that team.
3.In Junior A and B, the body shall be the Junior Council
sanctioned league.
Protective Equipment-Equipment worn by players for the sole
purpose of protection from injury. Recommended equipment
should be commercially manufactured.
Puck-A black, vulcanized rubber disc, 1-inch thick and 3-inches in
diameter, weighing between 51/2 and 6 ounces used to play
hockey; they are frozen to prevent excessive bouncing and
changed throughout the game; can travel up to 120 miles per hour
on a slap shot.
Pulling the Goalie-When a team removes their goalie in order to
add another forward on the ice.
Ragging-Retaining the puck by clever stick handling, often used
by a shorthanded team to kill time.
Rebound-A puck that bounces off the goalie’s body or equipment.
Red line-The line that divides the length of the ice surface in half.
Referee-The chief official in a hockey game, distinguished from
the other officials by a red armband; he starts the game, calls most
of the penalties and makes the final decision in any dispute; he is
responsible for making sure the ice, the nets and the clock are in
good condition; he wears black pants and an official league
sweater; he is also on skates.
Rink-The iced area inside the boards on which the game of hockey
is played; it is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide with rounded corners.
Rockered blades-Used by professional ice hockey skaters; the
gentle curve in a very sharp blade of an ice skate produced by
rounding the toe and heel of the blade to make it easier for hockey
players to turn quickly.
Roster-A list of the players on a team.
Roughing-Minor shoves resulting in a minor penalty.
Rush-An individual or combined attack by a team in possession of
the puck.
Save-The act of a goalie in blocking or stopping a shot.
Scramble-Several players from both sides close together battling
for possession of the puck.
Screen shot-A shot on goal that the goalie cannot see because it
was taken from behind one or more players from either team
standing in front of the net.
Shooting angle-The angle determined by the position of the
shooting player in relation to the goal at the moment he shoots the
Shorthanded-A team is below the numerical strength of its
opponents on the ice. When a goal is scored against a shorthanded
team the minor or bench minor penalty, which terminates
automatically is the one, which causes the team scored against to
be ``shorthanded''. Thus, if an equal number of players from each
team is each serving a penalty(s) (minor, bench minor, major or
match only), neither team is ``shorthanded''.
Shot on goal-A scoring attempt that is successfully blocked or
otherwise prevented by a goalie; a save.
Shoulder deke-A quick move of the shoulder in one direction and
the player in another to fake out the opponent.
Sideboards-The boards along the sides of the rink.
Slap shot-A shot in which the player raises his stick in a
backswing, with his strong hand held low on the shaft and his other
hand on the end as a pivot. Then as the stick comes down toward
the puck, the player leans into the stick to put all his power behind
the shot and add velocity to the puck; achieves an extremely high
speed (up to 120 miles per hour) but is less accurate than a wrist
Slashing-The action of striking or attempting to strike an opponent
with a stick or of swinging a stick at an opponent with no contact
being made. Tapping an opponent’s stick is not considered
Sleeper-An attacking player who slips into the center or neutral
zone behind the attacking defensemen; same as a floater or a
Slot - The area immediately in front of the net between the two
faceoff 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.
Slow whistle-When an official waits to blow his whistle because
of a delayed offside or delayed penalty call.
Solo-A rush by a player without assistance from a teammate.
Spearing-The action of poking or attempting to poke an opponent
with the tip of the blade of the stick while holding the stick with
one or both hands.
Splitting the defense-Puck carrier goes between the two opposing
Stick deke-When a player’s stick is moved as though for a shot,
but instead the player moves the puck past the defending player;
done to fake out the opponent.
Stick handling-Moving the puck along the ice with the stick
Substitute Goalkeeper-A designated goalkeeper on the Official
Score sheet who is not then participating in the game.
Substitution-Occurs when a player comes off the bench to replace
a player coming out of the game; can be made at any time and play
does not need to stop.
Sudden-death overtime-An overtime period that ends as soon as
one team scores a goal, determining the winner and terminating the
Sweep check-A check made by a player with one hand on the
stick, and one knee so low it is practically on the ice, with the shaft
and blade of the stick flat on the ice to take the puck away from an
Team Official-A person responsible in any degree for the
operation of a team, such as a Team Executive, Coach, Manager or
Temporary Goalkeeper-A player not designated as a goalkeeper
on the Official Score sheet who assumes that position when no
designated goalkeeper is able to participate in the game. He is
governed by goalkeeper privileges and limitations, and must return
as a ``player'' when a designated goalkeeper becomes available to
participate in the game.
Texas Hat Trick-Four goals scored by a player in one game
Third-man-in rule-The third man in a fight gets a game
misconduct penalty and is out of the game for its duration; created
to discourage players from jumping into a fight, even if they are
only trying to break it up.
Three on one-A type of break with three attackers coming in on
one defenseman; this is a desperate situation.
Three on two-A type of break with three attacking players skating
against two defensive players.
Time-out (Curfew definition)-A curfew game is one in which the
game must end by a certain time of day. Conversely, a non-curfew
game is one, which will be played to clock time conclusion,
regardless of how long the game last.
Trailer-A player who follows his teammate on the attack
seemingly out of the action but actually in a position to receive a
backward or drop pass.
Tripping-A minor penalty which occurs when a player places his
stick or a part of his body under or around the feet or legs of an
opponent causing him to lose his balance; will also be called if a
player kicks an opponent’s skates out from under him, or uses a
knee or leg to cause his opponent to fall.
Two-line pass-A team violation occurring when a puck is passed
across two or more lines without being touched; play is stopped for
a face-off; a type of offsides.
Two on one-A type of break with two attacking players skating
against one defensive player.
Two on two-A type of break with two attacking players skating
against two defensive players.
Under-led pass-A pass behind or to one side of a teammate,
making it difficult for him to control the puck.
Waffle pad-A large rectangular pad attached to the front of the
goalie’s stick hand.
Wash out-A goal that is ruled invalid by the referee or the waving
off of an infraction by the linesmen.
Wings-Two players, who flank the center on his right and left
sides and, with him, make up the attacking unit or forward line.
Wraparound - When a player skates around behind the opposing
goal and attempts to wrap the puck around the goal post under the
Wrist shot-A shot made using a strong flicking of the wrist and
forearm muscles, with the stick blade kept on the ice; it is slower
but more accurate than a slap shot.
Zamboni-The machine used to clean the ice.
Zones-Three areas made up by the two blue lines; the attacking
zone is the area farthest

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