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Hockey Lingo

For fans new to the game, hockey has a language all its own. The following guide should be helpful in picking up hockey’s lingo.


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

Blue Lines: The pair of 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, 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 calls for a penalty.

Goal Crease
: Area directly in front of the goaltender. It is four feet wide and eight feet long and marked off by red lines. Offensive players who do not have possession of the puck may not enter.

Deke: To fake an opponent out of position.

Face Off: The dropping of the puck between one player from each team to begin 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 skate or stick 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.

One-timer: Shooting the puck directly upon receiving a pass. The offensive player takes 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-man or two-man advantage because of an opponent’s penalties.

Pulling the Goalie: Replacing the goalie with an extra skater in a high-risk attempt to tie the game. This primarily occurs when a team trails, usually by one goal, late in the game.

Save: A shot blocked by the goaltender, which would have bean a goal had it not been stopped.

Screened Shot
: The goaltender’s view is blocked by players between the and the shooter.

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

Slot: The area immediately in front of the goal crease. It is from this zone that most goals are scored and where the most furious activity takes place.

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 with the stick.

Top Shelf: Term used to describe when an offensive player shoots high in an attempt to beat the goalie by shooting the puck into the top portion of the net.

Wraparound: A player skates around behind the opposing goal and attempts to wrap the puck around the goal post and under the goalie.

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

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