Q: What is the puck made of?
A: The puck is made of vulcanized rubber and is three inches in diameter and one inch thick, weighing about six ounces. It is frozen before entering play to make it bounce resistant.
Q: How fast does the puck travel?
A: Some of the game’s hardest shooters send the puck toward the net at speeds between 90 and 100 mph with the elite shooters easily topping the century mark. Making things even more difficult on the goalie is the puck will frequently curve in flight, much like a baseball.
Q: Which shot is the hardest for a goalie to stop?
A: Generally speaking, it is one that’s low and to the stick side. Some goaltenders overplay to the stick side, presenting a more inviting target on the glove side.
Q: What about deflections?
A: Deflections aren’t just luck. Players practice redirecting shots by standing at the side of the net and knocking a shot from the outside past the goalie into another area of the goal.
Q: Which is tougher for the goalie to stop a slap shot or a wrist shot?
A: The slap shot, while it is harder and faster, is easier for the goalie to time than a wrist shot, which takes the goalie more by surprise.
Q: How thick is the ice?
A: The ice is approximately 3/4" thick and is usually kept at 16 degrees for the proper hardness. The thicker the sheet of ice becomes, the softer and slower it is.
Q: What are the standard dimensions of the rink?
A: The standard is 200’ by 85’, although some do vary.
Q: Can the puck be kicked in for a goal?
A: Not intentionally. However, if a puck is deflected off a skate or off a player’s body and no overt attempt is made to throw it or kick it in, a goal is allowed.
Q: What if an offensive player is in the crease?
A: If he is there under his own power and the puck goes in, the goal is disallowed. A goal can be awarded if the player was forced into the crease or held there by a defensive player. An offensive player is allowed to carry the puck into the crease and score.
Q: Why do goalies frequently come out of in front of their net?
A: Usually when a goalie leaves the area immediately in front of the goal it is to reduce the shooting area, cut down the angle of the shooter or for the offensive player to release his shot before he would like to. After coming out of the net, the goalie is usually backing up slowly in an attempt to get the shooter to commit himself first.
Q: Who gets credited for an assist?
A: The last player or players (no more than two) who touch the puck prior to the goal scorer are awarded assists. For example, if player A passes to player B who passes to player C who scores a goal; players A and B get assists.
Q: Why doesn’t the referee stop fights?
A: There are several. First, it is his job to watch what is going on and determine who should be penalized. Also, it is quite hazardous in close during a fight and since he is in sole control of the game, he has to protect himself from injury.
Q: How are the markings - the red and blue lines, goal lines, crease and face-off circles - applied to the ice?
A: The ice is built up to a half-inch thickness by spraying water over the concrete floor, which has the freezing pipes embedded into it. Then the markings are painted on, after which additional water is sprayed to coat the markings and build the ice to the prescribed thickness.
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