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Hockey: Glossary and Terms

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Player controlling puck with hockey stick
Source: US Army

Assist - a pass of the hockey puck that leads directly to another player scoring a goal.

Blue line - Lines on either side of the red line that divide the rink into zones. These lines govern the offside rule and define the offensive, defensive, and neutral zones.

Boarding - a penalty called when a hockey player violently knocks an opposing player into the boards.

Center Forward - The hockey forward who plays in the middle of the rink. Primary job is to score goals.

Checking - keeping an opposing hockey player from advancing to where they want to.

Crease - area right in front of the goal where the goaltender is not to be interfered with or a penalty will be called.

Defenseman - there are two hockey players whose main job is defense and playing back near their own goal.

Face-off - this is how hockey play begins. Two players stand inside the face-off circle, a referee drops the puck between them, and they each try to pass the puck to a team mate.

Forward - hockey player whose primary responsibility is offense and scoring goals. There are usually three forwards per hockey team on the ice.

Goal - when the puck enters the net or gets beyond the goal line inside the net. This is the only way to score in hockey. Each goal is worth one point.

Goaltender - the hockey player who stands in front of the goal an whose only job is to prevent the other team from scoring. The goalie wears extra pads and a mask as high speed shots are aimed at them throughout the game.

Hat trick - when a hockey player scores three goals in a single game.

Hockey puck - a hard black disk of vulcanized rubber

Hockey stick - used to move the puck

Icing - a violation that occurs when a hockey player shoots the puck across both the red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net. See Hockey Rules section for more details.

Penalty box - the area in ice hockey where a player sits to serve penalty time.

Penalty shot - a penalty awarded when a hockey team loses an obvious scoring chance because of a foul committed by the opposing team. One hockey player gets to take a shot at goal with only the goaltender playing defense.

Power play - occurs when the other team commits a penalty and one of their hockey players has to go to the penalty box. One team now has more players on the ice.

Red line - divides the rink down the middle. It is used to judge icing and offside pass calls.

Rink - an ice rink specifically designed for the game of ice hockey.

Save percentage - represents the percentage of shots on goal that a goaltender successfully stops. This is a good number to use to judge how well a goalie is playing.

Slapshot - a very hard hockey shot where the player actually slaps the hockey stick onto the ice and uses the snap of the stick and the follow through to propel the puck at great speeds.

Slot - the area on the hockey rink in front of the goaltender and between the face-off circles.

Snap shot - A hockey shot done with a quick snap of the wrists.

Zamboni - the large machine that smoothes the surface of the ice hockey rink

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More Hockey Links:
Hockey Play
Hockey Rules
Hockey Strategy
Hockey Glossary
National Hockey League NHL
List of NHL Teams

Hockey Biographies:
Wayne Gretzky
Sidney Crosby
Alex Ovechkin

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