Ice Hockey Terms - The Ultimate Glossary

Ultimate glossary of ice hockey terms. We have divided the terms into several categories (see the table of contents below). You can also move on to the alphabetical order in the second half of the article. You can jump directly to the category of ice hockey terms you want:

Game Situations

Ice hockey terms from game situations:

  • Assist - Attributed to up to two players of the scoring team last touched the puck before the scoring teammate.
  • Best-on-best - A competition featuring the most elite level of players possible.
  • Breakaway - When a player skates all by himself with the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal.
  • Break out: When a team gains control of the puck in their defensive end they “break out” with the puck to go on the attack. Most teams have set break out plays to accomplish this important part of the game.
  • Coast to coast – When a player skates all by himself all the way from their own defensive zone to the scoring chance.
  • Empty net goal - A goal scored when the opposing goalie is not on the ice.
  • Even strength - Teams have an equal number of players (not necessarily five) on the ice.
  • Face-off - The method used to begin play at the beginning of a period or after a stoppage of play. The two teams line up in opposition to each other. One player from each team attempts to gain control of the puck after it is dropped by an official between their sticks onto a face-off spot on the ice.
  • Five on three (also called a two-man advantage) - when one team has had two players sent to the penalty box.
  • Five on four (Also called a one-man advantage) - when a team is short one player due to a penalty being incurred.
  • Five on five - When both teams have five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.
  • Full strength - When both teams have five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.
  • Gap - Space between the opponent and the puck.
  • Garbage goal - A goal that takes little talent to score. Most such goals are scored from right in front of the net, often when the goaltender is out of position.
  • Geno (or Gino) - A goal
  • Goal - When the puck goes over the goal line in front of the net.
  • Goal-line save - When the puck touches the goal line but does not cross it.
  • Go-ahead goal - A goal that puts one team ahead of another after the game has been tied.
  • Gordie Howe hat trick - A Gordie Howe hat trick is when one player scores a goal, gets an assist, and gets into a fight all in the same game.
  • Golden goal – Overtime game-winning goal in the finals (golden medal).
  • Hat-trick - When one player scores three goals in one game. Fans often honor the player by throwing their hats onto the ice.
  • Home-ice advantage - The ability to make the last line change and having your own fans there for moral support.
  • Intermission: A break in between each of the three periods.
  • Insurance goal - Any goal that is scored by the same team after the game-winning goal.
  • Long change - In the second period, the goaltenders change ends, meaning that the players' bench is closer to the offensive zone rather than the defensive zone. The "long change" can be a factor when a tired line is stuck in the defensive zone and cannot come off due to the increased distance to the bench.
  • Man advantage - When one team is penalized, and one of its players sent to the penalty box, the second team maintains a man advantage for the duration of the penalty (Major penalty) or until a goal is scored (Minor penalty). If two penalties are called on one team there will be a two-man advantage. If more than two penalties are called on one team the man advantage is limited to two men.
  • Natural hat-trick - A player scores three goals successively in one period.
  • Odd-man rush - When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone.
  • Open Net - When a player shoots the puck at the net with the goalie off the ice or out of position.
  • Overtime - An extra session of play added on after the full regulation time has concluded in order to resolve a tie. The first team to score in overtime wins the game.
  • Penalty kill - See shorthanded. Also refers to lineups, tactics and play by a team during the shorthanded period. Icing is not enforced on a shorthanded team.
  • Phantom Assist - Getting an assist point on the score sheet without doing the work by shouting out your number to the referee as they are giving the info to the scorekeeper.
  • Playmaker - (ii) A player has three assists in one game.
  • Post-game handshake - A handshake between opposing players, who line up parallel to each other, at center ice, after a game. (In the NHL post-game handshakes are usually reserved until the end of a playoff series and are not a normal event during the regular season).
  • Power play - A power play occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other team as a result of penalties assessed to the shorthanded team.
  • Scoring chance - An attempt or chance for a team or player to score a goal.
  • Slow whistle - When an official is slow to blow their whistle compared to when the whistle would be blown under similar circumstances.
  • Shift - The period of time a player, line or defensive pairing is on the ice before being replaced by another.
  • Shorthanded - A team is said to be shorthanded when they have fewer players on the ice than the opposing team as a result of a penalty or penalties.
  • Shortie - A goal scored by a team that is shorthanded.
  • Shootout - See penalty shot. A series of penalty shots by both teams to determine the winning team after a regulation game and overtime period ends in a tie. In the NHL this occurs only during the regular season.
  • The Show - The NHL.
  • Shutout - When a goaltender allows no goals in a game.
  • Turnover: Losing control of the puck to the opposing team.
  • Wave off – When a stoppage of play is about to occur, the referee may decide to continue play by “waving off” the stoppage.  Examples include icing and offsides.
  • 1-man advantage – see five on four.
  • 2-man advantage – see five on three.
  • 2-on-1 – see odd man rush.
  • 3-on-2 – see odd man rush.
Ice Hockey Terms

Rink Terms

Ice hockey terms from the rink:

  • Attacking zone - The opposing team's end of the ice; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
  • Barn – A rink or arena. 
  • Blue line - The lines separating the attacking/defending zones from the neutral zone.
  • Boards - Glass walls that surround the playing surface.
  • Box – Penalty box
  • Cage (i) - Metal grid that attaches to the front of a helmet to protect the face
  • Cage (ii) – A goal (net).
  • Cheese: The top shelf of the net.
  • Crossbar: the post that runs along the top of the net
  • Crease - See goal crease.
  • Defensive zone - The defending team's zone; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
  • Dots (face-off dots), the area into which the referee drops the puck during a face off.
  • Face-off spot - One of nine painted circles on the ice where a face-off may occur. Two in each attacking/defending zone, two each near the corners of the neutral zone, and one at center ice.
  • Gate - Penalty box
  • Goal crease - An area of the ice that extends from the goal line in front of the net, often shaped like a semicircle and painted in a different color.
  • Goal line - The line that extents from the post to the boards and if the puck crosses the line in front of the net it is a goal.
  • Guts of the Ice – The area of the ice between the face-off dots, over the entire length of the ice. 
  • Half wall - Midway between the point and the corner along the board.
  • Hash marks - The straight lines from the faceoff circles in front of both nets. Used to line up faceoffs.
  • The House – “The House” is the area from the goal posts to the face off dots to the tops of the circles. Defensively, we talk about “protecting the house”.  This is because this is the area from which most goals are scored. 
  • Ice Resurfacer (or Zamboni) - A vehicle that reconditions ice before play and between periods of a game to smooth out and clean the ice for optimal glide of both puck and skate. The biggest brand of ice resurfacer is Zamboni.
  • Junction: the corner of the goal where the crossbar and post meets (also referred to as the “junk”)
  • Neutral zone - Area of the ice between the blue lines.
  • ODR: an outdoor rink
  • Olympic Sheet – An NHL rink is 85′ x 200′. An Olympic rink (or sheet) is 100′ x 200′. International competitions are generally played on Olympic sheets.  This additional 15′ of width can have a dramatic effect on opening up faster play.
  • Penalty box - The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty.
  • Pipe: the goal post
  • The point - A player in the opponent's end zone at the junction of the blue line with the boards is said to be at the point.
  • Red Line - The line denoting the middle of the ice surface, length-wise.
  • Referee's crease - The semi-circular area at the red line, beside the scorer's bench, into which a player may not enter when occupied by a referee (during a stoppage of play).
  • Rhombus - The rounded corners of the rink behind the goal line.
  • Rink - The playing surface.
  • Shortside - The side of the goal closest to the shooter.
  • Sin bin - The penalty box.
  • Slot - Slot is the area on the hockey rink directly in front of the goaltender between the face-off circles on each side.
  • Strong Side/Weak Side – The strong side is the side of the ice where the puck (and most of the players) are located.  The weak side is the other side. 
  • Top cookies: top shelf (where grandma hides the cookies)
  • Top shelf - The upper area of the goal, just below the crossbar and above the goaltender's shoulders.
  • Trapezoid - In the NHL, the trapezoidal area behind the goal line and net where the goaltender may touch the puck. A minor penalty (delay of game) is assessed if the goaltender plays the puck behind the goal line outside of the trapezoid.
  • Trolley tracks - Two 'lanes' in the neutral zone, located midway between the center face-off dot and the boards, spanning from blue line to blue line.
  • Turnbuckle - The area on both ends of a bench where the edge of the glass is padded and meets the boards at a right angle. Players have been checked into the turnbuckles causing serious injury. The NHL has replaced this with rounded corners as a safer alternative.
  • War room - In the NHL, an office in Toronto headquarters where games are viewed and reviewed.
  • Wheelhouse - The area immediately at a player's feet and in line with the player's shoulders, which is the optimum puck location for a player to get the most power from a slapshot.
  • Zamboni - A popular brand of ice resurfacer.
  • Zone - One of three areas of the ice as divided by the blue lines. See attacking zone, neutral zone or defensive zone
Ice Hockey Terms

Personnel

Personnel ice hockey terms:

  • Backstop - A goaltender.
  • Beauty/Beautician – A player that is talented, both on and off the ice, and loved by his teammates.
  • Bender – Bad skating player, who bends their ankles when skating.
  • Blueliner - A defenseman (because they stay at the blue line in the offensive zone).
  • Center (or Centre) - A forward position whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice.
  • Defenseman - One of two players that are positioned further back on the ice than the forwards.
  • Defender - a player in the act of defending against an opposing attack (not necessarily a defenseman).
  • Duster: a player who doesn’t play much and “collects dust” on the bench
  • Enforcer - A player who defends their teammates against violent members of the other team.
  • Extra attacker - A player who jumps on the ice to substitute a goaltender (can be during the last minutes, when the team is trying to even the score or during delayed penalty).
  • Face-off specialist - A center whose primary skill is winning face-offs but (generally) provides very little else.
  • Flopper - A goalie prone to going down on the ice to stop pucks. The opposite of a 'Stand Up' goalie.
  • Goal judge - An off-ice official who signals when a goal has been scored, usually by turning a red light on above the net.
  • Goaltender - A player who plays in & around the goal (net), whose job it is to prevent the other team from scoring goals.
  • Goon - A general term for either an enforcer or a pest, depending on the situation.
  • Grinder - A player valued more for hard work and checking skills, especially along the boards, than scoring ability, who often sets up goal opportunities for offensive players.
  • Grocery Stick - A fourth line player who sits on the bench where the forwards and defensemen split.
  • Hands: refers to a player who has good stickhandling and often dangles opposing players
  • Healthy scratch - An uninjured player on the roster who does not dress for a game.  Only 20 players (22 in international competition) are allowed to dress for a game, players who are not going to play are considered scratches.
  • Left wing - See Winger.
  • Line - A combination of a specific left winger, center, and right winger. Most teams, for the sake of chemistry, maintain specific three-man lines for different situations.
  • Linesman - An official responsible for conducting most faceoffs and for calling off-side and icing infractions. Can call some penalties. Usually two linesmen on the ice during a game.
  • Meat Wagon - If a player’s only skill is fighting/hitting, they are a meat wagon.
  • Netminder - A goalie, see Goaltender.
  • Official - A person who regulates game play, either on or off the ice. See also: linesman, referee
  • Pepper pot - Player with great speed and quickness.
  • Pest - A player known for agitating opposing players, usually through frequent hitting, sometimes of questionable legality.
  • Pigeon: a player who can’t score on his own and relies on others to feed him the puck or pick up the garbage 
  • Playmaker - (i) A fast player who usually has more assists than goals. A Playmaker has the speed and balance to make plays, and frequently relies on a sniper to finish them.
  • Plug: a useless player
  • Plumber – Similar to a Grinder.  Not the most skilled player, but a hard worker who will battle in the corners and in front of the net.
  • Power forward - A power forward is a large, muscular offensive player (6'0" - 6'5", 210 to 240 pounds), with the mobility to track a puck to the corners of the rink, the physical toughness required to dig it out, and the puck-handling skills to get it back to anyone in front of the net.
  • Pylon - A player who is easy to get around due to lack of speed or skill.
  • Quarterback - Generally, an offensive defenseman that plays one of the points on the power play, and is adept at skating and handling the puck.
  • Rearguard - A defenseman.
  • Referee - The official in charge of the game. Responsible for maintaining the flow of the game, calling penalties and starting and stopping play. Can be one or two referees on the ice during a game.
  • Riding the pine - A player confined to the bench (commonly pine) by a coach due to unsatisfactory performance. Also known as benched.
  • Right wing - See Winger.
  • Rockpile - A Rookie.
  • Shutdown player - A player skilled at defensive play.
  • Shutdown pair - Two forwards or defensemen working together, fundamentally to stop the opposing team's offense players.
  • Sieve - A goalie who lets in too many goals is said to “leak like a sieve”, referring to the perforated cooking instrument used to strain pasta.
  • Skater - Any player who is not a goaltender.
  • Sniper - A player with a powerful, accurate shot skilled at finishing plays. From the military term of the same name.
  • Standup goalie - A goalie that often stays on their skates when a player shoots, as opposed to a butterfly goalie.
  • Stay-at-home defenseman - A defenseman who plays very defensively. They do not skate with the puck toward the offensive zone very often, but will look to pass first. Usually the last player to leave their defensive zone.
  • Stripes - Another word for referee.
  • Tendy - goalie/goaltender
  • Two-way forward - A forward who handles the defensive aspects of the game as well as the offensive aspects.
  • Video goal judge - An off-ice official who reviews a goal by video instant replay.
  • Winger - A winger is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side.
  • Zebra - Another word for referee.
Ice Hockey Terms

Acts

Acts ice hockey terms.

  • Backhand shot - A shot that is taken from the backside of the blade.
  • Body checking - Using the hip or body to knock an opponent, sometimes against the boards or to the ice. It’s illegal in the women's game.
  • Celly - A player’s celebration after scoring a goal.
  • Chirp, Chirping - The act of mocking another player, referee, or fan. Primarily ridiculous and childlike remarks.
  • Clapper:  see slapshot.
  • Dangle - When a player does a series of dekes in a row to get around the opposing players.
  • Dasher - Shooting puck off the boards. The purpose could be to merely clear the puck out of the zone or passing maneuver to the open space.
  • Deke - When a player handles the puck or their movements in such a manner as to fool the opponent into moving.
  • Drop pass - When a player passes the puck directly behind him to a teammate. If executed properly, the puck stops moving and the pass's receiver catches up to it. 
  • Face wash - Intentionally rubbing the open palm of a glove in an opponent's face to annoy them.
  • Fan - A fan is when a player misses the puck when attempting to play or shoot it.
  • Fighting - When two or more players punch each other repeatedly. Fights are also called scraps, tussles, fisticuffs, and scuffles amongst other terms. Combatants are each assessed a major penalty, and results in a game misconduct in many leagues.
  • Head fake - A quick tilt of the head in one direction, followed by a quick move in the opposite direction to fool a defending opponent.
  • Hip check - Using the hip to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice.
  • Hit - a body check that "removes the opposing player from the puck."
  • J Shot - A snap shot that is started in the form of the letter J.
  • Kicking (i) - The act of propelling the puck using the skates. A goal may not be scored by deliberately kicking a puck into the opposing team's net.
  • Line brawl - A series of fights involving most, or all, players on the ice at the same time.
  • Line Change - During play, or after a whistle, a team may choose to switch out their forwards and/or their defensemen, in order to keep their players fresh, or to match certain players against certain opposing players.
  • Michigan - also called a "high wrap," or simply the "lacrosse move," the maneuver of lifting the puck with the stick and throwing it under the top corner of the goal, while skating behind the net, while the goaltender protects the bottom corner.
  • One-timer - The act of shooting the puck directly off a pass without playing the puck in any way.
  • Open ice hit: a big hit on that happens away from the boards 
  • Own goal - The act of a team (usually unintentionally) shooting the puck into their own net instead of their opponent's. For statistical purposes, the last player on the opposing team to touch the puck is awarded the goal.
  • Poke checking - Using the stick to poke the puck away from an opponent.
  • Rebound - A rebound occurs when the puck bounces off a goalie, a player, or the net (or occasionally, the back boards) after a shot on goal.
  • Saucer pass - An airborne pass from one player to another. It’s a low lob pass, barely off the ice but high enough to clear a defender's stick blade. It is called a saucer pass because the puck resembles a flying saucer in mid-air.
  • Save - To stop the puck from crossing the goal line, preventing the opposing team from scoring a goal.
  • Scoop: a flying accurate shot Stroke: a straight quick goal
  • Screened shot - A shot that the goaltender cannot see due to other players obscuring it.
  • Shot on goal - A shot that will enter the goal if it is not stopped by the goaltender. Shots that either hit the side of the net or miss the goal completely do not count as shots on goal, nor do shots that hit a goalpost or crossbar and do not cross the goal line. Similarly, shots that are stopped or otherwise played by the goalie that would not have scored are not counted as shots on goal.
  • Slapshot - A slapshot is a hard shot, usually with a big wind up, wherein the player bends their stick on the ice and allows the energy stored in bending the stick to launch the puck forward.
  • Snap shot - The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and the slap shot (puck speed). Unlike a slap shot, there is no backswing windup, and very little follow through.
  • Snow shower - The act of stopping quickly right near the goaltender when he's already frozen the puck that results in ice shavings being sprayed into the goalie's face through the mask. It can result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Spin-o-rama - Player completing several tight circle with the puck fully under control of their stick, eluding pursuing opponents who cannot keep up or intercept the player. Currently banned in shootouts in the NHL.
  • Split the D - When an offensive player confuses or outmaneuvers two defensemen in order to get between them.
  • Stack the pads - A save wherein the goaltender drops to one side and makes the save with their leg pads stacked horizontally atop one another.
  • Stick checking - Using the stick to interfere with an opponent's stick.
  • Stickhandling - The act of controlling the puck with one's stick, especially while maneuvering through opponents.
  • Suicide pass - A long pass to a moving teammate's feet. This causes the teammate to look down and be open to a devastating body check as the teammate receives the puck.
  • Tag up - The act of returning to the neutral zone after a delayed offside is signaled by the linesman.
  • Throwing their stick - when a player throws their stick, usually to another player when that player's stick breaks.
  • Toe drag - Dragging the puck along the ice with the end (toe) of the stick blade on the ice as opposed to pushing with the bottom edge.
  • Waffle-boarding - A quick save with the goalie's blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion.
  • Wraparound - when an attacking player controls the puck behind the opposition's net and attempts to score by reaching around the side of the net.
  • Wrist shot - A type of shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick.
  • Wholesale Change - A team may, during play or after a whistle, choose to switch out their forwards or defenseman. A wholesale change is when all 5 players (3 forwards and 2 defensemen) are changed at the same time. (See Line Change).
Ice Hockey Terms

Gear

Gear ice hockey terms:

  • “A” - Letter worn on the uniform of the assistant team captain.
  • Blocker - The rectangular pad that a goaltender wears on the stick-holding hand. (See waffle pad.)
  • Bucket: a helmet
  • “C” - Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain.
  • Catcher or Catching glove (or Trapper) - The webbed glove that the goaltender wears on the hand opposite the stick.
  • Chiclets - Teeth
  • Fight strap - A strap inside the back of the jersey that loops through the belt, so that the jersey may not be pulled over a player's head during a fight.
  • Fishbowl: a full-face shield
  • Five-hole - The hole between a goaltender's legs.
  • Jill - A jill is a simple device used to protect the pelvic area of a female ice hockey player.
  • Jock - A jock is a simple device used to protect the testicles of a male ice hockey player.
  • Lumber: a hockey stick, derived from when sticks were made of wood.
  • Mitts – A player’s hands or gloves. Gordie Howe was known to have large mitts (hands), and he was not afraid to “drop the mitts” (fight).
  • Paddle - The wide portion above the blade of a goalie's stick.
  • Pillows - The goaltender's leg pads.
  • Shaft - The long part of the stick that is straight and is held by the player.
  • Skatemill - A device for practicing skating techniques
  • Sweater: a hockey jersey
  • Tarp - See jerseys
  • Trapper - See Catching glove.
  • Twig - Another name for a hockey stick.
  • Waffle - The goalie's blocker.
Ice Hockey Terms

Rules

Rules ice hockey terms:

  • Coincidental penalties - When both teams are assessed an equal number of penalties at the same time, usually on the same play or incident.
  • Delayed offside - If a player enters the attack zone ahead of the puck but does not touch it, the play is offsides but no whistle is blown immediately, thus creating a delayed offside.
  • Delayed penalty - When a penalty is called, the referee will raise his or her arm to indicate that one is being called, but if the team who committed the infraction is not in control of the puck, no whistle will occur until a player from that team touches the puck. This is called a delayed penalty.
  • Game Misconduct - A penalty that results in a player being ejected from the game. For statistical purposes, a player receiving a game misconduct is often credited with 10 or 20 penalty minutes.
  • Gross Misconduct - A game misconduct penalty for gross unsportsmanlike conduct. Obsolete.
  • Hand pass - The act of passing the puck using one's hand. This is legal inside a team's defensive zone, but illegal in the neutral zone and attacking zone, even if the pass originates from another zone.
  • High stick (ii) - Contacting the puck with a stick that is raised above the shoulders. If the puck is subsequently contacted again by the offending player or a teammate before an opponent touches it, the play is blown dead. A goal scored as a result of a puck being contacted by an attacking player's stick raised above the crossbar shall be disallowed.
  • Icing - Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net or being able to be touched by an opposing player in their neutral or defensive zones. When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. In the NHL and many professional leagues, icing can be negated if a player from the team committing the icing touches the puck before a defender, in which case play continues (the linesman nearest the puck will indicate this with a "washout" signal). In many amateur leagues, the no-touch icing rule is used, meaning play stops as soon as the puck crosses the goal line. The NHL adopted a rule where the team that committed the infraction is unable to make a line change during the stoppage to discourage teams from icing the puck to "get a whistle" and change lines.
  • Major penalty - A five-minute penalty
  • Match penalty - a five-minute penalty that includes automatic expulsion from the game and, depending on the league, possibly subsequent games. Often called for attempts to deliberately injure an opponent, official or fan.
  • Minor penalty - A two-minute penalty.
  • Misconduct - A penalty where the offending player is ruled off the ice for 10 minutes, but may be substituted for on the ice. See also game misconduct, gross misconduct
  • Offensive zone - See Attacking zone.
  • Offsides – An offsides is called when a player precedes the puck into the offensive zone as indicated by the blue line. When an offside occurs, the referee stops play and the face off occurs outside the offensive zone.
  • Penalty shot - A penalty shot is assessed when a defender is in extreme violation of a rule to prevent a scoring opportunity. Examples are tripping a breakaway opponent from behind, the throwing of a stick or use of hands on the puck by a defender other than the goalie. The offensive player is awarded an opportunity to take control of the puck at center ice and skate in on the defending goalie one on one in an attempt to score.
  • Plus-minus - A hockey statistic that can apply to a player or an offensive or defensive line indicating whether they were on the ice when the opposing team scored (a minus) or on the ice when their team scored (a plus). Goals scored when on a power-play or a penalty kill do not count for a player's plus or minus, respectively, unless a goal is scored while the scoring team is shorthanded.
  • Quick whistle - A stoppage in play that occasionally occurs when an on-ice official view of the puck is obstructed while the puck is still moving or playable, but the official stops the play with a whistle.
Ice Hockey Terms

Penalties

Penalties ice hockey terms:

  • Boarding - Checking a defenseless player and causing them to violently impact the boards. It’s a penalty.
  • Butt-ending - The act of jabbing an opponent with the knob of stick. A game misconduct penalty.
  • Charging - The act of taking more than three strides while delivering a body check or leaving their feet to deliver a hit. A penalty.
  • Check to the head - A hit where the primary contact is made to an opponent's head. Mostly a major or match penalty.
  • Checking from behind - The act of hitting an opponent from the back when they are unaware the hit is coming. A penalty.
  • Clipping - Hitting an opponent below the knees. A penalty.
  • Cross-checking - The act of checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands. A penalty.
  • Dive - A dive is when a player embellishes contact made against him in order to draw a penalty. Could be a penalty for embellishment.
  • Elbowing - The act of using an extended elbow or forearm to make contact with an opponent. A penalty.
  • Head-butting - The act of deliberately hitting an opponent or directing the puck into the net when leading with one's head. Headbutting an opponent is a penalty, but headbutting the puck into the net results in no goal.
  • High stick (high-sticking) - The act of hitting a player in the head or shoulders with a stick. A penalty (a single minor if no blood is drawn; a double minor if blood is drawn).
  • Holding - The act of impeding an opponent by grabbing onto them. A penalty.
  • Holding the stick - The act of grabbing an opponent's stick. A penalty.
  • Hooking - The act of impeding an opponent by placing the blade of a stick into their body. A penalty.
  • Interference - The act of impeding an opponent who does not control the puck. A penalty
  • Kicking - The act of kicking an opposing player. A match penalty.
  • Kneeing - The act of making contact with an opposing player when leading with an outstretched knee. A penalty.
  • Roughing - The act of contacting an opponent with the hand or fist when making a punching motion. A penalty.
  • Slashing - The act of contacting an opponent's body or stick with one's own as a result of a swinging motion. A penalty.
  • Slew foot - Sweeping or kicking out a player's skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards. A match penalty.
  • Spearing - The act of jabbing an opponent with the blade of the stick. A double-minor penalty at minimum.
  • Tripping - The act of knocking an opponent down by taking their feet out from under them using a stick or part of the body. A penalty.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct - An action of a player that results in a 2-minute minor penalty deemed by the referee to be a minor act not severe enough to warrant a 10-minute misconduct or game misconduct.
Ice Hockey Terms

Slang

Slang ice hockey terms:

  • 500 (or .500) - is an even percentage, usually referring to a team's overall record when their number of wins equals their number of regulation losses.
  • Apple - A slang term for an assist.
  • Bar Down (or Bar South) - When the puck hits the crossbar and goes in the net.
  • Barnburner: a high-scoring game
  • Biscuit - Slang term for the puck.
  • Biscuit in the basket - To score a goal.
  • Blow a tire - When a player falls to the ice for no apparent reason other than losing their footing.
  • Bottle rocket: when a goal breaks the goalie's water bottle
  • Bread Basket - A goaltender’s chest. If a shot hits a goalie’s chest, it is known as putting it right in the “bread basket”.
  • Broke their ankles - When a defensive player falls after being deked while skating backwards.
  • Chel: The EA Sports NHL video game.
  • Dirty (or filthy): used to describe an incredible deke or pass.
  • Egg - When the final score is zero.
  • Filthy: used to describe an incredible deke or pass
  • Fisticuffs - A fight.
  • Flamingo: when a player lifts his leg to avoid blocking a shot
  • Flow - A term for long, flowing hair, popular among hockey players.
  • Freezing the puck - The act of goaltender trapping the puck so it cannot be played.
  • Gongshow: when a game that is getting out of control, could be from a lot of goals, a lot of fights or big hits
  • Hack - see slashing.
  • Handcuffed - When every scoring chance has been denied by the goalie or defender.
  • Headman the puck – When a player passes to a teammate that is ahead of them on the attack.
  • Hoser or Hose-head – A derogatory term.  Originated from the early days of hockey (before the invention of the Zamboni) when the losing team had to hose down the ice with water after the game.
  • Howitzer - A very fast slap shot.
  • Kronwalled: a big hit a defenseman lays on a player attempting to carry the puck out of his zone, derived from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall who is famous for this type of hit.
  • Laser - A hard, accurate shot.
  • Laying on the lumber - See Slashing.
  • Lettuce – A great head of hockey hair.  See also flow, salad.
  • Lip lettuce: a mustache
  • Light the Lamp - To score a goal. A light above the net turns on when a goal is scored.
  • Limoges - To score an own goal, i.e.: when a defensive player scores into their own net.
  • Lighting a candle - Hitting someone so hard that they fall over.
  • Man On - A warning from teammates to a player that an opposing player (that he may be unaware of) is near him. Usually given in loose puck situations.
  • Muffin - A shot that wavers in the air when traveling towards the goal, usually used in recognition of a goal that should have been stopped, or a bad shot.
  • Playoff beard - The superstitious practice of a hockey player not shaving off his facial hair during the playoffs, consequently growing a beard.
  • Pond hockey - A form of outdoor hockey similar to shinny. A fan might state that their team 'looks like they're playing pond hockey' if the players are not displaying the heart or concentration upon the game that their elite professional level demands.
  • Ripple the twine - Scoring a goal.
  • Rocked - Big hit
  • Salad – Beautiful hockey hair.  See also flow, lettuce.
  • Silky: used to describe a smooth occurrence such as a play or a player’s hands 
  • Snipe: a perfectly placed shot
  • Stand on their head - A goalie who plays extremely well and keeps their team from losing when they have not played well is said to have stood on their head.
  • Stoned - Made a great save.
  • Sunburn - When a goal is scored, and the light behind the goaltender is lit up, it is said that the goalie got 'sunburned.' Also used when a goaltender has allowed too many goals (i.e. Our goaltender is getting sunburned tonight).
  • Sweep checking - Using the stick in a sweeping motion to knock the puck away from an opponent or deter him from passing.
  • Tape to tape: a pass that perfectly lands on your teammate’s blade
  • Tic-tac-toe: refers to a quick passing play that results in a goal
  • Tilt – fight
  • Top Cheese/Top Cheddar – A shot that scores in the top of the net, either off or just below the crossbar.
  • Turtle: when a player completely covers himself up as to not be involved in a fight
  • Wheel - Typically referred to when there is time and space to skate with the puck, sometimes is said to tell someone to skate faster.
  • Yard Sale - When a player gets hit so hard that they lose equipment, usually a helmet, gloves, and/or stick. Alternatively, refers to the scene on ice after a line brawl (see above) leaving gloves, sticks, and helmets on the ice.
Ice Hockey Terms

Tactics / Strategy

Tactics and strategy ice hockey terms:

  • Backchecking - Rushing back to the defensive zone in response to an opposing team's attack.
  • (The) Big Skate - A long looping turn instead of a more energetic stop and start to reverse direction while skating.
  • Butterfly - A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to cover the lower half of the net with his or her leg pads.
  • Change on the fly - Substituting a player from the bench during live play, i.e. not at a faceoff.
  • Cherry picking (or loafing) - When a player stays near their opponent's defensive zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway.
  • Chip – Shooting puck off the boards. The purpose could be to merely clear the puck out of the zone or passing maneuver to the open space.
  • Cover 1 - When a team has one defenseman stay back and play high to slow down breakaways, allowing the other defensemen to play a more offensive role.
  • Crashing the net - Players head with full steam to the front of the net, usually with intentions of finding a rebound or loose puck. Also known as crashing the crease.
  • Cycling - An offensive strategy that moves the puck along the boards in the offensive zone to create a scoring chance by making defenders tired or moving them out of position.
  • Dump and Chase – An offensive strategy used to get the puck over the opposing team’s blue line and into the corners where players can race to get it.
  • Forechecking - Checking in the offensive zone in order to gain control of the puck and set up a scoring opportunity.
  • Iron cross - A strategy used by a team defending against a five-on-three advantage. The two defensemen, a forward, and the goaltender align themselves in a diamond shape so that imaginary lines drawn through the two defensemen and through the forward and goaltender form the shape of a cross. This is usually a highly defensive strategy, designed to kill off a penalty as safely as possible.
  • Left wing lock - The left wing lock is a defensive ice hockey strategy similar to the neutral zone trap. In the most basic form, once puck possession changes, the left wing moves back in line with the defensemen. Each defender (including the left winger) play a zone defense and are responsible for a third of the ice each. Since there are normally only two defensemen, this tactic helps to avoid odd man rushes.
  • Net front presence - An offensive tactic of screening the opposing goaltender, looking to tip shots from farther out, and/or collecting rebounds from the goaltender.
  • Neutral zone trap - A defensive strategy focused on preventing the opposing team from proceeding with the puck through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) and attempting to take the puck from the opposing team.
  • Pinch – A pinch is when a defenseman either (a) attempts to hold the offensive blue line when the opponent has the puck and is attempting to clear their zone, or (b) leaves the blue line and pushes further into the offensive zone to play the puck.  In both cases, the defenseman is making a gamble that he is going to win the puck battle, and thus improve his team’s chance of scoring.  The risk is that he loses, and the other team goes on the attack with an odd man rush.
  • Pull the goalie - Remove the goalie from the ice in order to temporarily replace them with an extra skater (attacker).
  • Special teams - A collective term for the players that play on the power play and shorthanded units.
  • Trap - Also called the "neutral zone trap", is a defensive-style hockey strategy in which a team loads up the neutral zone with players so that the opposing team has a difficult time crossing the blue line and gaining the zone.
Ice Hockey Terms

Alphabetically

Ice hockey terms alphabetically:

A

  • “A” - Letter worn on the uniform of the assistant team captain.
  • Attacking zone - The opposing team's end of the ice; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
  • Apple - A slang term for an assist.
  • Assist - Attributed to up to two players of the scoring team last touched the puck before the scoring teammate.

B

  • Backhand shot - A shot that is taken from the backside of the blade.
  • Backchecking - Rushing back to the defensive zone in response to an opposing team's attack.
  • Backstop - A goaltender.
  • Bar Down (or Bar South) - When the puck hits the crossbar and goes in the net.
  • Barn – A rink or arena. 
  • Barnburner: a high-scoring game
  • Beauty/Beautician – A player that is talented, both on and off the ice, and loved by his teammates.
  • Bender – Bad skating player, who bends their ankles when skating.
  • Best-on-best - A competition featuring the most elite level of players possible.
  • (The) Big Skate - A long looping turn instead of a more energetic stop and start to reverse direction while skating.
  • Biscuit - Slang term for the puck.
  • Biscuit in the basket - To score a goal.
  • Blocker - The rectangular pad that a goaltender wears on the stick-holding hand. (See waffle pad.)
  • Blow a tire - When a player falls to the ice for no apparent reason other than losing their footing.
  • Blue line - The lines separating the attacking/defending zones from the neutral zone.
  • Blueliner - A defenseman (because they stay at the blue line in the offensive zone).
  • Boarding - Checking a defenseless player and causing them to violently impact the boards. It’s a penalty.
  • Boards - Glass walls that surround the playing surface.
  • Body checking - Using the hip or body to knock an opponent, sometimes against the boards or to the ice. It’s illegal in the women's game.
  • Bottle rocket: when a goal breaks the goalie's water bottle
  • Box – Penalty box
  • Bread Basket - A goaltender’s chest. If a shot hits a goalie’s chest, it is known as putting it right in the “bread basket”.
  • Breakaway - When a player skates all by himself with the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal.
  • Break out: When a team gains control of the puck in their defensive end they “break out” with the puck to go on the attack. Most teams have set break out plays to accomplish this important part of the game.
  • Broke their ankles - When a defensive player falls after being deked while skating backwards.
  • Bucket: a helmet
  • Butterfly - A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to cover the lower half of the net with his or her leg pads.
  • Butt-ending - The act of jabbing an opponent with the knob of stick. A game misconduct penalty.

C

  • “C” - Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain.
  • Cage (i) - Metal grid that attaches to the front of a helmet to protect the face
  • Cage (ii) – A goal (net).
  • Catcher or Catching glove (or Trapper) - The webbed glove that the goaltender wears on the hand opposite the stick.
  • Celly - A player’s celebration after scoring a goal.
  • Center (or Centre) - A forward position whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice.
  • Change on the fly - Substituting a player from the bench during live play, i.e. not at a faceoff.
  • Charging - The act of taking more than three strides while delivering a body check or leaving their feet to deliver a hit. A penalty.
  • Check to the head - A hit where the primary contact is made to an opponent's head. Mostly a major or match penalty.
  • Checking from behind - The act of hitting an opponent from the back when they are unaware the hit is coming. A penalty.
  • Cheese: The top shelf of the net.
  • Chel: The EA Sports NHL video game.
  • Cherry picking (or loafing) - When a player stays near their opponent's defensive zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway.
  • Chiclets - Teeth
  • Chip – Shooting puck off the boards. The purpose could be to merely clear the puck out of the zone or passing maneuver to the open space.
  • Chirp, Chirping - The act of mocking another player, referee, or fan. Primarily ridiculous and childlike remarks.
  • Clapper:  see slapshot.
  • Clipping - Hitting an opponent below the knees. A penalty.
  • Coast to coast – When a player skates all by himself all the way from their own defensive zone to the scoring chance.
  • Coincidental penalties - When both teams are assessed an equal number of penalties at the same time, usually on the same play or incident.
  • Cover 1 - When a team has one defenseman stay back and play high to slow down breakaways, allowing the other defensemen to play a more offensive role.
  • Crashing the net - Players head with full steam to the front of the net, usually with intentions of finding a rebound or loose puck. Also known as crashing the crease.
  • Crease - See goal crease.
  • Crossbar: the post that runs along the top of the net
  • Cross-checking - The act of checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands. A penalty.
  • Cycling - An offensive strategy that moves the puck along the boards in the offensive zone to create a scoring chance by making defenders tired or moving them out of position.
Ice Hockey Terms

D

  • Dangle - When a player does a series of dekes in a row to get around the opposing players.
  • Dasher - Shooting puck off the boards. The purpose could be to merely clear the puck out of the zone or passing maneuver to the open space.
  • Defenseman - One of two players that are positioned further back on the ice than the forwards.
  • Defender - a player in the act of defending against an opposing attack (not necessarily a defenseman).
  • Defensive zone - The defending team's zone; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
  • Deke - When a player handles the puck or their movements in such a manner as to fool the opponent into moving.
  • Delayed offside - If a player enters the attack zone ahead of the puck but does not touch it, the play is offsides but no whistle is blown immediately, thus creating a delayed offside.
  • Delayed penalty - When a penalty is called, the referee will raise his or her arm to indicate that one is being called, but if the team who committed the infraction is not in control of the puck, no whistle will occur until a player from that team touches the puck. This is called a delayed penalty.
  • Dirty (or filthy): used to describe an incredible deke or pass.
  • Dive - A dive is when a player embellishes contact made against him in order to draw a penalty. Could be a penalty for embellishment.
  • Dots (face-off dots), the area into which the referee drops the puck during a face off.
  • Drop pass - When a player passes the puck directly behind him to a teammate. If executed properly, the puck stops moving and the pass's receiver catches up to it. 
  • Dump and Chase – An offensive strategy used to get the puck over the opposing team’s blue line and into the corners where players can race to get it.
  • Duster: a player who doesn’t play much and “collects dust” on the bench

E

  • Egg - When the final score is zero.
  • Elbowing - The act of using an extended elbow or forearm to make contact with an opponent. A penalty.
  • Empty net goal - A goal scored when the opposing goalie is not on the ice.
  • Enforcer - A player who defends their teammates against violent members of the other team.
  • Even strength - Teams have an equal number of players (not necessarily five) on the ice.
  • Extra attacker - A player who jumps on the ice to substitute a goaltender (can be during the last minutes, when the team is trying to even the score or during delayed penalty).

F

  • Face-off - The method used to begin play at the beginning of a period or after a stoppage of play. The two teams line up in opposition to each other. One player from each team attempts to gain control of the puck after it is dropped by an official between their sticks onto a face-off spot on the ice.
  • Face-off specialist - A center whose primary skill is winning face-offs but (generally) provides very little else.
  • Face-off spot - One of nine painted circles on the ice where a face-off may occur. Two in each attacking/defending zone, two each near the corners of the neutral zone, and one at center ice.
  • Face wash - Intentionally rubbing the open palm of a glove in an opponent's face to annoy them.
  • Fan - A fan is when a player misses the puck when attempting to play or shoot it.
  • Fighting - When two or more players punch each other repeatedly. Fights are also called scraps, tussles, fisticuffs, and scuffles amongst other terms. Combatants are each assessed a major penalty, and results in a game misconduct in many leagues.
  • Fight strap - A strap inside the back of the jersey that loops through the belt, so that the jersey may not be pulled over a player's head during a fight.
  • Filthy: used to describe an incredible deke or pass
  • Fishbowl: a full-face shield
  • Fisticuffs - A fight.
  • Five on three (also called a two-man advantage) - when one team has had two players sent to the penalty box.
  • Five on four (Also called a one-man advantage) - when a team is short one player due to a penalty being incurred.
  • Five on five - When both teams have five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.
  • Five-hole - The hole between a goaltender's legs.
  • Flamingo: when a player lifts his leg to avoid blocking a shot
  • Flopper - A goalie prone to going down on the ice to stop pucks. The opposite of a 'Stand Up' goalie.
  • Flow - A term for long, flowing hair, popular among hockey players.
  • Forechecking - Checking in the offensive zone in order to gain control of the puck and set up a scoring opportunity.
  • Freezing the puck - The act of goaltender trapping the puck so it cannot be played.
  • Full strength - When both teams have five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.

G

  • Game Misconduct - A penalty that results in a player being ejected from the game. For statistical purposes, a player receiving a game misconduct is often credited with 10 or 20 penalty minutes.
  • Gap - Space between the opponent and the puck.
  • Garbage goal - A goal that takes little talent to score. Most such goals are scored from right in front of the net, often when the goaltender is out of position.
  • Gate - Penalty box
  • Geno (or Gino) - A goal
  • Goal - When the puck goes over the goal line in front of the net.
  • Goal crease - An area of the ice that extends from the goal line in front of the net, often shaped like a semicircle and painted in a different color.
  • Goal judge - An off-ice official who signals when a goal has been scored, usually by turning a red light on above the net.
  • Goal line - The line that extents from the post to the boards and if the puck crosses the line in front of the net it is a goal.
  • Goal line save - When the puck touches the goal line but does not cross it.
  • Goaltender - A player who plays in & around the goal (net), whose job it is to prevent the other team from scoring goals.
  • Gongshow: when a game that is getting out of control, could be from a lot of goals, a lot of fights or big hits
  • Goon - A general term for either an enforcer or a pest, depending on the situation.
  • Gordie Howe hat trick - A Gordie Howe hat trick is when one player scores a goal, gets an assist and gets into a fight all in the same game.
  • Go-ahead goal - A goal that puts one team ahead of another after the game has been tied.
  • Golden goal – Overtime game-winning goal in the finals (golden medal).
  • Grinder - A player valued more for hard work and checking skills, especially along the boards, than scoring ability, who often sets up goal opportunities for offensive players.
  • Grocery Stick - A fourth line player who sits on the bench where the forwards and defensemen split.
  • Gross Misconduct - A game misconduct penalty for gross unsportsmanlike conduct. Obsolete.
  • Guts of the Ice – The area of the ice between the face-off dots, over the entire length of the ice. 
Ice Hockey Terms

H

  • Hack - see slashing.
  • Half wall - Midway between the point and the corner along the board.
  • Handcuffed - When every scoring chance has been denied by the goalie or defender.
  • Hand pass - The act of passing the puck using one's hand. This is legal inside a team's defensive zone, but illegal in the neutral zone and attacking zone, even if the pass originates from another zone.
  • Hands: refers to a player who has good stickhandling and often dangles opposing players
  • Hash marks - The straight lines from the faceoff circles in front of both nets. Used to line up faceoffs.
  • Hat-trick - When one player scores three goals in one game. Fans often honor the player by throwing their hats onto the ice.
  • Head-butting - The act of deliberately hitting an opponent or directing the puck into the net when leading with one's head. Headbutting an opponent is a penalty, but headbutting the puck into the net results in no goal.
  • Head fake - A quick tilt of the head in one direction, followed by a quick move in the opposite direction to fool a defending opponent.
  • Headman the puck – When a player passes to a teammate that is ahead of them on the attack.
  • Healthy scratch - An uninjured player on the roster who does not dress for a game.  Only 20 players (22 in international competition) are allowed to dress for a game, players who are not going to play are considered scratches.
  • High stick (i) (high-sticking) - The act of hitting a player in the head or shoulders with a stick. A penalty (a single minor if no blood is drawn; a double minor if blood is drawn).
  • High stick (ii) - Contacting the puck with a stick that is raised above the shoulders. If the puck is subsequently contacted again by the offending player or a teammate before an opponent touches it, the play is blown dead. A goal scored as a result of a puck being contacted by an attacking player's stick raised above the crossbar shall be disallowed.
  • Hip check - Using the hip to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice.
  • Hit - a body check that "removes the opposing player from the puck."
  • Holding - The act of impeding an opponent by grabbing onto them. A penalty.
  • Holding the stick - The act of grabbing an opponent's stick. A penalty.
  • Home-ice advantage - The ability to make the last line change and having your own fans there for moral support.
  • Hooking - The act of impeding an opponent by placing the blade of a stick into their body. A penalty.
  • Hoser or Hose-head – A derogatory term.  Originated from the early days of hockey (before the invention of the Zamboni) when the losing team had to hose down the ice with water after the game.
  • The House – “The House” is the area from the goal posts to the face off dots to the tops of the circles. Defensively, we talk about “protecting the house”.  This is because this is the area from which most goals are scored. 
  • Howitzer - A very fast slap shot.

I

  • Icing - Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net or being able to be touched by an opposing player in their neutral or defensive zones. When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. In the NHL and many professional leagues, icing can be negated if a player from the team committing the icing touches the puck before a defender, in which case play continues (the linesman nearest the puck will indicate this with a "washout" signal). In many amateur leagues, the no-touch icing rule is used, meaning play stops as soon as the puck crosses the goal line. The NHL adopted a rule where the team that committed the infraction is unable to make a line change during the stoppage to discourage teams from icing the puck to "get a whistle" and change lines.
  • Ice Resurfacer (or Zamboni) - A vehicle that reconditions ice before play and between periods of a game to smooth out and clean the ice for optimal glide of both puck and skate. The biggest brand of ice resurfacer is Zamboni.
  • Interference - The act of impeding an opponent who does not control the puck. A penalty.
  • Intermission: A break in between each of the three periods.
  • Insurance goal - Any goal that is scored by the same team after the game-winning goal.
  • Iron cross - A strategy used by a team defending against a five-on-three advantage. The two defensemen, a forward, and the goaltender align themselves in a diamond shape so that imaginary lines drawn through the two defensemen and through the forward and goaltender form the shape of a cross. This is usually a highly defensive strategy, designed to kill off a penalty as safely as possible.

J

  • Jill - A jill is a simple device used to protect the pelvic area of a female ice hockey player.
  • Jock - A jock is a simple device used to protect the testicles of a male ice hockey player.
  • J Shot - A snap shot that is started in the form of the letter J.
  • Junction: the corner of the goal where the crossbar and post meets (also referred to as the “junk”)

K

  • Kicking (i) - The act of propelling the puck using the skates. A goal may not be scored by deliberately kicking a puck into the opposing team's net.
  • Kicking (ii) - The act of kicking an opposing player. A match penalty.
  • Kneeing - The act of making contact with an opposing player when leading with an outstretched knee. A penalty.
  • Kronwalled: a big hit a defenseman lays on a player attempting to carry the puck out of his zone, derived from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall who is famous for this type of hit.
Ice Hockey Terms

L

  • Laser - A hard, accurate shot.
  • Laying on the lumber - See Slashing.
  • Left wing - See Winger.
  • Left wing lock - The left wing lock is a defensive ice hockey strategy similar to the neutral zone trap. In the most basic form, once puck possession changes, the left wing moves back in line with the defensemen. Each defender (including the left winger) play a zone defense and are responsible for a third of the ice each. Since there are normally only two defensemen, this tactic helps to avoid odd man rushes.
  • Lettuce – A great head of hockey hair.  See also flow, salad.
  • Light the Lamp - To score a goal. A light above the net turns on when a goal is scored.
  • Limoges - To score an own goal, i.e.: when a defensive player scores into their own net.
  • Line - A combination of a specific left winger, center, and right winger. Most teams, for the sake of chemistry, maintain specific three-man lines for different situations.
  • Line brawl - A series of fights involving most, or all, players on the ice at the same time.
  • Line Change - During play, or after a whistle, a team may choose to switch out their forwards and/or their defensemen, in order to keep their players fresh, or to match certain players against certain opposing players.
  • Linesman - An official responsible for conducting most faceoffs and for calling off-side and icing infractions. Can call some penalties. Usually two linesmen on the ice during a game.
  • Lip lettuce: a mustache
  • Long change - In the second period, the goaltenders change ends, meaning that the players' bench is closer to the offensive zone rather than the defensive zone. The "long change" can be a factor when a tired line is stuck in the defensive zone and cannot come off due to the increased distance to the bench.
  • Lighting a candle - Hitting someone so hard that they fall over.
  • Lumber: a hockey stick, derived from when sticks were made of wood.

M

  • Man advantage - When one team is penalized, and one of its players sent to the penalty box, the second team maintains a man advantage for the duration of the penalty (Major penalty) or until a goal is scored (Minor penalty). If two penalties are called on one team there will be a two-man advantage. If more than two penalties are called on one team the man advantage is limited to two men.
  • Major penalty - A five-minute penalty
  • Man On - A warning from teammates to a player that an opposing player (that he may be unaware of) is near him. Usually given in loose puck situations.
  • Match penalty - a five-minute penalty that includes automatic expulsion from the game and, depending on the league, possibly subsequent games. Often called for attempts to deliberately injure an opponent, official or fan.
  • Meat Wagon - If a players only skill is fighting/hitting, they are a meat wagon.
  • Michigan - also called a "high wrap," or simply the "lacrosse move," the maneuver of lifting the puck with the stick and throwing it under the top corner of the goal, while skating behind the net, while the goaltender protects the bottom corner.
  • Minor penalty - A two-minute penalty.
  • Misconduct - A penalty where the offending player is ruled off the ice for 10 minutes, but may be substituted for on the ice. See also game misconduct, gross misconduct
  • Mitts – A player’s hands or gloves. Gordie Howe was known to have large mitts (hands), and he was not afraid to “drop the mitts” (fight).
  • Muffin - A shot that wavers in the air when traveling towards the goal, usually used in recognition of a goal that should have been stopped, or a bad shot.

N

  • Natural hat-trick - A player scores three goals successively in one period.
  • Net front presence - An offensive tactic of screening the opposing goaltender, looking to tip shots from farther out, and/or collecting rebounds from the goaltender.
  • Netminder - A goalie, see Goaltender.
  • Neutral zone - Area of the ice between the blue lines.
  • Neutral zone trap - A defensive strategy focused on preventing the opposing team from proceeding with the puck through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) and attempting to take the puck from the opposing team.

O

  • Odd-man rush - When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone.
  • ODR: an outdoor rink
  • Offensive zone - See Attacking zone.
  • Official - A person who regulates game play, either on or off the ice. See also: linesman, referee
  • Offsides – An offsides is called when a player precedes the puck into the offensive zone as indicated by the blue line. When an offside occurs, the referee stops play and the face off occurs outside the offensive zone.
  • Olympic Sheet – An NHL rink is 85′ x 200′. An Olympic rink (or sheet) is 100′ x 200′. International competitions are generally played on Olympic sheets.  This additional 15′ of width can have a dramatic effect on opening up faster play.
  • One-timer - The act of shooting the puck directly off a pass without playing the puck in any way.
  • Open ice hit: a big hit on that happens away from the boards 
  • Overtime - An extra session of play added on after the full regulation time has concluded in order to resolve a tie. The first team to score in overtime wins the game.
  • Open Net - When a player shoots the puck at the net with the goalie off the ice or out of position.
  • Own goal - The act of a team (usually unintentionally) shooting the puck into their own net instead of their opponent's. For statistical purposes, the last player on the opposing team to touch the puck is awarded the goal.
Ice Hockey Terms

P

  • Paddle - The wide portion above the blade of a goalie's stick.
  • Penalty box - The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty.
  • Penalty kill - See shorthanded. Also refers to lineups, tactics and play by a team during the shorthanded period. Icing is not enforced on a shorthanded team.
  • Penalty shot - A penalty shot is assessed when a defender is in extreme violation of a rule to prevent a scoring opportunity. Examples are tripping a breakaway opponent from behind, the throwing of a stick or use of hands on the puck by a defender other than the goalie. The offensive player is awarded an opportunity to take control of the puck at center ice and skate in on the defending goalie one on one in an attempt to score.
  • Pepper pot - Player with great speed and quickness.
  • Pest - A player known for agitating opposing players, usually through frequent hitting, sometimes of questionable legality.
  • Phantom Assist - Getting an assist point on the score sheet without doing the work by shouting out your number to the referee as they are giving the info to the score keeper.
  • Pillows - The goaltender's leg pads.
  • Pigeon: a player who can’t score on his own and relies on others to feed him the puck or pick up the garbage 
  • Pinch – A pinch is when a defenseman either (a) attempts to hold the offensive blue line when the opponent has the puck and is attempting to clear their zone, or (b) leaves the blue line and pushes further into the offensive zone to play the puck.  In both cases, the defenseman is making a gamble that he is going to win the puck battle, and thus improve his team’s chance of scoring.  The risk is that he loses, and the other team goes on the attack with an odd man rush.
  • Pipe: the goal post
  • Playmaker - (i) A fast player who usually has more assists than goals. A Playmaker has the speed and balance to make plays, and frequently relies on a sniper to finish them.
  • Playmaker - (ii) A player has three assists in one game.
  • Playoff beard - The superstitious practice of a hockey player not shaving off his facial hair during the playoffs, consequently growing a beard.
  • Plug: a useless player
  • Plumber – Similar to a Grinder.  Not the most skilled player, but a hard worker who will battle in the corners and in front of the net.
  • Plus-minus - A hockey statistic that can apply to a player or an offensive or defensive line indicating whether they were on the ice when the opposing team scored (a minus) or on the ice when their team scored (a plus). Goals scored when on a power-play or a penalty kill do not count for a player's plus or minus, respectively, unless a goal is scored while the scoring team is shorthanded.
  • The point - A player in the opponent's end zone at the junction of the blue line with the boards is said to be at the point.
  • Poke checking - Using the stick to poke the puck away from an opponent.
  • Pond hockey - A form of outdoor hockey similar to shinny. A fan might state that their team 'looks like they're playing pond hockey' if the players are not displaying the heart or concentration upon the game that their elite professional level demands.
  • Post-game handshake - A handshake between opposing players, who line up parallel to each other, at center ice, after a game. (In the NHL post-game handshakes are usually reserved until the end of a playoff series and are not a normal event during the regular season).
  • Power forward - A power forward is a large, muscular offensive player (6'0" - 6'5", 210 to 240 pounds), with the mobility to track a puck to the corners of the rink, the physical toughness required to dig it out, and the puck-handling skills to get it back to anyone in front of the net.
  • Power play - A power play occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other team as a result of penalties assessed to the shorthanded team.
  • Pull the goalie - Remove the goalie from the ice in order to temporarily replace them with an extra skater (attacker).
  • Pylon - A player who is easy to get around due to lack of speed or skill.

Q

  • Quarterback - Generally, an offensive defenseman that plays one of the points on the power play, and is adept at skating and handling the puck.
  • Quick whistle - A stoppage in play that occasionally occurs when an on-ice official view of the puck is obstructed while the puck is still moving or playable, but the official stops the play with a whistle.

R

  • Rearguard - A defenseman.
  • Rebound - A rebound occurs when the puck bounces off a goalie, a player, or the net (or occasionally, the back boards) after a shot on goal.
  • Red Line - The line denoting the middle of the ice surface, length-wise.
  • Referee - The official in charge of the game. Responsible for maintaining the flow of the game, calling penalties and starting and stopping play. Can be one or two referees on the ice during a game.
  • Referee's crease - The semi-circular area at the red line, beside the scorer's bench, into which a player may not enter when occupied by a referee (during a stoppage of play).
  • Rhombus - The rounded corners of the rink behind the goal line.
  • Riding the pine - A player confined to the bench (commonly pine) by a coach due to unsatisfactory performance. Also known as benched.
  • Rink - The playing surface.
  • Ripple the twine - Scoring a goal.
  • Right wing - See Winger.
  • Rocked - Big hit
  • Rockpile - A Rookie.
  • Roughing - The act of contacting an opponent with the hand or fist when making a punching motion. A penalty.

S

  • Salad – Beautiful hockey hair.  See also flow, lettuce.
  • Saucer pass - An airborne pass from one player to another. It’s a low lob pass, barely off the ice but high enough to clear a defender's stick blade. It is called a saucer pass because the puck resembles a flying saucer in mid-air.
  • Save - To stop the puck from crossing the goal line, preventing the opposing team from scoring a goal.
  • Scoop: a flying accurate shot Stroke: a straight quick goal
  • Scoring chance - An attempt or chance for a team or player to score a goal.
  • Screened shot - A shot that the goaltender cannot see due to other players obscuring it.
  • Shaft - The long part of the stick that is straight and is held by the player.
  • Shift - The period of time a player, line or defensive pairing is on the ice before being replaced by another.
  • Shorthanded - A team is said to be shorthanded when they have fewer players on the ice than the opposing team as a result of a penalty or penalties.
  • Shortie - A goal scored by a team that is shorthanded.
  • Shortside - The side of the goal closest to the shooter.
  • Shot on goal - A shot that will enter the goal if it is not stopped by the goaltender. Shots that either hit the side of the net or miss the goal completely do not count as shots on goal, nor do shots that hit a goalpost or crossbar and do not cross the goal line. Similarly, shots that are stopped or otherwise played by the goalie that would not have scored are not counted as shots on goal.
  • Shootout - See penalty shot. A series of penalty shots by both teams to determine the winning team after a regulation game and overtime period ends in a tie. In the NHL this occurs only during the regular season.
  • The Show - The NHL.
  • Shutdown player - A player skilled at defensive play.
  • Shutdown pair - Two forwards or defensemen working together, fundamentally to stop the opposing team's offense players.
  • Shutout - When a goaltender allows no goals in a game
  • Sieve - A goalie who lets in too many goals is said to “leak like a sieve”, referring to the perforated cooking instrument used to strain pasta.
  • Silky: used to describe a smooth occurrence such as a play or a player’s hands 
  • Sin bin - The penalty box.
  • Skatemill - A device for practicing skating techniques
  • Skater - Any player who is not a goaltender.
  • Slapshot - A slapshot is a hard shot, usually with a big wind up, wherein the player bends their stick on the ice and allows the energy stored in bending the stick to launch the puck forward.
  • Slashing - The act of contacting an opponent's body or stick with one's own as a result of a swinging motion. A penalty.
  • Slew foot - Sweeping or kicking out a player's skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards. A match penalty.
  • Slot - Slot is the area on the hockey rink directly in front of the goaltender between the face-off circles on each side.
  • Slow whistle - When an official is slow to blow their whistle compared to when the whistle would be blown under similar circumstances.
  • Snap shot - The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and the slap shot (puck speed). Unlike a slap shot, there is no backswing windup, and very little follow through.
  • Snipe: a perfectly placed shot
  • Sniper - A player with a powerful, accurate shot skilled at finishing plays. From the military term of the same name.
  • Snow shower - The act of stopping quickly right near the goaltender when he's already frozen the puck that results in ice shavings being sprayed into the goalie's face through the mask. It can result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Spearing - The act of jabbing an opponent with the blade of the stick. A double-minor penalty at minimum.
  • Special teams - A collective term for the players that play on the power play and shorthanded units.
  • Spin-o-rama - Player completing several tight circle with the puck fully under control of their stick, eluding pursuing opponents who cannot keep up or intercept the player. Currently banned in shootouts in the NHL.
  • Split the D - When an offensive player confuses or outmaneuvers two defensemen in order to get between them.
  • Stack the pads - A save wherein the goaltender drops to one side and makes the save with their leg pads stacked horizontally atop one another.
  • Stand on their head - A goalie who plays extremely well and keeps their team from losing when they have not played well is said to have stood on their head.
  • Standup goalie - A goalie that often stays on their skates when a player shoots, as opposed to a butterfly goalie.
  • Stay-at-home defenseman - A defenseman who plays very defensively. They do not skate with the puck toward the offensive zone very often, but will look to pass first. Usually the last player to leave their defensive zone.
  • Stick checking - Using the stick to interfere with an opponent's stick.
  • Stickhandling - The act of controlling the puck with one's stick, especially while maneuvering through opponents.
  • Stoned - Made a great save.
  • Stripes - Another word for referee.
  • Strong Side/Weak Side – The strong side is the side of the ice where the puck (and most of the players) are located.  The weak side is the other side. 
  • Suicide pass - A long pass to a moving teammate's feet. This causes the teammate to look down and be open to a devastating body check as the teammate receives the puck.
  • Sunburn - When a goal is scored, and the light behind the goaltender is lit up, it is said that the goalie got 'sunburned.' Also used when a goaltender has allowed too many goals (i.e. Our goaltender is getting sunburned tonight).
  • Sweater: a hockey jersey
  • Sweep checking - Using the stick in a sweeping motion to knock the puck away from an opponent or deter him from passing.
Ice Hockey Terms

T

  • Tag up - The act of returning to the neutral zone after a delayed offside is signaled by the linesman.
  • Tape to tape: a pass that perfectly lands on your teammate’s blade
  • Tarp - See jerseys
  • Tendy - goalie/goaltender
  • Throwing their stick - when a player throws their stick, usually to another player when that player's stick breaks.
  • Tic-tac-toe: refers to a quick passing play that results in a goal
  • Tilt – fight
  • Top Cheese/Top Cheddar – A shot that scores in the top of the net, either off or just below the crossbar.
  • Toe drag - Dragging the puck along the ice with the end (toe) of the stick blade on the ice as opposed to pushing with the bottom edge.
  • Top cookies: top shelf (where grandma hides the cookies)
  • Top shelf - The upper area of the goal, just below the crossbar and above the goaltender's shoulders.
  • Trap - Also called the "neutral zone trap", is a defensive-style hockey strategy in which a team loads up the neutral zone with players so that the opposing team has a difficult time crossing the blue line and gaining the zone.
  • Trapezoid - In the NHL, the trapezoidal area behind the goal line and net where the goaltender may touch the puck. A minor penalty (delay of game) is assessed if the goaltender plays the puck behind the goal line outside of the trapezoid.
  • Trapper - See Catching glove.
  • Tripping - The act of knocking an opponent down by taking their feet out from under them using a stick or part of the body. A penalty.
  • Trolley tracks - Two 'lanes' in the neutral zone, located midway between the center face-off dot and the boards, spanning from blue line to blue line.
  • Turnbuckle - The area on both ends of a bench where the edge of the glass is padded and meets the boards at a right angle. Players have been checked into the turnbuckles causing serious injury. The NHL has replaced this with rounded corners as a safer alternative.
  • Turnover: Losing control of the puck to the opposing team.
  • Turtle: when a player completely covers himself up as to not be involved in a fight
  • Twig - Another name for a hockey stick.
  • Two-way forward - A forward who handles the defensive aspects of the game as well as the offensive aspects.

U

  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct - An action of a player that results in a 2-minute minor penalty deemed by the referee to be a minor act not severe enough to warrant a 10-minute misconduct or game misconduct.

V

  • Video goal judge - An off-ice official who reviews a goal by video instant replay.

W

  • Waffle - The goalie's blocker.
  • Waffle-boarding - A quick save with the goalie's blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion.
  • War room - In the NHL, an office in Toronto headquarters where games are viewed and reviewed.
  • Wave off – When a stoppage of play is about to occur, the referee may decide to continue play by “waving off” the stoppage.  Examples include icing and offsides.
  • Wheel - Typically referred to when there is time and space to skate with the puck, sometimes is said to tell someone to skate faster.
  • Wheelhouse - The area immediately at a player's feet and in line with the player's shoulders, which is the optimum puck location for a player to get the most power from a slapshot.
  • Wholesale Change - A team may, during play or after a whistle, choose to switch out their forwards or defenseman. A wholesale change is when all 5 players (3 forwards and 2 defenseman) are changed at the same time. (See Line Change).
  • Winger - A winger is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side.
  • Wraparound - when an attacking player controls the puck behind the opposition's net and attempts to score by reaching around the side of the net.
  • Wrist shot - A type of shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick.

Y

  • Yard Sale - When a player gets hit so hard that they lose equipment, usually a helmet, gloves, and/or stick. Alternatively, refers to the scene on ice after a line brawl (see above) leaving gloves, sticks, and helmets on the ice.

Z

  • Zamboni - A popular brand of ice resurfacer.
  • Zebra - Another word for referee.
  • Zone - One of three areas of the ice as divided by the blue lines. See attacking zone, neutral zone or defensive zone

0-9

  • 1-man advantage – see five on four.
  • 2-man advantage – see five on three.
  • 2-on-1 – seeodd man rush.
  • 3-on-2 – see odd man rush.
  • 500 (or .500) - is an even percentage, usually referring to a team's overall record when their number of wins equals their number of regulation losses.
  • 5-on-3 – see five on three.
  • 5-on-4 – see five on four.
  • 5-on-5 – see full strength.

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Sources: Wikipedia, flohockey.tv, lakelandhockey.org

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