An A-Z of Ice Hockey Terminology: Part 1 (A-M)

Like with every other sport, there is a unique culture that surrounds Ice Hockey. Those who are involved in the sport, from the players to the fans, create a community that is as dedicated to their sport as any in the world.

As a result of this relationship, a unique corresponding ‘hockey slang’ has developed between players and fans to describe hockey-specific things and events that take place during a game.

In this glossary of must-know ice hockey slang, you will find some of the most common terminology used in the sport, starting from A to M;


A –

Attacking Zone: The opposing team’s end of the ice; it extends from the blue line to the end boards and is where the opponent’s goal is located.


Body Checking: Using the hip or body to deliberately obstruct an opposing player, sometimes against the boards or to the ice. Body Checking is illegal in the women’s game.


C –

Crease: A 4 by 8 foot area in front of each goal in which opposing players may not stand, unless they have the puck.

D –

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, then no whistle will be blown until a player from the offending team controls the puck. In this situation, the other team will usually exchange their goalie for an extra skater to increase their chances of scoring before the penalty is called.

E –

Elbowing: The act of using an extended elbow or forearm to make contact with an opponent. A minor penalty is called when a player strikes an opponent with their elbow/forearm.

F –

Faceoff: 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.


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.

H –

High Stick: A minor penalty called when a player carries their stick above their shoulder, or hits an opponent with it, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

I –

Iron Cross: A strategy used by a team defending against a five-on-three advantage. The two defencemen, a forward, and the goaltender align themselves in a diamond shape so that imaginary lines drawn through the two defencemen 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 –

Jock: A jock is a simple device that is used to protect the pelvic area of a male ice hockey player.

K –

Kick Shot: The act of propelling the puck using the skates. A goal may not be scored by kicking a puck into the opposing team’s net.

L –

Line Change: During play, or after a whistle, a team may choose to switch out their forwards and/or their defencemen, in order to keep their players fresh, or to match certain players against certain opposing players.


M –

Man Advantage: When one team is penalised, and one of its players is sent to ‘the sin bin’, the second team maintains a man advantage for the duration of the penalty (for a major penalty) or until a goal is scored (for a 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.





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