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.





Ice Hockey 101: A Beginner’s Guide

In recent years, ice hockey has rapidly increased in popularity throughout the UK. As the sport has grown and developed, so too has its British fan-base.

From its family friendly atmosphere to its blistering pace and action-packed style, ice hockey has built a loyal UK following and continually draws new admirers to the sport.

With the game growing at a great rate, more and more people are looking to get involved, that be by going to watch their local team for the first team, or by actually learning to play themselves.

If you are one of the many people who want to dive into ice hockey, then this beginners guide is the perfect place for you to brush-up on your knowledge of one of the world’s most exciting sports;

The Basics:

Ice hockey is fast and furious. It’s a full contact sport which demands pace, agility, poise, vision and finesse from its players.

Ice hockey is played with six players (five skaters and one goaltender) from each team on the ice at any one time, with unlimited substitutions. The aim; to score more goals than your opponent by firing a puck into their net.

Players use specialist equipment including skates, helmet (with visor or cage), mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, shin pads, hockey socks, a hockey jersey and of course, a hockey stick.


The Team:

Generally, each team carries between 15 to 20 players in their roster. Of these players, only one goaltender, two defenceman and three forwards are allowed on the ice at any one time.

Ice Hockey Positions.png


An ice hockey game consists of three twenty minute periods with two fifteen minute intervals between them.

If a game is drawn after 60 minutes, then a five minute overtime period is played. If no goals are scored during overtime, a penalty shootout will be played to determine a winner.

The Game:

If a player is penalised for an offence, they are sent to the penalty box (‘the sin bin’) for a set number of minutes.

There are two types of penalties in ice hockey; minors and majors. Minor penalties are usually two minutes, with major penalties usually being five minutes.

When a team gets a penalty against them, they play a man down and are said to be on the ‘penalty kill’, with the opposing team on the ‘powerplay’. If the team on the ‘powerplay’ scores; then the penalty is immediately cancelled and the offending player returns to the ice (this only applies to minor penalties).

The Offside Rule:

The puck must pass into the offensive zone before a player of the attacking team does, otherwise the team is offside.



When a player on his own side of the centre red line shoots the puck past the opposite goal line without it being deflected, touching a player or passing through the blue goal crease.


It is well known that, during an ice hockey match, players sometimes disagree and fancy a little scrap. When this takes place, the players involved receive a penalty for fighting (which is usually five minutes, a major penalty) and cannot participate in the game during this penalty. However, their respective teams do not lose a player because of the fight.