Glossary of terms: Game Specific


- A -

Altercation: Any physical contact between two or more players that results in a penalty (or penalties) being assessed.


Aggressive Play: The action of an opposition player or teammates to apply high pressure through either physical contact or stick action to force a turnover of the puck or to draw a penalty.


Angling: A skating pattern in which a checking  player moves towards either the puck carrier or opposing player on an angle which forces the player to move in the direction that the checking player intends.


Area Pass: Passing the puck to an area where no receiver is presently occupying but is in the process of skating to that area.


Assist: An assist is credited to a player who sets up a goal. An assist is awarded to the last man or the last two men to touch the puck before the goal is scored. There is a maximum of two assists awarded per goal.


Attack Triangle: Any offensive formation which creates a triangular formation, therefore providing the puck carrier with two passing options; either forward/backward or lateral thus enabling the offensive team to create width and depth in their attack.


Attacking Zone: When your team is on the attack, your attacking zone is between your opponent’s blue-line and goal-line.


- B -

Back Check: Forwards in their offensive zone skate back quickly to their own defensive zone to protect their goal and keep their opponent from scoring.  


Back Door: A pass or play that is made to the far side of the net relative to puck position and to the back side of the goal-tender (off the back side post).


Backman/Back Side Pass: A pass back, in the direction of your own zone in order to maintain puck control.


Balanced Defense: Balance implies defensive alignments that maintain adequate width and depth to counteract triangulation. It requires defensive players to read the offensive pressure and adjust their positions accordingly to provide coverage in the area of the puck as well as in the areas where the puck may be moved.


Blocker: Specific to the goal-tender. The glove that goes on the hand that holds the stick.


Blocker Side: The action of directing the puck to the same side as the goal-tender’s blocker.


Blue Line: Two lines running across the width of the rink, one on either side of the center red line.


Boarding: Violently checking an opponent into the boards from behind or from the side using excess force. The action of boarding constitutes a minor penalty.


Boards: The wall around a hockey rink.


Body Check:  A body check is the action of using your body against an opposition player in possession of the puck. A legal body check must be performed above an opponent’s knees and below the neck using either the hip or the shoulder. A player initiating a body check cannot utilize more than 3 steps or strides to execute the check. Unnecessary roughness will constitute a penalty.


Border-Line Call: A questionable penalty call made by the official that could have been interpreted as a legal action.


Bounce Of The Puck: Slang. Denotes the action of the puck bouncing or careening in an unpredictable manner.


Box: A defensive alignment where two players occupy the top zone defensive positions and two players occupy bottom defensive zone positions. Most often used when penalty killing and is described most often as a 2 – 2 defensive system.


Breakaway: A player in control of the puck has a breakaway when a clear lane to the net exists and the only opponent between him/her and the opposition’s goal is the opposition’s goal tender.


Breakout: The play used by the attacking team to move the puck out of it’s own end of the rink and up the ice towards the opposition’ s net.


Butt Ending: Using the top end of the shaft to stab at an opponent player.


- C -

Carry the Play: When a team is maintaining a greater percentage of puck possession and scoring opportunities.


Catcher: Specific to the goaltender. This is the glove used to catch to puck and goes on the non-stick hand.


Center: Traditionally, it is the player that plays between the left and right wings. In modern day hockey it is the player that occupies the center lane of the ice (seam) or takes the faceoffs on a stoppage of play.


Changing on the fly: When players from the ice surface change or substitute with players on the bench without a stoppage of the play (while the clock is running).


Charging: Taking more than three strides before deliberately body checking an opponent. This action will be assessed a penalty by the official.


Clearing the puck: The action of passing, knocking, kicking or shooting the puck away from the front of the net or other area.


Clearing the zone: The action of passing, knocking, kicking or shooting the puck out of the defensive zone either out of the playing area (over the glass or boards) or over the defensive blueline.


Close Coverage: Defensive hockey term wherein the defensive player players plays close or tight to an offensive player either with or without the puck.


Closing the Gap: The action of the a defensive player moving towards an opposition player. For a defenseman, it is the action of adjusting the speed and skating pattern so the distance between the defensemen and the opposition players is lessened.


Clutch and Grap: The use of gloves/hands to impede the movement of an opposition player by “clutching/grabbing” the arm, jersey or stick.


Coach: A coach is a person primarily responsible for directing and guiding team play. Along with the team manager, he/she is responsible for the conduct the team’s players before, during and after a game.


Commit: The degree of puck control by the offensive player will determine whether the defender pressures the player (commits) or stalls/hesitates (contains). To “commit” is the final action of a defensive player on a particular play. This includes the action of the goal tender who may “commit” to a shot or deke by the puck carrier.


Contain/s: The action of a defensive player/s to stall/hesitate before committing completely to an offensive player/s so as to eliminate an attack lane and “contain” the player/s within a particular zone or area.


Concentration of Attack: Any action or movement in a confined area which creates an offensive numerical attack.


Control Skating: Varying your speed and route to the potential pass reception area so that you arrive there with speed at the moment of the pass.


Crash the Net: The act of one or more offensive players attacking the net after shooting the puck into the crease or at the goal-tender.


Crease (Goal-tender): The semi-circular area in front of each goal is called the crease. The goal crease is designed to protect the goal tender from interference by attacking players.


Crease (Referee): The semi-circular area in front of the penalty time-keeper’s box is for the use of the referee.


Creation of Time and Space: Using technical skills such as skating, passing, puck control skills and applying concepts like stretching, support, overlapping, width and depth, etc.


Cross: Two offensive players exchange positions to accomplish isolation and force a decision by a defender.


Cross and Drop: One player crosses in front of his teammate and leaves the puck so that it lies still for his partner to retrieve.


Cross Checking: Hitting an opponent with the shaft of this stick while both hands are on the stick and no part of the stick is on the ice.


Cycling: A balanced rotation of players in the offensive zone to maintain puck control and create offensive options.


- D -


Defending zone: When the other team is on the attack, the defending zone is in the area between your goal line and your blue line.


Defensemen: The term defensemen is assigned to two players who usually play on the backside of the play who primary responsibility is to stop the offensive forwards from scoring and act as a last line of defense between the offensive players and the goal-tender.


Defensive Side: Establishing a position between an opposition and the net.


Deflection: The action of re-directing a shot headed towards the net or wide of the net.


Deke: The act of faking an opponent (player or goaltender)  out of position through stick/puck movement.


Delay and Pass: A situation where a forward with the puck in the process of attacking the opposing goal delays his thrust towards the net by turning towards the boards and looks to pass to a teammate who is coming into the zone late as part of the second wave of attack.


Delay of Game: The is called when a player purposely delays the game through either; intentionally shooting the puck over the glass (goal-tender), knocking the goal off its moorings in an effort to stop a goal from being scored or by freezing the puck to get a stoppage of play without any checking pressure.


Delayed off-side: In this situation, an attacking player has preceded the puck into the offensive zone (normally a case for off-side), but the defending team has gained possession of the puck and can bring it out of their defensive zone without any delay or contact with an opposing player.  


Depth: Is a term used most often to describe offensive attack situations (can be used to describe defensive player alignments/tactics) that deals specifically with the vertical distance between the puck carriers and/or receivers. The objective of this tactic is to open up horizontal lanes of attack above or below the puck by forcing the defending players to adjust their gap by adjusting body position opposite to the flow of attack.


Diamond: A defensive alignment most often used by a team defending against a power play and is denoted as a 1-2-1 system.


Directing the puck: Changing the course of the puck in a desired direction through either the use of the stick, skate, body or stick.


Dive: When a player embellishes a hook or trip in order to try and draw a penalty.


Down Low: The area around the net or  below the goal-line.


Driving to the Net: Either the player with the puck or another player without the puck skates as hard as possible toward the net during attacks. This places great pressure on the opponent’s defenders.


Dump and Chase: Describes an offensive strategy of dumping the puck into the offensive zone and then pursing it by skating aggressively to take away time and space that the opposing team has to make a passing or outlet decision.


- E -

Effective Attack: Offensive unit has success deploying a certain offensive tactic against the opposition defensive unit.


Elbowing: Using the elbow to impede or disrupt an opponent.


Empty Net Goal: A goal scored against an opponent that has pulled their goal-tender.


Even Strength: Equal number of players on the ice from both teams. This can either be a three on three, four on four or five on five (excluding goaltenders).


- F -

Face-off: the action of an official dropping the puck between the sticks of two opposing players to start play. A face-off begins when the referee indicates its location and the officials take their appropriate positions and ends when the puck has been legally dropped.


Fast-break: Describes the offensive speed of attacking players moving the puck quickly up ice.


Fisticuffs: When a player throws a punch (closed fist) and makes contact.


Five-hole: The area between the goal-tenders pads when standing in the net.


Flat Line Skating: The skating action of either defensive or offensive players moving laterally from wall to wall across the lanes of the ice parallel to the bluelines.


Flat pass: A pass that remains on the surface of the ice.


Flex: Describes the bending action of the shaft upon impact with the ice. There are varying degrees of flex from soft to very stiff. Generally, the stronger the player the stiffer the flex.


Flip Pass: A pass where the puck is lifted so that it goes over an opponent or his stick.


Flushing: A tactic used by the team forechecking to force the puck carrier and passing options in a specific direction that they desire.


Force Outside: Any action by the defender to force the play to the outside away from the middle lane and prime scoring area.


Force Play: A defending player skates aggressively at or applies high pressure to an opposition player in control of the puck in order to force the puck carrier to pass or get rid of the puck.


Forecheck: Opposition players forecheck by hurrying into the opponent’s defensive zone to either keep the puck there or to take it away or, to pressure an opponent in order to prevent an offensive rush.


Forward: The players designated as wings and center are considered to be forwards.


Freezing the Puck: A player “freezes” the puck by holding it against the boards using either the stick or skates. The goal-tender freezes the puck by either holding it on the ice with either pad or glove or by holding it in the glove or by trapping it on his/her blocker or by kneeling on it with the leg pads.


Full Strength: A term used to describe when both teams are matched evenly with five skaters and one goal-tender.


- G -

G: An abbreviation for “goals” scored.


Game Suspension: When a player, coach or team official receives a game suspension, that person can not participate in the next scheduled game.


Gap: The space between an offensive player and a defensive player in a one on one situation.


Getting Open: Describes the action of an offensive player getting away from a defensive player so as to be a possible option for a pass.


Give and Go: An offensive tactic  where a  pass is made and then the offensive player aggressively skates to an open area to become an option for the player just passed to.


Goal-keeper: A goal-keeper is a person designated by a team who is permitted to wear special equipment and privileges t prevent the puck from entering the goal.


Good Receiving Angle: The optimum receiving angle occurs when the receiver is traveling parallel with the passer. Another good receiving angle occurs when the receiver is coming towards the passer. A bad passing angle would be where a receiver has to look over ones shoulder to receive the pass.


Goal: A goal is achieved when the puck passes completely over the goal line and enters the net legally.


Goal Judge: A goal judge sits behind each goal (off-ice) and signals when the puck has crossed the red goal line by turning on a red light above his station. The referee can ask the goal judge’s advice on disputed goals but the referee has final authority and can overrule the goal judge.


Goaltender: The goal-tender’s main job is to stop the puck from entering the net. The goal-tender is also know as the goalie, goalkeeper or netminder.


GP: An abbreviation for “games played”


Great One: None other than Wayne Gretzky


Grinder: A type of player known for his checking ability and work ethic; often associated with a player who is strong defensively who doesn’t score many points.


- H -


Hack: It is a slang term that is used to describe the action of a slashing a player with the heel end of a stick.


Hat Trick: A player who scores three goals in one game achieves a “hat trick”. A natural hat trick is when the same player scores three consecutive goals.


Head butting: The act of using the head while delivering a body check (head first) in the chest, head, neck or back area; or the act of using the head to strike an opponent. This is an offenseable action.


Headman Pass: Passing the puck quickly up ice to a player ahead of the puck in a better offensive position.


HECC: The Hockey Equipment Certification Council is an independent organization responsible for the development, evaluation, and testing of performance standards for protective ice hockey equipment.


High Stick: Making contact with the puck when carrying the stick above the shoulders.


High Sticking: Carrying the stick above the shoulder to use against an opponent. This action is a penalize able offense. Where accidental contact is made above the shoulders, a minor penalty is assessed. If an injury results, this offensive will result in the player being assessed a major (5 minutes) as well as an accompanying misconduct penalty (10 minutes).


Holding: Using your hands on an opponent in such as a way as to impede your opponent’s progress.


Hold-up: Describes the action of impeding the movement of an opposition player through use of body position or stick from getting to a particular area or zone. This action can be penalized as “obstruction” or “interference”.


Hooking: Applying the stick to any part of an opponent’s body or stick and pulling or tugging with the stick to disrupt or impede an opposition player.


Hustle: Describes the action of working very hard by a player or group of players in pursuit of the puck or check.


- I -

Icing: An infraction called when a player shoots the puck from his side of the red line across the opponent’s goal line. Play is stopped when an opponent (other than the goal-tender) touches the puck. The face-off is held in the offending team’s end of the ice. A team that is short handed can ice the puck without being penalized.


Indirect pass: A pass off the boards, glass or around the boards or glass.


Individual Skills: Denotes all hockey fundamentals necessary to play the game from passing/receiving, shooting, pass/receiving, stick/puck handling, checking/hitting, and skating so as to maintain effective puck control.


Injury Potential Penalties: Injury potential injuries include butt ending, checking from behind, spearing, head butting, boarding, charging, cross-checking, elbowing, kneeing, high sticking, slashing, roughing and holding the mask. A linesman is allowed to call these infractions occurring behind the play to the referee (following the next stoppage of play) if the referee did not see them.


In-line Hockey: Hockey played on “in-line” skates.


Interference: Making body contact with an opponent who does not have possession of the puck. Interference can be called on a player who is standing in the crease and/or interfering with the goal-tender’s ability to stop the puck.


Illegal Equipment: Any equipment that is deemed inappropriate for game play by the country’s, leagues governing body. In Canada it is the CSA and in the U.S.A it is the HECC.


Illegal Goal: When the puck enters the net either; after a whistled stoppage of play, after the legal limit of the game  has expired (sound of the buzzer), by directing the puck into the net intentionally with a skate or glove, directing the puck into the net with a high stick or, off an official.


Illegal Stick: Any stick that is deemed inappropriate for game play specific to the guidelines set out by the leagues governing body. This may or may not include: Blade curvature, blade length, blade width, shaft length and stick composition.


Inside Out: The movement of a puck or player relative to the seam (center lane of the ice surface running vertically down the length of the rink). Inside out is moving outwards away from the seam.


- J -

Jump: The action of a offensive player to aggressively attack up ice to join the offensive attack.


Jab: The moderate action of “stabbing” at an opponent with the end or tip of the blade.


- K -

Kneeing: Using the knee in an effort to impede or foul an opponent.


Knuckler: A slang term to describe the action of a puck flipping over end to end, either the result of bad shot execution or deflection off of a stick or player, on net.


- L -

Lane: A passing lane is an open route between the passer and receiver. A specific section of the ice can be designated as a lane of attack or an open lane.


Last Play Face-Off: The location at which the puck was last legally played by a player or goalkeeper immediately prior to a stoppage of play.


Last Man: Used to describe the last defensive player closed to the goaltender that is carrying the puck and in the event of a turnover,  gives the  opposition player a “break-a-way”.


Lateral Feed: An offensive tactic whereby the puck carrier maintains possession after a cross to make a lateral pass.


Lazy Play: A term used to described a lack of effort by either an offensive player or defensive player when making a play.


Lead Pass: Moving the puck  to a player ahead of the puck in a better offensive position.


Left wing: A term used to describe a forward playing on the left side of the ice relative to the defensive goal-tender.


Left-wing-lock: Is a tactic where the left winger rarely forechecks inside the defensive zone but stays back in a high left side lane position to help out defensively.


Linesman: Two linesmen are used to call offside, offside passes, icing, and handle al face0ffs not occurring at center ice. They can call potential injury infractions behind the play that the referee does not see. Another primary responsibility is to break up fighting altercations that break out between  players.


Locking On: Identifying a person to cover and staying with that player tightly in a one-on-one fashion.


Losing Control: A player in an altercation that is becoming overly aggressive to the point that further physical action will happen.


Low Shot: A shot directed at the bottom area of the net.


- M -

Maintain Depth: Keeping maximum distance between supporting players in a vertical sense (up ice or back side).


Maintain Width: Keeping maximum distance between supporting players in a lateral sense (across ice).


Manage Ice:  Using the space within a player’s territorial responsibilities effectively.


Man Advantage: Having a one, two or three (goal-tender pulled) player advantage (on the power play) because the opposing team has been assessed one or two penalties.


Man Down (1): A slang term that describes an injured player on the ice where the play is called and the player needs bench assistance from the team trainer.


Man Down (2): Having a one or two player disadvantage (short-handed) because your team has been assessed one or more penalties.


Man-to-Man Coverage: Each defensive player is responsible for an identified offensive player.


Marked Man: A slang term used to describe a player on the opposite team that who is “marked” for retribution from a previous altercation.


- N -

Near Side: The hockey ice is divided into 3 lanes that run up and down the length of the ice from one end to the other. The lane closest to the puck is called the near side.


Neutral Zone: Is the area or zone designated between the two bluelines.


Numerical Advantage: Good support can contribute to the pressure applied on the defense by creating numerical advantage and outnumbering the defenders in a confined area.


- O -

Off-Ice  (Minor) Official: officials appointed to assist in the conduct of the game including the official scorer, game time keeper, penalty time keeper and goal-judges. The referee has supervision of the game and full control over all game officials and in the case of a dispute the referee’s decision shall be final.


Offside: A team is offside when a player crosses the attacking blueline before the puck does. A face-off then takes place just outside that blue line (in the offending player’s defensive zone). The determining factor in most offside situations is the position of the skates; both skates must be completely over the blueline ahead of the blueline ahead of the puck for the play to be offside.


Offside Pass: An offside pass (also known as a “two-line” pass) occurs when a member os the attacking team passes the puck from behind his own defending blue line to a teammate across the center red line. If the puck precedes the player across the red line, the pass is legal. Also, an attacking player may pass th  puck over the center red line and the attacking blue line if the puck precedes that teammate across the blue line. The face-off after an offside pass takes place at the spot where the pass originated.


One-Timer: The act of shooting the puck immediately upon receiving it without stopping it first.


One Touch Pass: The act to shoot or pass the puck off the pass without stopping it first.


Option More Than Once: Continually offer offensive support to the puck carrier. Thus, if you don’t receive the pass in the first potential pass reception area, visualize another reception area and work to arrive on time.  


Outside In: The movement of a puck or player relative to the seam (center lane of the ice surface running vertically down the length of the rink). Outside In is the movement inwards towards the seam.


Overlap: An overlap occurs when either a defensive player or an offensive player unnecessarily occupies the same ice as a team mate. This is evident when two players check the same puck carrier without knowing that the other is there.


Overlapping: Having one player skate through an area, hopefully clearing out the opposing checking players and then having a second player into the recently vacated area. The most common example of this is cycling in the corner of the offensive zone.


Overplay (1): A defensive player intentionally plays tighter on a player than normally in order to take away time and space. Similarly, an offensive player can also overplay a situation or an area in order to take a calculated risk to heighten the pressure on a defensive team.


Overplay (2): The action of passing the puck laterally across the seam to the wide side of ice.


- P -

Pass and Follow: A tactical application of passing whereby the player who passes the puck skates behind the receiver of the pass.


Penalty: A penalty is the result of an infraction of the rules by a player or team official.  A penalty usually results in the removal of the offending player (or team official) for a specified period of time. In some cases, the penalty may be the awarding of a penalty shot on goal or the actual awarding of a goal.


Penalty Killing: when a team is short handed and attempts to prevent the opposition from scoring, this activity is known


Penalty-killing unit: The group of  players brought onto the ice surface to defend against a power play unit.


Penalty Shot: A penalty shot is awarded to an offensive player who – on a breakaway – is illegally checked or impeded. The puck is placed at the center face-off spot, and the player has a free opportunity to try and score on the opposing goal-tender with no other defenders to impede him/her except the goal-tender. A penalty shot is awarded when a puck carrier is pulled down or tripped from behind and denied a breakaway scoring opportunity, the goaltender displaces the goal post during the course of a breakaway or when a defensive player falls on and holds the puck in his/her own crease.


Picking: To interfere with an opposing defender in an effort to create space for a teammate.


PIM: An abbreviation for accumulated “penalties in minutes”.


Pinning Technique: The defensive technique utilized to pin or secure an opponent against the boards.


Pipe: The pipe is the goal post and if you put the puck between the “pipes” you score a goal.


Player: Member of a team physically participating in a game.


Plus/Minus:  A statistic used to analyze the differential between the goals/points scored for and the goals allowed against. Designated as (+) or (-).  For example; a player may be on the ice for 2 goals for but has been on the ice for 3 goals against. He/she would then have a “plus/minus” of -1.


Pocket: A slang term used to denote the slot. Getting open for a pass in the “sweet” spot in the slot – between the hash marks.


Point: The is the area just inside the opposition blueline close to the boards on either side of the rink.


Poke Check: Trying to knock the puck away from an opponent by stabbing at it with the blade of the stick.


Possession and Control of the Puck: The last player or goalkeeper to make contact with the puck and who also propels the puck in the desired direction.


Possession of the Puck: The last player or goal tender to make contact with the puck is the one who possession. This definition includes a puck that is deflected off a player or any part of his equipment.


Potential Pass Reception Area: An area on the ice which a passer and receiver visualize as a possible location for a pass completion.


Power Forward: A player that utilizes skating skill, size and/or strength to aggressively check opposition players and/or consistently drives to the net.


Power Play: When a team has more players on the ice than the opposition due to one or more penalties against the opposing team.


Pressure (Defense): Defensive speed creates pressure on the offensive players. This results in reducing the time and space available to the attackers.


Pressure (Offense): Quick player and/or puck movement which causes the defense to react more quickly than they may be capable of doing.


Progression Practices: When teaching a skill or concept in progression, begin by demonstrating the entire drill. Then slowly have the players execute one component of the drill (allowing them to gain confidence and use proper technique). Gradually, accelerate the players to a higher tempo, more complex components. Once the skills have been mastered, encourage execution of the complete drill at top speed. The final stage of the drill is to design game situations (with resistance) where players need to execute the new drill.


Protective Equipment: Equipment worn by players for the sole purpose of protecting them from injury according to governing body guidelines and specifications.


Puck Control: Involves a variety of skills such as basic stickhandling, dekes or fakes, puck protection, etc.


Pulling the Goalie: Removing the goal-tender from the ice in order to gain an extra attacker. This is usually done when a delayed penalty is being called or when a team is losing late in a game.


Pts: An abbreviation for “total points”.


Pulling of the Goalie: A team that is losing will sometimes take their own goaltender off the ice for an extra attacker. See “pulling the goalie”.


- Q -

Quick Up:  Moving the puck quickly up ice to an available receiver. Usually describes the action of  a defenseman moving the puck quickly up ice to an available forward off a breakout play.


Quiet Zone/Dead Zone:  Space in the corners and behind the net in the offensive zone which is generally uncovered. These can be used when under pressure to maintain puck control.


- R -

Rapid Counterattack: Starting an attack immediately after the opponent turns the puck over. The opponent is in a vulnerable position for a second or tow after the turnover because its team members are caught in an offensive puck side position leaving lanes to their net open.


Red Line: The line that divides the rink into two equal parts. This area is denoted as center ice.


Referee: the referee supervises the game, calls the penalties, determines if goals are scored, and handles face-offs a center ice at the start of each period and after goals. The referee has the final decision over all other officials.


Regrouping: The usually occurs in the neutral zone. It means that players who are back checking from the offensive zone suddenly find that their team has the puck.  Due to game circumstance they are unable or do not wish to counter attack suddenly but instead retreat passing back to their defenseman to create open ice inside the neutral zone. The concept of regrouping is to give your team time to reorganize their offense.


Removal of Time and Space: When a team is without the puck, they attempt to limit the time and space the opponent has with which to advance the puck or create a scoring chance. This is done by skating, angling, checking, and the use of concepts like defensive support and proper positioning.


Reverse the Flow: A player carries the puck in one direction then throwing the puck back towards the area he has just skated from.


Riding Your Check: The defensive player stays with an offensive player in order to prevent an offensive play; for example, the defensive player rides or sustains the check on a player who passes the puck, so that this individual cannot get open for a return or give and go pass.


Roofing the Puck: Getting the puck into the top part of the net quickly. A technique used when a goaltender is either down on the ice or when performing a deke on the goaltender when attack speed has the goaltender backing into the net to far.


Roughing: Engaging in fighting or shoving.  Can be a penalized offense.


Rushing the Puck: The act of an offensive player carrying the puck up the ice with speed. Most often describes the action of a defenseman carrying the puck up ice off the breakout.



- S -

Sagging: Defenders away from the puck, adjusting their position to support defenders playing the puck carrier.

 Save: A shot blocked by the goal-tender. A shot that otherwise would have gone into the net.

 Saving Ice: When a player reduces his speed, to conserve the ice between himself and the potential pass reception area. By “saving ice” the player keeps some ice in front of him/her so that he/she can accelerate into the passing area.

 Screening: The act of standing in front of the opposition goal-tender so as to take away his/her clear view of the puck.


Screened Shot: When a goal-tender’s view is blocked by players between himself and the shooter.


Shadow: When a player covers an opponent one-on-one everywhere on the ice in order to limit the effectiveness of this opponent.


Shoot-out: Some minor and international leagues define the overtime situation by having their teams play a five minute (or greater) sudden death period, and if no one scores, the game is decided by a shoot-out. Each team picks five shooters and each one of them takes a penalty shot on the other team’s goalie. Which ever team scores more goals out of the five shooters wins.


Shorthanded: Shorthanded means that a team is below the numerical strength of its opponents on the ice. A short handed situation results from a team being penalized. If the opposition scores on the short handed team, the penalized player may return to the playing surface unless a major penalty (5 minutes) or consecutive penalties have been assessed to which the penalty clock must expire.


Slap Shot: Describes the action of a player taking a back swing then swings the stick quickly forward slapping the puck with the blade of the stick propelling it forward.


Slashing: When a player swings the stick at an opponent. Slashing merits a penalty, whether contact is made or not. Tapping an opponent’s stick is not slashing.


Slot: The prime scoring area up the middle of the ice between the faceoff circles in front of the net.


Small Games: The playing of small, compact games at one end of the rink. This helps players to develop their skills, game strategies and creativity.


Smothering the Puck: When a goal-tender or other player falls on the puck. Smothering the puck is legal when done by the goal-tender or accidentally by another player.


Sniper: Slang term for a player who is a gifted goal-scorer.


Spearing: Poking or attempting to poke an opponent with the tip of the blade of the stick while holding the stick with one or both hands.


Speed: The quickness to attack that will limit the reaction time of the defender (stress the defense) and force defensive error.


Speed Training: Working on skill development at high speeds, exceeding the comfort level of players.


Spinnerama: An evasive skill where a player skating backwards with the puck executes a reverse pivot. Player pivots from backward to forward skating and executes a quick turn to lose checker.


Splitting the Defense: When a player in possession of the puck goes between two opposing defenders while attacking.


Stall/Contain: The defensive team will attempt to force an opponent t stop or slow down the speed of an attack to provide time to set up better defensive coverage. This can be accomplished by pressuring the puck carrier or deflecting the attack to outside lanes.


Stepping-Up: Describes the action of a defenseman pivoting from a backward skating position to a forward skating position so as to close the gap on an offensive player.


Straddling the Line: Stretching one leg across the blueline in an attempt to stay on side until your teammate carriers the puck into the offensive zone.


Stretching: Sending a player up ice to drive the opposing defenders back in an effort to create open ice for teammates to use underneath.


Substitute Goal-tender: A designated goalkeeper on the official score sheet who is not then participating in the game.


Support: Players away from the puck make themselves available as a passing option in the attack. Players away from the puck are active by positioning themselves in a manner which provides options.


Sweep Check: Using the entire length of the stick with a sweeping motion along the surface of the ice in order to dislodge the puck from an opponent.


Swinging: The forward crossover skating action of an offensive player getting into open ice.


Switching: Exchange of defensive responsibilities between two defensive players.


- T -

Taking Back Ice: When a player lengthens the route to the potential pass reception area. By taking a less direct route a player delay from arriving too early and maintains skating speed.


Team Official: A person responsible for the operation of a team, such as a coach, manager or trainer.


Temporary Goalkeeper: A player not designated as a goalkeeper on the official score sheet who assumes that position when no designated goal-tender is able to participate in the game. He is governed by goal-tender privileges and limitations and must return as a “player” when a designated goal-tender becomes available to participate in the game.


Tight Gap: When players, especially defensemen, play very close to the opposing team’s attackers on the rush. It means that the space between the offensive and the defensive players is as small as possible.


Timing: The ability to arrive at the right place at the right time.


Touching Up: A term used to describe a player who, on a delayed offside call, has to get both feet “on-side” before entering back into the opposition’s defensive zone.


Top Shelf: Term used to describe when a player shoots high in an attempt to beat a goal-tender. To put the puck into the top part of the net.


Traffic: A condensed area on the ice that has a high concentration of players both offensive and defensive.


Trailer: A teammate supporting the puck carrier from behind.


Transition: The ability of a team to quickly move from offense to defense or from defense to offense.


Trap: Traps are defensive formations designed to minimize the opposition’s scoring opportunities and keep its offense from functioning. The idea is to trap the puck in the neutral zone by angling the offensive players towards the wall and forcing a turnover.


Triangulation: Any offensive formation which creates offensive triangles, thus providing the puck carrier tow passing options and enabling the offensive team to create width and depth in their attack.


Tripping: using a stick, arm or leg to cause an opponent to trip or fall.


Turn Back: A puck protection tactic where the puck carrier suddenly stops, turns and skates back in the direction he came from, always keeping the body between the  checker and the puck.


Turnover: Losing control of the puck to the opposing team.


Two-line Pass: An offside pass (that actually crosses two lines in an offensive direction).


- U -

Up: The action of moving the puck up ice to a better passing option.


- V -

Vary Tactics: This term applies to either an offensive player or players tactical offensive strategies where predictability becomes defendable. Change type and manner of attack to keep opposition of guard.


- W -

Weakside: The side of the ice opposite to where the puck is being controlled.


Wideman Pass/Widewing Pass: To use width of the ice to change the point of attack.  


Width: Is an offensive term used to describe the distance laterally between the puck carrier and/or receivers. The greater the distance between the players, the greater the adjustment necessary for the defensive players to play one on one. This objective of this tactic is to open up the seam (center lane running down the length of the ice) in the offensive zone which is the highest percentage scoring area in the game.


Wingers: This term describes the left and right wing players which move up an down the length of the ice. In modern day  hockey the term “winger” most often describes those forwards in the defensive zone that play wall positions in their own zone and outside faceoff positions in the neutral and offensive zones.


- X – Y – Z -

Zamboni: The “Zamboni” is a very popular brand of ice resurfacer. The Zamboni resurfaces the ice by shaving off a fine layer of ice and snow and then laying down a film of water (hot, warm or cold) over the ice grooves which will freeze creating a new layer of ice. The original Zamboni was invented by Frank Zamboni in 1940.


Zero Tolerance: A USA and CANADIAN Hockey policy that sets standards for officials in dealing with verbal abuse direct to them, and in their conduct towards all team personnel. No one element (player, coaches, and officials) is exempted from the policy. The policy is based on the fact that without understanding, respect and cooperation from each other we will have a difficult if not impossible task of creating an environment for hockey which is safe and fun.