Hockey Terms

Attack: skating with the puck, or hitting it, towards your opponent’s goal.

Attacking Zone: this is the end section of the ice in which a team is attempting to score. In other terms, it is the section of ice between the opponent’s blue line and goal line.

Back Check: this is an attempt to hinder an opponent heading towards and into the defending zone. Fans see it as a technique of skating back to the defensive zone to protect their goal.

Breakaway: this is an offensive rush in which the player ‘breaks’ towards the opposing goal with the puck and no defenders are between him and the goalie.

Breakout: this is the play used by the attacking team to move the puck out of its own zone and up the ice toward the opponent’s goal.

Changing on the Fly: this is when players on the bench swop places with players on the ice, while the play is going on.

Crease: this is the blue area directly in front of the goal; it is usually marked off by red lines.

Face-off: this is the equivalent of a kick-off in football – dropping of the puck between two opposing players to begin play.

Forecheck: this is used to check an opponent in his end of the rink, thus preventing an offensive rush, often while obtaining control of the puck.

Pinning the Puck: this is a tactic of pinning the puck against the boards with the stick or skates, in order to stop the play. This situation always results in a face-off.

Hat-trick: the scoring of three goals by one player in one game.

Man Advantage: this occurs when a team has one (or more) players on the ice than its opponent, usually as the result of a penalty.

Neutral Zone: this is the central area between the two blue lines.

Penalty Kill: this is the act of preventing goals while playing shorthanded.

Powerplay: this occurs when a team holds a one-or two-man advantage because of an opponent’s penalties.

Rush: this term is used to describe a team advancing quickly up the ice.

Slapshot: describes hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after a full back swing.

Zamboni: this is the machine used to “clean” or resurface the ice sheet.