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Do You Speak Hockey?

To kick off this new year, we’re taking a look at the lingo that makes hockey a little more exciting and unique, starting with some of the basics.


If you’re one of those families with multiple kids playing several different sports, you will quickly realize that hockey is unique. We’re not just talking about the equipment or rules either because many sports have unique equipment and rules.

Hockey’s culture and traditions are what really separate it. One part of that culture is the language. Take for instance when a player scores three goals. In hockey, that’s called a hat trick. If you score three goals in row, then it’s a natural hat trick.

While there are some examples of terms describing great performances (ex: double-double or triple-double in basketball), scoring multiple times in many sports doesn’t receive the same immediate response as hockey.

Simply put, if you have a game with three home runs or three touchdowns, you’re not going to see people tossing their hats on the ice to celebrate your accomplishment.

It doesn’t stop there though.

Hockey players, coaches, parents and fans also have a tendency to use slang in place of even these terms unique to the sport. You may hear someone had a nice “hatty” instead of hat trick or a coach ask if the team has enough “biscuits” (pucks) for practice.  

To kick off this new year, we’re taking a look at the lingo that makes hockey a little more exciting and unique, starting with some of the basics.

Apple: Another term for an assist.

Barn: A hockey rink.

Gino: Goal.

Dangle: Using high-quality stickhandling skills.  

Sauce/Saucer Pass: A pass that travels through the air, usually over an opponent’s stick.

Shinny: Pick-up hockey, usually on the pond.

Sieve: Slang term for a goalie that gives up a lot of goals and appears to have a lot of holes.  

Snipe: A goal scored with pinpoint accuracy, typically top shelf.

As for that unique equipment, yeah, there are some special names for it too…

Bucket/Lid: Hockey helmet.

Bubble/Fishbowl: Hockey helmet with a plastic facemask.

Twig: Hockey stick.

A few words for the people we love, as well as those we love to hate…

Tendy: Refers to a goaltender, goalie or netminder

Liney: Affectionate word for a linemate

Stripes (Zebra): Referees

Cherry Picker: Players who hang out by the red line while the play is in his/her team's defensive zone.

A quick stick tap to some young guns making a name for themselves…

Chel: The NHL video game series by EA Sports

Filthy: A way to describe jaw dropping dangles or sauce. Used synonymously with dirty, sick and unreal.

Bomb: A particularly hard slap shot.

Laser: A hard, accurate wrist or snap shot.

Our community-based model may set the State of Hockey apart from a structure standpoint, but we have a few words we like to call our own as well…

The Tourney: Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament

Breezers: Hockey pants

Hongo: A game of all versus all keep away on outdoor ice. May also refer to a puck hog. Native to Duluth, Minnesota.

Sincerely, Minneflowta

Flow/Salad/Lettuce: Long, flowing hockey hair.

Lip Sweater: Another term for mustache, which has grown in popularity thanks to Movember

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Ice Hockey

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Issues & Advice Parent Minnesota Hockey