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Hockey Terms Explained

New to hockey guide

Part of learning hockey is getting to know the game’s lingo. Successful players communicate well with their teammates, coaches, and referees both on and off the ice.

Blue line

Two thick blue lines mark the beginning of each team’s offensive and defensive zones. The distance between the two blue lines is called the neutral zone.

Power play

When a team has more players on the ice because one or more players are serving time in the penalty box. The opposite of a power play is called a penalty kill or being short-handed.

Line change

When a player leaves the ice to substitute for another player. This often happens on-the-fly, while the game is still going on.


The large machine that cleans and resurfaces the ice between periods.

Hat trick

A term used to describe a single player scoring three goals in one game. The third goal—in appropriate situations—is celebrated by fans throwing their hats onto the ice.with the ball in between.

Tape to tape

A pass that goes from the blade (which is wrapped in tape) of one player’s stick to the blade of a teammate’s stick.

Wrist shot

A shot with no windup in which a player uses his or her hands and wrists to shoot the puck toward the net.

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Ice Hockey

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