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Ice Hockey: Essentials (Page 2 of 5)

1- History & Object
2- The Essentials (Offense & Defense, Scoring, Etc.)
3- Rink Diagram and Positions
4- Fouls
5- Glossary of Hockey Terms

Game Length
Hockey is divided into three periods. Professional hockey periods are 20-minutes with two 15-minute intermissions. College, high school, and youth periods are slightly shorter. If the score is tied at the end of the third period, some leagues allow the game to end as a tie, while others play an additional overtime period of 5 minutes. Overtime is sudden death, meaning that the first team to score wins.

Start of the game
Play begins at center ice with a face-off at the start of each period and following all goals. The team that takes possession of the puck is on offense.

Offense & Defense
The offense advances the puck towards the opponent’s goal by passing the puck to teammates or skating while controlling the puck, a skill called “stick handing.” The object is to score goals, so players will look to take an outside shot, feed the puck to an open player who can shoot, screen the goalie, deflect the puck into the goal, and rebound missed shots to score quick goals. Additionally, on turnovers, a team may be able to get a breakaway scoring opportunity or odd-man-rush.

The defense looks to stop the progress of the offense by disrupting passes and checking opponents that have the puck. When the defense gains possession of the puck in front of their own goal, they will often clear the puck to eliminate the risk of scoring.

A goal is scored when the puck passes through the cage and completely crosses the goal line. In modern rinks, a red light and siren signal that a goal has been scored. Each goal is worth one point. Hockey games are typically low scoring.

Hockey equipment is specialized for the sport and includes: a stick with a curved blade, puck, ice-skates, and pads (helmet, shoulder, elbow, shin, and gloves). Players also wear jerseys and padded pants. Goalies wear additional pads, a facemask, a glove like a baseball catcher’s mitt, and have a bigger stick.

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