Hockey 101


  • 60 minutes (or three 20-minute periods) in a game
  • Two 18-minute intermissions
  • Two points for a win, one point for a overtime or shootout loss
  • 72-game regular season schedule
  • The ice surface is 85 feet wide and 200 feet long
  • Six men (center, left wing, right wing, goaltender and 2 defensemen) on the ice at one time per team
  • 18 players dress for each team every game
  • The ice is approximately 3/4″ to one-inch thick



How fast does a puck travel?

Some players can propel the puck between 90 – 100 mph with slap shots. Speeds up to 120 mph have been recorded by some of the hardest shooters. Compounding the problem for the goaltender, frequently the puck will curve in flight, much like a baseball.

How are the markings, lines and circles applied to the ice?

The ice is built up to half-inch thickness by spraying water over the concrete floor which has the freezing pipes embedded underneath. The markings are then painted on, after which additional water is sprayed on the “coat” the markings and build the ice to prescribed thickness.

Who gets credit for an assist?

The last player, or players (not more than two) who touch the puck prior to the scoring of a goal. As an example, player A passes to B who passes to C who passes to D who scores the goal. Players C and B are credited with “assists.”

What is the zamboni?

The Zamboni is a highly specialized machine that cleans the ice between periods. In its travel across the ice, it scrapes the loose shavings off and lays down a layer of hot water. The water must be hot to melt the upper ice surface and weld a smooth sheet. It takes just minutes to freeze.

Can the puck be kicked into the net for a goal?

Not kicked intentionally, but a puck can be deflected off a skate, or off a player’s body if no overt attempt is made to throw it in or kick it in.

Are all hockey sticks alike? 

Far from it. Just as baseball players have their individually personalized bats, so to do hockey players have their “patterned” sticks. Flexibility, lie (angle of the blade), weight, etc. vary from player to player.

Can a goalie score a goal?

While it is not unusual for a goalie to be credited with an assist, only a hand full of goalies have been a goal scorer in pro hockey history.  Admirals Goalie Corwin Saurdiff became the 4th goalie in pro hockey history to score a goal on March 18, 1995.

What if the puck is stopped or stops on the goal line?

There is no goal.  The puck must completely cross the goal line between the posts to be counted.