Face-Offs – This is how the game begins and the puck is put into play. During a face-off, one player (center) from each team lines up to face each other at one of the rink’s nine face-off spots. The referee or linesman drops the puck between the players, who then battle for possession and try to win the puck back to their team.

Icing – When a team shoots the puck from their defending side of the center ice red line and the puck crosses the goal line the whistle is blown for icing. The ensuing face-off takes place in the defending zone of the team that iced the puck. Icing is waived off in the following instances:

  • when the team is a man down on the penalty kill
  • when the referee decides the opposing team could have played the puck
  • when the goalie comes out of the crease to play the puck
  • when the opposing team touches the puck anywhere on the ice

Offside – A team is offside when any member of said team crosses their offensive zone blue line before the puck does. Delayed offside is when a player shoots the puck into their offensive zone (side they are trying to score on) while his teams players are still in the zone, but the players “tag up” at the blue line before touching the puck. In this case, offside is waived off and play continues.

Hand Pass – Players in hockey are not allowed to play the puck with their hand outside of their defensive zone. When a player moves the puck to a teammate with his hand, the official blows the whistle, and there is a faceoff at the position where the puck was passed from. At no time can players close their hand on the puck.

High Stick – When the puck is played out of mid-air by a player whose stick is above the height of the crossbar and they or their teammate is the next to touch the puck, a high stick infraction is called, resulting in a face off in that team’s defensive zone.

Minor Penalties – A minor penalty is assessed to a player that commits an infraction on the ice. These are the most common type of penalties, in which players must sit in the penalty box for two minutes, or until the other teams scores, while their team plays shorthanded. Here are the most common minor penalties:

  • Tripping: Player uses stick, arm, or leg to take an opponent’s feet out from under them.
  • High-Sticking: Striking an opponent with the stick above shoulder level.
  • Slashing: The act of swinging a player’s stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not.
  • Holding: Player holds an opponent by using his hands, arms, or legs.
  • Interference: Player interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.
  • Elbowing: Involves the use of an extended elbow to perform an illegal body check.
  • Cross-Checking: A check made with the stick while both hands are on the stick and arms extending to deliver the hit.
  • Hooking: Using the stick in a manner that enables a player to restrain an opponent, typically through a pulling motion.
  • Boarding: Checking an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently into the boards.
  • Roughing: Involves the use of unnecessary roughness during play or between whistles.

Major Penalties – Major penalties are assessed for many of the same infractions that apply to minor penalties except they involve a greater degree of deliberate violence that can result in injury and are penalized more severely. The player who is serving the five-minute major must stay in the penalty box for the full five minute penalty time, regardless if a goal is scored on the “shorthanded” team.

Misconduct – Misconduct penalties do not penalize the team but just the individual player. The player will have to sit in the box for a total of 10 minutes however his team still gets to play 5 on 5.


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