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The Game Made Easy

Players

Goaltender: The goalie's primary task is simple - keep the puck out of his own net. Offensively, he may start his team down the ice with a pass, but seldom does he leave the net he guards.

Defensemen: These players try to stop the incoming play at their own blue line. They try to break up passes, block shots, cover opposing forwards and clear the puck from in front of their own goal. Offensively, they get the puck to their forwards and follow the play into the attacking zone, positioning themselves just inside their opponent's blue line at the "points."

Center: The quarterback on the ice, the center leads the attack by carrying the puck on offense. He exchanges passes with his wings to steer the play toward the opposing goal. On defense, he tries to disrupt a play before it gets on his team's side of the ice.

Wings: The wings team with the center on the attack to set up shots on goal. Defensively, they attempt to break up plays by their counterparts and upset the shot attempts.


Officials

Referees: Two are used. They supervise the game, call the penalties, determine goals and handle faceoffs at center ice to start each period.

Linesmen: Two are used. They call offside, offside pass, icing and handle all faceoffs not occurring at center ice. They do not call penalties, but can recommend to the referee that a penalty be called.

Goal Judges: One sits off-ice behind each goal and indicates when a goal has been scored by turning on a red light just above his station. The referee can ask his advice on disputed goals, but the referee has final authority and can overrule the goal judge.

Official Scorer: He determines which player scores and credits assists if there are any. He may consult the referee, but the scorer is the final authority in crediting points.


Penalties

A team plays shorthanded when one or more of its players is charged with a penalty. However, no team is forced to play more than two players below full strength (six) at any time. When a third penalty is assessed to the same team, it is suspended until the first penalty expires. When a penalty is called on a goalie, a teammate serves his time in the penalty box.

Minor penalty: (Two minutes) Called for tripping, hooking, spearing, slashing, charging, roughing, holding, elbowing or boarding.

Major penalty: (Five minutes) Called for fighting or when minor penalties are committed with deliberate attempt to injure. Major penalties for slashing, spearing, high-sticking, elbowing, butt-ending and cross-checking carry automatic game misconducts.

Misconduct: (10 minutes) Called for various forms of unsportsmanlike behavior or when a player incurs a second major penalty in a game. This is a penalty against an individual and not a team, so a substitute is permitted.

Penalty shot: A free shot, unopposed except for the goalie, given to a player who is illegally impeded from behind when he has possession of the puck with no opponent between him and the goal except the goalie. The team which commits the offense is not penalized beyond the penalty shot, whether it succeeds or not.

Delayed penalty: Whistle is delayed until the penalized team regains possession of the puck.


Common questions

What is the puck made of?
The puck is made of vulcanized rubber. It is three inches in diameter, one inch thick and weighs six ounces. It is frozen before entering play to make it bounce resistant.

How fast does the puck travel?
Some players have been known to unleash shots between 90 and 100 m.p.h., while the game's hardest shooters have reached 110 m.p.h.

Can a puck be kicked into the net for a goal?
A puck can deflect off a skate or a player's body for a goal only if no blatant attempt is made to kick or throw it in.

Frequently a goalie ventures far out in front of the net. doesn't this leave a greater target for the opposition to shoot at?
Usually when a goalie comes out in front it is to reduce the shooting area, cut down the angle of the shooter or force the attacker to unleash his shot sooner or wider than he wants.

How are the markings (lines, circles, goal crease, etc.) applied to the ice?
The ice is built up to a half-inch thickness by spraying water over the concrete floor, which has the freezing pipes imbedded. The markings are then painted on, after which additional water is sprayed to "coat" the marking and build the ice to the prescribed thickness.

How thick is the ice?
Ice for professional hockey is approximately 3/4" thick and is usually held at 16 degrees F.

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