By Ariel Carron

Well hello again, Pink Puck-ers! I would say last week’s Learning the game post about team positions was a great success thanks to you all. This week we have some treats– we’re learning about the rink and we have Sean Backman with the Manchester Monarch’s to teach us a few great terms! Now, many of the games’ older fans may know a lot about the rink, but today I bet you will learn a little bit more.

First, we will start with some general definitions from our handy-dandy A to Z Guide to Hockey Terms by Tim Moshansky. All of today’s terms are part of the rink in some way, shape, or form and can help us further understand. Below you will find a diagram that will help visualize the components of the rink:





Rink– A rectangular ice surface that is framed by boards around it. The dimensions of an NHL rink are 200 feet long by 85 feet wide, with rounded corners (p. 73).

Red line or Centre line– Is the red line that divides the rink into two even halves.

Arena– an enclosed area surrounding the rink and where the games are played.

Bench-Some of these definitions are more obvious than others, but if you’re truly a girly-girl maybe you don’t know. So, a bench is where coaches, players, and assistants assemble during games. This is where the players are when they wait for their turn on the ice.

Between the Pipes– This term is one I just learned. It means the area between the upright bars in the goal cage. Essentially, where the goalie stands.

Blue line-This line, also known as the defensive line, defines the attacking zones at either end of the rink. They sometimes call defensemen blueliners because this is their area of the ice.

Blue paint– This is the area right in front of the net that is painted blue, otherwise known as “the goalie’s crease”, the “goal crease”, or the “goal mouth”. It has a red border.

The box or Penalty box– This is where players “serve time” for infractions (we’ll learn more about these later!). The slang terms for this are “the cell”, “the cooler”, “the sin bin” and “the gate”. And I’m sure there are a few fans out there with many more! Share below in our comment section what you call the Penalty Box.

Goal Cage– The metal frame with a net where players attempt goals and goalies attempt just as hard to stop them!

Centre ice– The centre ice is the circle in the exact middle of the rink where face-offs are held.

Defensive zone-We already know that the blue line means defense, so this zone is from the blue line to the boards behind each teams net.

Face-off circle– These circles represent areas on the ice where face-offs take place.

Face-off dot– A face-off dot is where the puck is dropped during a face-off. There are nine red dots on the rink surface, with exception of center ice, which is blue.

Goal line– These are the two thin red lines that are located on the outside of the rink between the goal posts and the boards.

Hash marks– Every circle on the ice has two parallel lines or slots where wingers or forwards line up for face-offs.

Ice-resurfacing machine or Zamboni– Essentially, this is the machine that cleans and prepares the ice before game play and between periods.

Neutral zone– This is the area between the two blue lines in the center of the ice.

Referee’s Crease- An area on the ice in front of the scorekeeper’s bench where no player can enter.

Suicide box– It sounds scarier than it really is, but this is the bench where announcers, photographers, and camera guys use. It is named this because these folks are sometimes in the line of fire of players, sticks, and pucks.

Trapezoid– This area is directly behind the net and is shaped like an oblong rectangle or trapezoid, hence its name. According to the NHL, goalies can handle the puck in this area only behind the goal line, but not in the corners.

The wall– Or, the wooden boards the encompass the rink. It’s also called the boards, oftentimes players will use these boards to move the puck around.

For those who are curious, there are NHL office dimensions and rules on the rink here.

Now, onto this article’s specialty–Sean Backman from the Manchester Monarchs and his term definitions with Pink Puck TV. He will be defining “dump ‘n’ chase” as well as the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Thank you Sean Backman and the Monarch’s for your help to spread hockey knowledge to our readers! With that being said, there have been SO MANY terms this week and I hope they have been enjoyed. No one deserves more thanks than our Pink Puck readers, so, thank you. Next week we will have more terms and hopefully another great video to share!

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Note: Hey guys, since I’m just learning, if you think I’ve missed something give me a shout out! Or, if you want to know more term information and think I should write an article about it–let me know. I’ve provided a way to get in contact with me above and would love to hear from you. Thanks so much for your support.


Moshansky, T. (2010). A to z guide to hockey terms (2nd ed.). Vancouver, BC: First Wave Publishing.


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