3 minute reading time
One of my favorite pastimes of late is watching my university’s hockey team. RPI Men’s hockey compete in the ECAC hockey league which is a division 1 league under the NCAA. In other words, hockey is a pretty big deal at the university,
Hockey is a full-contact sport with players going back and forth on the ice at high speeds. You can tell it’s a strenuous sport because the players only stay on the ice for a shift of on average 45 seconds.
Part of the fun is the camaraderie among the attendees. We have a full set of vocal cheers that we scream when penalties are announced, goals are obtained, and other in-game events. We call them vocal cheers, however, the majority of them consists of yelling that the other team sucks.
I’ve attended at least 5 games at this point. I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert at the rules of hockey, but I’ve picked up on the most common calls.
- Icing: When a player shoots a puck before the center line and it passes the goal line on the other side. This resets the game with the puck going to the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction.
- Puck out of bounds: When a player unintentionally shoots a puck out of the rink either hitting the audience area or the netting. This resets the game to the closest face off spot from where the puck was hit.
It’s also not hockey without talking about penalties.
- Boarding: Violently pushing a player onto the walls of the rink
- Cross-checking: Hitting an opponent with a stick when both hands are on the stick and no part of the stick is on the ice.
- Hooking: Using the stick to “hook” or slow down an opponent.
- Slashing: Swinging the stick at an opponent.
- Tripping: Causing an opponent to fall.
- Interference: Impeding a player that does not have a puck.
Most of these penalties (unless injury occurs) result in a 2 minute timeout for the player that committed the infraction. The player does not get replaced, resulting in the team that committed the infraction having one less active player. This time period is marked as a power play for the other team.
There are 3 periods in ice hockey with each period lasting 20 minutes. If there are any special performances at RPI, it typically happens after the first period. For example, we’ve had several ice skating performances. After the second period, RPI holds the “chuck the puck” competition and the 50/50 raffle. Zambonis come out after these events to resurface the ice.
Lastly, we cannot forget about the pep band and our good ol’ mascot Puckman. They don’t come out every game but it’s great when they do.