With one of the most tight-knit and dedicated cultures surrounding the sport, ice hockey comes with its own language — a unique set of slang words and phrases to describe almost every situation on the ice.
If you’re new to ice hockey, the slang could leave your head spinning whilst you wonder what exactly it is you’ve been listening to.
Here are some examples of ice hockey slang that you may have heard bounced around, along with explanations of what each word means.
Apple: An apple is an assist, where up to two ice hockey players shot, passed or deflected the puck to the scoring player.
Barnburner: An ice hockey game that has a high score with one team dominating the other or was intense the whole way through.
Basket: Another name for the ice hockey goal.
Beauty/Beautician: If an ice hockey player is a good all-rounder with brilliant skills as an ice hockey player as well as a brilliant personality, he is a beauty or a beautician.
Bender: If a player's ankles bend when they’re skating, that’s right – they’re a bender!
Biscuit: The biscuit is another name for the puck during an ice hockey game — so you can put the biscuit in the basket! It does look a bit like an Oreo, actually…
Bottle rocket: If a goal breaks the goalie's water bottle that he places on top of the net during an ice hockey game, it’s a bottle rocket.
Breakaway: Breakaway is when a player has a clear path to the goal with no other players in the way. Basically, the perfect set-up to hit that puck into the back of the net.
Bucket: If you’re playing ice hockey, your bucket is your helmet.
Celly: Celebrating a goal in an ice hockey match is called having a celly!
Cheese: A shot that goes in off the crossbar or just below it.
Chiclets: Cute ice hockey slang — your chiclets are your teeth!
Chirp: If you’re trash-talking the opposing team, you’re chirping.
Clapper: A clapper is a faster slapshot where the stick lifts off the ice as the player swings back.
Dangle: If an ice hockey player acts as a decoy by using fake moves to confuse the goalie or the other team, they’re a dangle. Stealthy!
Duster: If someone doesn’t really move from the bench onto the ice, they’re a duster — they’re collecting dust on the bench.
Enforcer: The fighter, tough guy, or goon on the team that settles violent play on the ice.
Flow: Got a flow? Then in ice hockey slang you’ve got long hair sticking out of your helmet.
Gino: A gino in an ice hockey game is a goal that’s been scored.
Gongshow: An ice hockey game referred to as a gongshow is one that is getting or has gotten out of control in regards to big hits and high scores.
Grocery stick: If an enforcer player sits between the defencemen and forwards on the bench during an ice hockey game, they’re a grocery stick.
Hat trick: If you’re familiar with football, you’ll already know what this means – a hat trick in ice hockey is the same! This is when a player scores three goals in one game.
Hatty: A great piece of ice hockey slang! A hatty is when a player scores five or more goals in a game.
Hoser: Ice hockey slang for trash-talking players, if you call a player a hoser, then you’re calling them a loser. This slang is a cool one – it originates from when the losing team used to have the responsibility of hosing the ice down after the game.
Kronwalled: If a colossal hit comes from a defenseman in an ice hockey game, this is a Kronwall, aptly named after Red Wings player Niklas Kronwall.
Lettuce: Your lettuce is the hair on your head and face.
Light the lamp: If you light the lamp, you’ve scored a goal! This ice hockey slang relates to the red light behind the net going off when a goal is scored.
Lip lettuce: Your hair on your lip – a good ol’ moustache à la Tom Selleck.
Mucker: Not cockney rhyming slang – this is purely ice hockey slang! Mucker means when a player battles their way to the puck rather aggressively.
Muffin: If a shot should have been stopped after it wavered back and forth in the air all the way to the net, it’s a muffin.
Pillows: The pillows are a goaltender's leg pads.
Plumber: The plumber in an ice hockey game might not be viewed as the best on the team, but they are a player that does the dirty work in the corners of the rink and plays with consistency.
Power play: When a team has more players on the rink than another team because of a penalty.
Sieve: Just like the characteristics of a sieve, this ice hockey slang refers to a lousy goalkeeper who lets a lot of goals in.
Sin bin: The sin bin is the penalty box.
Sweater: Quite simply, your sweater is your ice hockey jersey.
Top shelf: The top shelf is the upper section of the goal’s net in an ice hockey game. Think of it as the top shelf is ‘where grandma keeps the good stuff’ – this is where you want to be aiming to score.
Yard sale: If a player gets hit so hard during an ice hockey match that they manage to lose their equipment, things like their stick or helmet, it’s called a yard sale once they are left on the ice.
Once you know the slang once and for all, you will be able to join in with your fellow ice hockey slang lovers and really show your knowledge of the sport. So whether you’re shouting at a hoser who’s been Kronwalled or chirping a bender to get in the sin bin, you can be sure that this base of ice hockey slang knowledge will set you on your way.