Hockey Terms Used In The Beer League

Hockey slang terms have produced a new language in itself.

The hockey terms below are used in hockey at all levels – from Mites to the NHL. And of course, the beer leagues.

I have listed all of the funny hockey terms to know if you are going to start watching or playing ice hockey.

Hockey terms are constantly evolving as will this list below. If you have something to add, please let me know.

Common Hockey Terms

  • Apple: An assist on a goal
  • Babysitter: When a good player is placed on a line with two players of lesser skill and thus assumes the role of line ‘babysitter’
  • Bar Down: A shot that deflects off the top bar and down into the net. A highly coveted and impressive goal type
  • Barn: A hockey rink or arena. Especially an old one with a wooden roof
  • Barnburner: A high-scoring, and sometimes fast-paced, game. Also called a Boat Race
  • Bender: A low-skilled player whose ankles bend precariously while they’re skating
  • Bottle Rocket: When a hard shot goes into the net and blows the goalie’s water bottle off the top of the net. Also called a Bottle Knocker
  • Biscuit: The puck
  • Beauty: A term used for a player who has a great personality and either exceptionally good or bad hockey skills. It can also refer to the pretty boy on the team who may or may not have good Flow
  • Breakaway – A player who has an open lane to the net without a defenseman in front of him
  • Breadbasket: The goalie’s chest area. Usually the last place you want to put the puck as a shooter
  • Breezers: Hockey pants
  • Brick Wall: A goalie who is on top of his game and seemingly unstoppable
  • Bucket: Hockey helmet
  • Buzzer Beater: A goal scored just before the period horn
  • Celly: A celebration following a goal
  • Cheese: The top shelf of the net
  • Cherry Picker: A player who loiters near center ice, behind the defense, hoping to get an easy uncontested breakaway
  • Chiclets: Teeth; or lack thereof
  • Chippy: When temper flare and things get feisty on the ice
  • Chirp: Trash-talking the opposing team. Or sometimes a teammate
  • Clapper: A slapshot
  • Coast To Coast: A goal scored by a player going from end to end and usually around most if not all the defenders
  • Crossbar: The horizontal top post part of the net
  • Dance: A fight
  • Dangle: A move or series of moves or dekes performed by a skilled player to go around a defender or beat a goalie
  • Denied: A goalie robbing a player of a sure goal
  • Dirty: A term to describe an outstanding move or deke
  • Disk: Another word for puck
  • Donnybrook: Another beautiful term for a hockey fight
  • Duster: A player who doesn’t get much playing time and sits on the bench and collects dust
  • Dust Off: A quick pass made by a defenseman
  • Egg: When a hockey game ends 0-0
  • Enforcer: The assigned fighter of the team
  • Face Wash: When a player rubs the palm of their filthy glove into an opponent’s face
  • Filthy: A term used for a for a great goal, deke, play or pass
  • Fan or Fanned: A player who attempts a shot and completely misses the puck
  • Fishbowl: A helmet with a plastic shield attached as opposed to a cage or having no shield
  • Fisticuffs: Yup, another fight. Seeing a pattern here yet?
  • Five Hole: The area between the goalie’s skates/legs
  • Flamingo: When a player quickly lifts one leg, standing like a flamingo, to get out of the way of a shot
  • Flow: Beautiful long hockey hair that flows out the back of the helmet when a player skates
  • Free Agent: A hockey player who is single. See: Puck Bunny
  • Garbage Goal: A lucky shot, bounce or event resulting in a goal
  • Gino: A goal scored
  • Give-And-Go: A quick pass exchange to a teammate 
  • Gongshow: A widely-used and versatile hockey term game that can mean: 1. A game that gets out of control from dirty hits/fights, crazy-high scores and other shenanigans 2. The shitshow that takes place after the game in the locker room, parking lot or bar
  • Goon: A player who likes taking dirty hits and likes to fight. Also called a Cement Head
  • Greasy: An ugly goal or a sketchy hit
  • Grinder: A gritty, hard-working player who’s not afraid to muck it up and fight for the puck in the corner or drop the gloves
  • Grocery Stick: A player who sits in between the group of forwards and defensemen on the bench. You get the idea
  • Hatty: A hat-trick, or three goals scored in a single game. Traditionally fans throw hats on the ice. But in the beer leagues, since we have little to no fans, this is a rare occurrence. A Gordie Howe Hat Trick refers to a goal, assist and fight in a single game
  • Hoser: This old-school term is used to refer to the losing team. Before Zambonis were invented, the losing team had to hose down the ice following the game. Brutal
  • Junk: This can refer to a shot to the junk or the Junction – which is the area of the net where the Crossbar meets the post
  • Keep: Another nickname for the goalie. Derived from the shortened version of the word Keeper
  • Kronwalled: A big hit, normally blind-sided. Named after NHL’r Niklas Kronwall who likes to use this type of hit
  • Laying The Lumber: A slash delivered to another player
  • Lettuce: Hair on the head and face
  • Light The Lamp: Scoring a goal triggering a red light behind the goal. That is, only if you can afford to pay a goal judge
  • Lip Lettuce: A mustache – usually without a goat. Also referred to as a Lip Sweater
  • Lumber: A hockey stick. One that is usually made of wood and not a composite model
  • Man Handle: A player physically roughing up another player
  • Meat Wagon: Refers to the ambulance that comes to transport the broken hockey player to the hospital
  • Mitts: Refers to both hockey gloves and a player’s hands
  • Mucker: A Mucker is the same thing as a Grinder. A hard-nosed, hard-working player
  • Muffin: A fluttering shot that spins or drifts in the air all the way to the net. Also called Flutterball
  • Nail: A hard body check
  • ODR: An out-door rink
  • Office: The area directly behind the goalie net. Used to be Wayne Gretzky’s favorite place to work
  • Open Ice Hit: Just what it sounds like
  • Packing A Bomb: Tossing a wad of recycled chewing tobacco in the locker room. Don’t do this
  • Paint: The goalie crease area
  • Pest: A pain-in-the-ass player who loves to annoy the other team in any way possible
  • Pigeon: A player that consistently scores Garbage Goals
  • Pillows: The goaltender’s leg pads
  • Pinch: An attempt to keep the puck in the offensive zone
  • Pipe: The goal post
  • Plumber (aka Pipe-Fitter): Similar to the Mucker, a player with average skills who works hard on every shift
  • Puck Bunny: An attractive female, sometimes a Rink Rat, who hangs out at hockey games trying to bag one rather than coming to watch the hockey game itself
  • Puck Hog: A player who seldom passes the puck to others
  • Pylon: A poor-skating defensemen that forward players ‘walk’ around presenting an obstacle as effective as a pylon
  • Razor: A player on top of his game
  • Ringer: A player who’s is unethically or illegally brought into a beer league or tournament hockey game that is significantly better than the rest of the players on the ice. A high-producing Ringer can often trigger a Gong Show
  • Ringing The Iron: Hitting the goal post
  • Rink Rat: A person who loves to hang out at the rink. See Puck Bunny
  • Sauce: A saucer pass right on the tape
  • Shinny: A style of hockey, usually pond hockey, where you’re supposed to keep the puck below the knees since most players are not wearing shin pads
  • Sieve: A goalie who allows a lot of goals. Not exactly a term of endearment
  • Silky: Soft player hands and stickhandling
  • Sin-Bin: The penalty box
  • Slew Foot: A dirty move involving sweeping the leg or skate out from another player causing a violent fall backwards
  • Slot: The high-scoring area directly in front of the net
  • Snarl: Usually precedes a fight
  • Snipe: This term refers to a thread-the-needle type shot that beats the goalie in the smallest of spaces available for a goal. A sniper is a player who can do this at will
  • Spin-O-Rama: When a player maintains control of the puck while conducting a beautiful 360 spin move
  • Snow Shower: When a hard-charging player, frustrated by a goalie save, unceremoniously sprays the goalie with ice shavings from his sudden deceleration in front of the net. Always intentional
  • Stoned: When the goalie robs a player of a high percentage goal-scoring chance
  • Suicide Pass: A pass made that sets up the recipient to get crushed by an awaiting defender
  • Sweater: A hockey jersey
  • Synthy: A synthetic ice surface
  • Tape To Tape: A perfect pass from one stick to another
  • Tender: Another term for the goalie. A shortened version of the word goaltender
  • The Show: The big leagues (aka The NHL)
  • Tilly: A large hockey brawl
  • Toe Drag: When a player holds the puck out with his stick, to get a defender to ‘bite’, then pull it back and around the defender using only the “toe” of his stick. Very cool when done smoothly
  • Top Shelf or Top Cheese: The top section of the goal’s net between the crossbar and the goaltender’s shoulders. A Top Shelf goal is more impressive by adding the coveted Bar Down element
  • Trapezoid: The area, thus shaped, located behind the net and the goal line
  • Turtle: When a player assumes the Turtle position rather than fight
  • Twig: A hockey stick. Usually wood, not composite
  • Twine Bulge: A goal that hits the net and pushes it outward. A beautiful sight. Unless it’s your net
  • Wheel – This means “turn and wheel” or change directions and proceed the other way at high speed
  • Wheelhouse is the area closest to the net where a player has the highest percentage chance of scoring
  • Windmill: This move occurs when a goalie makes a fast glove save and the momentum causes his catching glove to windmill over his head. The Windmill can also be used as a Celly
  • Woody: An old school wooden stick
  • Wrapper of Wraparound: When a player circles behind the net and jams to puck into the far side space before the Keeper gets there
  • Wrister: A wrist shot
  • Yard Sale: The Yard Sale occurs when a player gets hit so hard (or just falls) that he loses some or most of his equipment that litter the ice after the play. The Yard Sale is a fan and player favorite
  • Zebra: A referee

Why Do Hockey Slang Terms Exist?

Most sports have a collection of their own slang terms.

So why is hockey different?

There is a unique culture that was built around the sport of ice hockey.

The men, women, and kids who play hockey are as dedicated a group as you’ll find anywhere. They are absolutely passionate about the sport. And it shows.

Hockey terms have developed over the long history of the sport and are designed to make hockey unique, fun and original.