Viewer’s guide to UH Club Hockey
Hockey is back in Houston on Friday night.
The game has been missing from the city since the Houston Areos left in 2013. A decade later the UH Hockey Club has brought the game back, the debut coming Friday at 7 p.m. at the Sugarland Ice and Sports Center.
While it is a great sport, if you are unaware of how the game works, it might get confusing. Houstonians who haven’t had much chance to watch a hockey game may get a little overwhelmed.
Here is a brief overview of the game works:
How long does a game last?
The game in regulation lasts 60 minutes. The game is broken into three 20-minute periods, followed by a 15-minute intermission.
If the score is tied at the end of the session, then we go into a five-minute overtime period. Unlike other games, overtime in hockey leads to sudden death. The team that scores first wins.
If a team fails to win in overtime, then there is a shootout.
Who’s playing and what are the positions?
Just like any other game, hockey also has different positions that serve different purposes in the game.
The forwards are tasked with scoring goals. The positions are divided into three parts: center, right and left wing.
The defensemen are responsible for defending the puck.
The goalies protect the home net and prevent the other team from scoring. They are the only ones allowed to stop the puck with their hands and equipment.
As part of the ACHA Division II, the team is allowed to dress 19 skaters for a game and three goaltenders. They can also dress 20 skaters and two goaltenders.
A regular-period game is played with five players on the ice from each team. At full capacity, a team will usually have three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie.
The hockey rink is divided into zones with a red line at the center of the rink and two blue lines.
A goal is only counted if the opposing team crosses the red line. The area between the two blue lines is called the neutral zone.
The home goal net is located in the “defending zone” and the area where the opposing net is called the “attacking zone” or “offensive zone.”
Body checking, penalties
Hockey can get a little violent. Body Checking is legal when a player uses their shoulder, torso or hip to impede the player from the opposition only when they are in possession of the puck.
A body check targeting a player’s head and a body check to an opponent’s back is illegal if the opponent is facing the boards.
A minor penalty is when a player is sent off the ice for two minutes, they are usually called for obstructing an opponent.
A major penalty is when a player is sent off the ice for five minutes and no substitution is allowed, they are usually called for fighting on the ice.
When one team has more players on the ice they are in power play, which is usually when a player is serving a penalty.