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Basic Positions in a Hockey Game

Terry Chucas

An attorney by profession, Terry Chucas enjoys playing sports in his free time. Terry Chucas played ice hockey competitively for 38 years, which included play with the Canadian Old Timers team at the 1984 International Tournament.

In a typical game of hockey, six players take the ice per side. Three of the six are forwards, each of whom normally covers a particular “column” of the ice. The center plays from one goal to the other and must be able to skate well, handle confrontations, and decide quickly whether to pass or shoot the puck. The left and right wings play on either side of the center, which means their role is to keep the puck away from the boards and moving toward the opposing goal.

Forwards must be able to play both defense and offense, though they focus on scoring when they handle the puck. Defensemen, by contrast, strive primarily to stop advances by the opposing team by monitoring and keeping clear the zone for which they are responsible. Meanwhile, the goaltender remains in the goal crease and is responsible only for keeping the puck out of his or her team's net.

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