Ice hockey is a heart-pounding, high-octane sport with a myriad of scoring opportunities. Understanding the distinctions between different types of hockey goals not only amplifies your enjoyment of the game but also has the potential to enhance your skills as a player. This all-inclusive guide equips you with comprehensive knowledge about each type of goal, including even-strength goals, power play goals, short-handed goals, empty net goals, own goals, and penalty shot goals. By acquainting yourself with these goal types, you'll be fully prepared to immerse yourself in the captivating world of scoring in hockey.

Now, let's embark on a thrilling exploration of the six primary types of hockey goals: even-strength goals, power play goals, short-handed goals, empty net goals, own goals, and penalty shot goals. It's time to delve into the art of scoring in this exhilarating sport!

This article covers a range of topics, including:
  • The fundamental concept of a goal in hockey
  • Even-strength goals
  • Power play goals
  • Short-handed goals
  • Empty net goals
  • Own goals
  • Penalty shot goals
  • So, buckle up and get ready to unlock the secrets of scoring in hockey!

What constitutes a goal in hockey?

In hockey, a goal is scored when a player shoots or deflects the puck into the opposing team's net behind the goalie, with the puck crossing the net line and going under the bar. Each goal is worth one point and plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of games. Although goals are typically scored by shooting or redirecting the puck into the opponent's net, there are rare instances where a goal is awarded to the opposing team if a player unintentionally shoots the puck into their own net.

Even-strength goals

An even-strength goal occurs when both teams have an equal number of players on the ice, typically consisting of five skaters and a goalie for each team. This type of goal is usually scored during regular play, without any team having an advantage due to penalties or power plays.

Power play goals

A power play goal happens when one team gains an advantage due to a penalty committed by the opposing team, resulting in a numerical advantage for the team on the power play. The extent of the advantage depends on the number of simultaneous penalties. For example, if two players from one team are sent to the penalty box for two minutes, the opposing team will have a "5 on 3" advantage, with five skaters against three. During this time, the team with more skaters can capitalize on their numerical superiority and potentially score a power play goal while their opponents are short-handed.

Short-handed goals

A short-handed goal occurs when a team is down a player due to a penalty, resulting in only four skaters on the ice until the penalty expires. If the team with fewer players manages to score during this short-handed situation, it is considered a short-handed goal. These moments often produce some of the most thrilling highlights in hockey history.

Empty net goals

An empty net goal refers to a situation where one team removes their goalie to add an extra skater on the ice, creating an empty net. This strategy is usually employed towards the end of a game when a team is trailing and wants to increase their chances of scoring by having an extra player. If the team with the extra skater successfully scores into the unguarded net, it is classified as an empty net goal.

Own goals

While relatively rare, own goals still count towards scoring. An own goal occurs when a player accidentally shoots, deflects, or tips the puck into their own net, inadvertently giving the opposing team points.

Penalty shot goals

Penalty shots are an exciting aspect of hockey and are considered goals when successfully executed. A penalty shot is awarded when officials determine that a player was unfairly prevented from having a clear chance at scoring during regular gameplay. This penalty shot allows the shooter to go one-on-one against