When there is an infraction of the rules a penalty is called by the referee. Typically a player will be given a 2 minute penalty and must sit in the penalty box until this amount of playing time expires or a goal is scored by the ‘power play” team.

The team assessed the penalty is playing “short handed “ for the 2 minutes meaning only 4 skaters on the ice while their penalized player sits in the penalty box.

The other team is said to have “a power play” as they have 5 skaters on the ice. The penalty will last 2 minutes unless this team scores a goal. Then the penalized player will leave the penalty box and his team will go back to having 5 skaters on the ice.

During the penalty time the short handed team is permitted icing the puck.

 This is the simpilest explanation of the simplest penalty given. Of the extreme penalties that could happen is 6 or 10 of the players on the ice may be penalized for fighting plus a couple of others who may have left their bench and jumped over the boards to join the fighting. The game would now have maybe 4 players evicted from the game meaning they go to their dressing room. While perhaps 8 others would sit in the penalty box. No matter what happens no less than 3 skaters for each team will be on the ice. 

In these situations the timekeeper and linesmen help the referee sort the penalties out.

Power play and short handed periods of time are exciting in a game. The other shorthanded time is near the end of the game when the losing Coach as a strategy to even the score will have his teams’ goalie sit on the bench while another skater replaces the goalie. Then there are 6 skaters and an empty net against 5 skaters and a goalie.

Look for superior Coaching, teamwork, execution, effort and support to accomplish the team goals during these periods.