Basically, there are six players in play at any given point of time. This six players include one goaltender (same as goalkeeper in field hockey), two defense-men and three forwards. Given below are the details of ice hockey player positions.
Forward Positions in Ice Hockey
Like in any other team sport, the forwards in ice hockey are mainly, responsible for the launching the offense on the opponents, in order to score goals. Most of the times, these three players play in a straight line trying various formations while facing the opponents. There are three forward positions – the center forward, the right wing and the left wing. The center forward has to position himself in the middle of the ice hockey rink, in front of the opponents goal. The player chosen to play at this position has to be fast enough as this position involves covering maximum rink surface. On the other hand, the right winger and left winger play on their respective sides of the center forward. These are specialist attacking positions and hence, the coordination between all three players is of immense important when it comes to scoring in ice hockey.
Defense Positions in Ice Hockey
The primary responsibility of the defense-men is to counter the attack by the opposition and keep the puck away from the goal. Generally, the two defense-men are divided into stay-at-home defense-man and offensive defense-man. The stay-at-home defense-man is expected to hang around the goal to assist the goaltender, and hence is seldom seen taking any risks. On the other hand, the offensive defense player does take risk by getting involved in team’s attack on the opponents. There are cases wherein both defense-men alternate their positions depending on who has the control of the puck, however this requires a great deal of coordination between the two as well as the goaltender.
Goaltender in Ice Hockey
The goaltender, at times simply referred to as the goalie, is the player who guards the goal, by staying put into it, against the oppositions attack. Most of the time, the goaltender stays in the area just in front of the goal, referred to as the goal crease or crease. As the goalie has to stop the powerful shots hit at the goal, he has to wear special ice hockey equipment, meant to protect him from the opponents assault. This is one of the most important ice hockey positions owing to the various privileges associated with it. These privileges include handling the puck, playing with a broken stick etc. Goaltender is a specialist position in ice hockey and therefore, no ordinary player plays in this position, nor does a goalie play in any other position.
What is ice hockey?
Ice hockey is a team sport, where two teams compete on the floor made of ice, with the objective of scoring goals by directing the puck (a vulcanized rubber disk which is used like a ball) into the opponents goal. Ice hockey is sometimes simply referred to as hockey, due to which, some time it is confused with a similar sport known as field hockey which is played outdoors on grass field. Being aware of various ice hockey positions is useful, as, it helps in making strategies while playing.