What Is The Duration Of A Hockey Match? [Facts!]

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There are several terms that are thrown around when discussing the world of hockey that can be a bit confusing, so let’s try and clear up the language:


This is what you would call the act of shooting the puck or swinging a stick to throw at the other team. You can also use this term to describe the act of attacking an opponent (usually by hitting them with your stick or throwing a punch).

While the defensive tactic of just blocking the puck and waiting for the other team to come and retrieve it is useful in certain situations, the main purpose of defense is to prevent the other team from scoring goals.


This is what you would call the act of preventing the opponent from scoring goals, often by either blocking shots or picking up the puck and skating away with it (keeping it out of your net).

To be a good defender, you need to be able to both defend and attack at the same time. Good defenders are often known for their good breakaways as well as their ability to protect the puck while on the attack. This multi-dimensional play is something many coaches and scouts look for when determining a player’s worth.

Time Consume

What is time consume? Simply put, it is the amount of time that it takes to play a game, whether it is a match, olympic game, or recreational game. So if you play for 20 minutes and the other team takes 30, your team has spent an hour and a half playing the game, even though the first 30 minutes were probably pretty close to a draw.

Matches can last anywhere from a few minutes to over two hours, with the average game lasting about 45 minutes. With the increasing pace of the game and the number of players on the ice, it is no wonder that matches are becoming less and less effective as a means of determining a winner. But don’t worry, the longer the game the more entertainment it provides!

As an avid hockey player and coach myself, I often find myself pondering the question: How many hours of footage do I need to see to know if my team won or lost? It is an age-old question, but one that is as difficult to answer as it is interesting to contemplate. With limited overtime, shootouts, and time constraints, it is more important than ever for coaches to find ways to effectively judge their teams’ performances, especially considering the huge variations in quality that can exist between one game and the next. This is where replays and reviews come in handy, but even then it can be difficult to determine how a game will end without actually having to play it out yourself.

To help answer this question, we can take a look at some of the variables that we, as coaches and scouts, need to consider and how much they can affect the outcome of a game.


One of the most basic and fundamental elements of any game is scoring. While some hockey fans try to avoid this element of the game because they find it dull, coaches and scouts must consider it a necessary evil, especially since it is impossible to have a game without some sort of goal-related activity.

Even in ice hockey, which is considered to be a ‘non-scoring’ sport, teams will exchange goals after a goal is scored. It is an accepted part of the sport that scoring happens, especially in today’s fast-paced NHL. Even if the team you are rooting for did not score any goals, they will still be working hard to prevent the other team from doing so. This is especially important to note considering that you cannot exactly tell how a game is going to end without having a look at how it is progressing. Some goals are harder to prevent than others, especially if you are not used to guarding the net against high scoring threats, so by the end of a game you will know how crucial it was to close down all possible avenues of success for the opponent.


Another factor that can affect the outcome of a game is the speed at which the players are traveling around the ice. If you are not moving at a quick pace, it can be hard to maintain your position, especially if the opposing team is burning some serious rubber. If you are an enthusiastic driver and constantly on the move, it can be challenging to keep track of where you are going in the first place, let alone block a shot or deke out a pass.

Speeds vary from slow to fast, with the average NHL team typically running around 10 miles per hour. If you, as a coach or a scout, are fortunate enough to have access to an NHL team’s speed charting software, you will be able to see each player’s individual speed as well as how fast they are moving relative to their teammates. This can help you get an idea of how a player fits with the team’s offensive or defensive scheme and how they might perform in that capacity.


One of the most important, if not the most important, aspects of any game are the skills of the players. While a coach or scout may not be able to stop a player from scoring through sheer force of will alone, they can still direct them towards better play overall, especially if they have the ability to observe and analyze plays closely. Just by watching the skilled players on your team execute simple passes and dekes, you will be able to tell if they are on the right track or need some help.

Skills vary from slick moves, like the spin or slap shot, to more precise shots, like the wrist shot or the backhand, to feints and tricks, like the toe drag or the push-puck. In order to determine how skilled a player is, you will have to watch them closely and often, making note of their strengths and weaknesses. This will not only help you get an idea of how they might perform in your system, but how effective your system can be when put in other contexts.


Intelligence is often times overlooked when discussing sports, but much like skill, it is something that cannot be ignored if you want to be effective. The better you are at assessing the situation and knowing what your team needs to do to prevail, the better off you will be in getting an idea of how the game is going and whether or not you have a chance at winning. While some people believe that hockey is a game of brute strength and sheer will alone, it is a far more complex game than that and relying on those elements will get you only so far, if you want to see a competitive team succeed you will have to be prepared to put in the effort to understand how each player’s unique skillset can contribute to the good of the team.

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