My Home - My Team
A guide for new hockeysupporters
It's playoff time in Skellefteå. The ice hockey playoffs begins for Skellefteå AIK - the city's premier ice hockey team and they face Rögle in the quarterfinals. Here's everything you need to know about the sport and the team.
Ice hockey - the sport
Ice hockey, sometimes just called hockey, is a team sport played on ice. Whoever scores the most goals in a game wins. A goal is scored if the puck crosses the other team's goal line.
Players wear skates and a lot of protection such as helmets, shin guards, gloves, pants and shoulder pads. They play with a stick made of composite material. The sport is played with a puck - not a ball. The puck is made of vulcanized rubber.
The puck should generally be played with the stick. Playing the puck with the stick higher than shoulder height is not allowed. Instead, in many cases it is permissible to stop the puck with the hand, when the puck is lobbed or passed high, but the player in question must immediately drop it down right next to him - otherwise the referee shall blow the whistle for "improper hand stopping. However, players in their own defensive zone may pass the puck to a teammate with their hand. If this is instead done in the center or attacking zone, the referee shall blow the whistle for so-called (illegal) "hand passing".
Ice hockey is a physical sport and tackling is allowed.
Each team has a goalkeeper and five outfield players on the ice during the game. However, teams also have more players available during the game. The line-up is one goalkeeper, two backs and three forwards, called lines, who play at the same time. The players are constantly changing during the game and there are often two additional pairs of backs and three lines on the bench. In addition, there is usually one more goalkeeper, one back and one forward available.
The playing field is divided into three parts. The ice is marked with a red and two blue lines. The red center line divides the ice into two halves, while the blue lines separate the ice into three equal areas: a defensive zone, a center zone and an attacking zone.
Games are played for 60 minutes, divided into three 20-minute periods. There are 18-minute breaks in between. The playing time is efficient and the matches take about 2-2.5 hours. If there is a tie, a five-minute overtime - with only three players on the ice - is played to decide the game. This is called sudden death as the first goal decides the whole game.
If a game is still tied after extra time, it goes to penalties. The team that scores the most goals from three penalties wins. If neither team has scored on penalties or the teams have scored the same number of goals on penalties, sudden death penalties will be used to decide the winner.
In the playoffs, which are played after the basic series is over, the games are played for an unlimited number of 20-minute periods until one team scores. Then the games can become very long. Skellefteå AIK's longest game was played during the 2012 playoffs when Jimmie Ericsson tied the game in the sixth period - after almost 111 minutes of play.
On the stands people are cheering and shouting - and that is okey. A lot of people wears black and yellow clothes to support the team.
There are lots of rules in ice hockey and many can be difficult to understand - even for the players themselves sometimes. That's why they often stand and argue with the referees. At each game there are two main referees and two linesmen. The linesmen control the red and blue lines.
Here are some words to keep in mind:
- Face-off. At the start of the period and after each stoppage of play/call-off, a draw is made between two players from each team at one of the draw points. The two players who are going to carry out the draw line up in the direction of each team's offensive goal cage with their sticks on the ice facing each other in the white area of the draw point (the other players line up next to and behind their drawers). The referee (head referee at the beginning of the period and after the goal, line judge after other stoppages of play) drops the puck and the players try to play the puck to their team. The drop should normally occur closest to the drawing circle/point where the last pass was made, shot was fired or the puck passed before the whistle was blown.
- Icing. If a player shoots the puck from his own half of the field and crosses the extended goal line in the attacking zone, play is stopped for icing, followed by a drop (drawing) in the defending zone of the offending team. In the case of box play, the icing rule is completely suspended.
- Offside. In any attack, the puck must be first over the blue line before any attacking player can cross the blue line into the attacking zone. A player is considered to be in the center zone as long as a skate is either on the ice or in the air space above the ice in the center zone. When the puck ends up outside the attacking zone while attacking players are inside, all attacking players must leave the zone before the team can re-enter the puck and attack again. A player who backs up with the puck and thus precedes the puck into the attacking zone shall be allowed as long as the player has full control of the puck before crossing the line.
- Box play and power play. Sometimes players are sent off. Then the team can play with one less player for 2, 5 or more minutes, sometimes it can also be 2+2 minutes. A player can be sent off for many things. For example, a bad tackle, hitting an opponent over the hands, knocking down a player or pushing the puck into the stands, among other things. If you are the team that plays with one less player, it is called box play; if you play with one more player, it is called power play. At least the team can have three players on the ice.
Skellefteå AIK - the team
Skellefteå's best team is called Skellefteå AIK External link. - but is usually just called AIK in the city. The team plays in the best league in Sweden called SHL (Swedish Hockey League). It is ranked as one of the five best leagues in the world.
Skellefteå AIK have become Swedish champions on three occasions, in 1978, 2013 and 2014.
When the team plays matches in Skellefteå, they wear black jerseys with yellow details. When they play in other locations, they wear yellow jerseys with black details.
They play their home games at Skellefteå Kraft Arena External link, opens in new window..
The team consists mainly of Swedish players - but this year there is also a player from Germany, a player from Finland and a player from Canada in the squad. It is very common for the team to have players from other countries. The team has included players from France, Latvia, Greece, USA, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic and many other countries.
Skellefteå AIK has existed as a hockey team since 1943 and therefore celebrates 80 years this year.
The club also has a women's team External link. that are trying to reach the highest league, SDHL.
The supporter club is called North Power External link. and they have their home on Västra stå - a part of the arena where there are no seats. You can become a member of North Power.
The team captains name is Oscar Möller and the team has three coaches, Robert Ohlsson, Andreas Falk and Pierre Jonsson.
The basic series in the SHL is played in 52 rounds. It has just ended and now the playoffs begin. The playoffs are played in a knockout format.
The team that wins win a trophy called the Le Mat trophy. It is named after the founder of ice hockey in Sweden, Raoul Le Mat. Le Mat, who was born in France, was an American film director who introduced ice hockey to Sweden.