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Ice hockey positions

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Enforcer (ice hockey)

Enforcer is an unofficial role in ice hockey. The term is sometimes used synonymously with "fighter", "tough guy", or "goon". An enforcer's job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies.

 
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Goaltender

In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player responsible for preventing the hockey puck from entering their team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring. The goaltender usually plays in or near the area in front of the net called the goal crease. Goaltenders tend to stay at or beyond the top of the crease to cut down on the angle of shots. In today's age of goaltending there are two common styles, butterfly and hybrid. Because of the power of shots, the goaltender wears special equipment designed to protect the body from direct impact. The goalie is one of the most valuable players on the ice, as their performance can greatly change the outcome or score of the game. One-on-one situations, such as breakaways and shootouts, have the tendency to highlight a goaltender's pure skill, or lack thereof. No more than one goaltender is allowed to be on the ice for each team at any given time. Teams are not required to use a goaltender and may instead opt to play with an additional skater, but the defensive disadvantage this poses generally means that the strategy is only used as a desperation maneuver when trailing late in a game or can be used if the opposing team has a delayed penalty.

 
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Winger (ice hockey)

Winger, in the game of ice hockey, is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They typically work by flanking the centre forward. Originally the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink. Nowadays, there are different types of wingers in the game — out-and-out goal scorers, checkers who disrupt the opponents, and forwards who work along the boards and in the corners. They tend to be bigger than centreman and smaller than defenceman.

 
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Centre (ice hockey)

The centre in ice hockey is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice, away from the side boards. Centres have more flexibility in their positioning and are expected to cover more ice surface than any other player. Centres are ideally stronger, faster skaters who can back check quickly from deep in the opposing zone. Generally, centres are expected to be gifted passers more so than goal scorers, although there are exceptions. They are also expected to have exceptional "ice vision", intelligence, and creativity. They also generally are the most defensively oriented forwards on the ice. Centres usually play as part of a line of players that are substituted frequently to keep fresh and keep the game moving. First-liners are usually the top players, although some top players make the second line to allow for offensive scoring opportunities.

 
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Defenceman

Defence in ice hockey is a player position whose primary responsibility is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. They are often referred to as defencemen, defencewomen or defenceplayers, D, D-men or blueliners. They were once called cover-point. A good defenceman is both strong in defensive and offensive play and for defenceman pairing also need to be good at defending and attacking.

 
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Forward (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, a forward is a player position on the ice whose primary responsibility is to score and assist goals. Generally, the forwards try to stay in three different lanes, also known as thirds, of the ice going from goal to goal. It is not mandatory, however, to stay in a lane. Staying in a lane aids in forming the common offensive strategy known as a triangle. One forward obtains the puck and then the forwards pass it between themselves making the goalie move side to side. This strategy opens up the net for scoring opportunities. This strategy allows for a constant flow of the play, attempting to maintain the control of play by one team in the offensive zone. The forwards can pass to the defence players playing at the blue line, thus freeing up the play and allowing either a shot from the point or a pass back to the offence. This then begins the triangle again.

 
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Rover (ice hockey)

A rover was a position in ice hockey used from its formation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At the time ice hockey consisted of seven positions: along with the goaltender, two defencemen, and three forwards, positions which still remain, the rover was also part of the team. Unlike all the others, the rover did not have a set position, and roamed the ice at will, going where needed.