Assist (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, an assist is attributed to up to two players of the scoring team who shot, passed or deflected the puck towards the scoring teammate, or touched it in any other way which enabled the goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the goal. There can be a maximum of two assists per goal. The assists will be awarded in the order of play, with the last player to pass the puck to the goal scorer getting the primary assist and the player who passed it to the primary assister getting the secondary assist.[1] Players who gain an assist will get one point added to their player statistics.[2]

Despite the use of the terms "primary assist" and "secondary assist", neither is worth more than the other, and neither is worth more or less than a goal. Assists and goals are added together on a player's scoresheet to display that player's career points.

Ice Hockey 2-on-1 One-Timer
In this diagram, the blue player on the right would be credited with an assist, while the blue player on the left would score the goal.

Special cases

If a player scores off a rebound given up by a goaltender, assists are still awarded, as long as there is no re-possession by that goaltender, meaning he did not have complete control of the puck.

However, a rule says that only one point can be credited to any one player on a goal scored.[3] This means one player cannot be credited with a goal and an assist for the same goal scored; instead the player would only get credit for a goal and a different player may get credit for an assist, if applicable. It also means that one player cannot be credited with two assists for the same goal scored; instead the player would only get credit for one assist and a different player may get credit for the other assist, if applicable.

Additionally, if a player passes the puck to another player who then completes a give-and-go with a different player for a goal, the player who made the pass that set up the goal gets the primary assist, and the player who passed to the eventual goal scorer before the give-and-go took place gets the secondary assist. This is essentially because assists are to be awarded to the last (up to) two players of the scoring team who had possession of the puck before the eventual goal scorer had possession and ultimately scored, regardless of whether that eventual goal scorer had possession at any time in between the two other players. This also means that possession of the puck can go from and in between the eventual goal scorer and eventual assist getters an unlimited number of times, and this scoring standard will still be applied. The no change in team possession guideline still applies to these particular cases.

See also


  • Brace, Ian (1995). Play The Game: Ice Hockey. Ward Lock Limited. ISBN 0-7137-2517-6.
  1. ^ Brace, p. 22
  2. ^ NHL. "NHL Rulebook, Rule No. 78". NHL. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  3. ^ "NHL Official Rules – Rule 78 – Goals". Retrieved January 5, 2012.

External links

Goal (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck entirely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to (see also own goal). Typically, a player on the team attempting to score shoots the puck with their stick towards the goal net opening, and a player on the opposing team called a goaltender tries to block the shot to prevent a goal from being scored against their team.

The term goal may also refer to the structure in which goals are scored. The ice hockey goal is rectangular in shape; the front frame of the goal is made of steel tube painted red (or another color depending on the league) and consists of two vertical goalposts and a horizontal crossbar. A net is attached to the back of the frame to catch pucks that enter the goal and also to prevent pucks from entering it from behind. The entire goal is considered an inbounds area of the playing surface, and it is legal to play the puck behind the goal. Under NHL rules, the opening of the goal is 72 inches (180 cm) wide by 48 inches (120 cm) tall, and the footprint of the goal is 44 inches (110 cm) deep.

Passing (sports)

Passing is a common technique in sports that use balls and pucks. A pass consists of an intentional transfer of the ball from one player to another of the same team. Examples of sports that involve passing are association football, basketball, ice hockey, and American football. Certain games only allow backward passing (for example, rugby football), while others allow both. Of those that allow forward passing, some prohibit the receiver from being ahead of the pass at a certain point on the field (e.g., the offside rule in ice hockey), while other do not (e.g., American football).

Passing in basketball has been defined as "The deliberate attempt to move a live ball between two teammates", a definition which might equally apply across other sports equally well, albeit with a change to the item being passed where appropriate.

In certain sports, a pass to a teammate that leads to a successful scoring move is recorded, and tracked. In many sports, including basketball and ice hockey, this action is known as an assist. In basketball, only the last pass before a successful score is credited as an assist. Ice hockey attributes up to two assists on a goal scoring play. In that case, the last two teammates (not including the goal scorer) to touch the puck before the goal is scored would be credited with an assist. A team with a high number of assists demonstrates effective ball (or puck) passing between teammates, which is critical in most team sports, as it tends to lead to more, and higher quality scoring opportunities.

In baseball, the ball is only passed between teammates on defense. The goal is to pass the ball from one teammate to another so they can either tag, or force out a base runner. Assists are also tracked in baseball, and any defender that touches a fairly hit ball that leads to a putout is credited.

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