Centre (ice hockey)

The center (or center in the United States) 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.

Offensive zone play

Centres are required to cover much of the ice in all three zones. Where the centre tends to play in the offensive zone is usually a matter of coaching and personal preference. Centres are responsible for keeping the flow of the game moving, and generally handle, and pass the puck more than any other position player. Because of this, most good centres tend to score assists rather than goals because the play goes through them as they try to find open teammates. His responsibilities in the zone are analogous to the classic number 10 playmaker in soccer.

Because the range of offensive styles teams like to use, exactly how centres are used in the offensive zone is as varied as the players themselves. Generally the centre's role on offence is to move the offence through himself, setting up other players, and providing support for puck battles. They roam around most areas of the ice in the zone and have a lot of freedom in decision making. They are also expected to constantly be in motion causing defenders to have a hard time tracking them.

Zone entry

The matter of bringing the puck in the zone generally is accomplished in two ways. The first involves the team's best puck carrier (usually the centre) using his speed and quickness to cross the blue line with the puck and set up the offence. The second is colloquially called a "dump in", in which an attacking player (almost always a defenceman or centre) shoots the puck from the neutral zone into either corner behind the opposing net in hopes that the onrushing wingers can beat the opposing defenders to it and gain control. The centre's role here is to provide support for the wingers if they become engaged in a puck battle, and give the battling winger an option to try to move the puck to, or to try to scoop up loose pucks as they become available. Once the puck is freed the offence can then set up as normal.

Behind the net

When a centre's winger is being attacked along the boards, the centre can take position behind the net to receive the pressured winger's pass. Behind the net is a natural place for some centres to play. It is a very difficult position to defend because it forces the opposing defensemen to leave the front of the net. It also gives the centre a clear view of the ice and most importantly the slot area. From here the centre has clear passing lanes and minimizes the distance and difficulty of passes to nearly any part of the slot.

In the slot

Many centres use their mobility and freedom to take advantage of the slot area, the area in between the faceoff dots, about 5 to 15 feet from the goal. The slot area is notorious goalscoring territory because of its proximity to the net and the difficulty the opposing team has in defending it. Centres like this area because of its openness. Possessing the puck here gives the centre many different options, as well as a central position in the offensive play. From here he can choose to shoot the puck on net, attempt to draw defenders away from the net by skating, or find open players closer to the goal cage.

Additionally, without the puck, the centre can choose to occupy this space looking for deflections of long shots or rebounds. Centres rarely set up directly in front of the net itself because in case of a turnover, it is much harder to get back in position defensively.

On the halfboards

Some centres will play the halfboards. This position is especially important to a centre on some powerplay sets. Again it gives the centre a clear view of the ice surface and many different options. From here he may choose to pass back to a defenceman on the point, go down the boards to a winger behind the net, or drive the net itself hoping to draw defenders to him. The disadvantage of this position is that it is easily defended, and the centre generally does not have much time to survey the ice looking for an open teammate.

On the powerplay

Powerplay sets are also quite varied, so the centre's role can range a lot. Many times though the centre will choose to operate in the slot area or on the halfboards. The halfboard position here is made easier to play because the centre has more time to look over the ice surface, and is not pressured by the defenders as much. Again the centre's role is to move the offence through himself/herself looking for passing lanes to open players or roving the slot area looking for deflections and rebounds.

Neutral zone play

Attacking

The centre's role in the Neutral zone on the attacking side if he/she possesses the puck, is to bring the puck into the offensive zone by carrying or dumping the puck in. Although any player may carry the puck into the zone, centres are most often counted on because of their speed, quickness, and ability to stickhandle. If another player possesses the puck attacking into the zone, the centre's job is to provide support if the puck carrier needs to pass to another player across the blue line. Once the zone has been gained the offence may proceed to set up as they see fit.

On dump ins, the centre's role is to provide support to the wingers as they battle for possession in the corners, and hunt for loose pucks.

Defending

Many different strategies have been devised to defend the neutral zone. Often successfully defending the neutral zone leads to fewer opportunities for the opposing team to have offensive possessions.

Here the centre will mainly focus on skating and shadowing opposing puck carriers to try to force turnovers. They are responsible for the middle of the ice, and try to cut off long passing lanes to attacking players. If the defending team successfully does force a turnover, the centre is most often responsible for turning the direction of play around or receiving the first pass from a winger who has successfully forced a turnover.

The neutral zone trap, pentagon trap, 1-2-2 trap, or zero-forecheck

When playing the trap, the centre typically spearheads the defence by placing himself/herself in the middle of the ice between the red line and blue line in defensive position. This forces the puck carrier to either side board where the centre and puck side winger close him in, "trapping" him/her between the two defending players and the boards. Here the attacking player has very few options, and generally must retreat to a defenceman, whereupon the defending team can reset the trap. This tactic was pioneered by the New Jersey Devils in the late 1990s and has been used extensively in the NHL and all levels of hockey since.

The left wing lock

When employing the left wing lock strategy, the centre's role is typically to shadow the puck carrier or provide token pressure in the opposing team's zone to force them to try to pass the puck up ice into the lock. This is a much older strategy and is less commonly employed at elite levels, however it was most recently used extensively by the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes on their way to their first Stanley Cup.

Defensive zone play

Unlike his/her offensive responsibilities, the centre's defensive responsibilities are relatively straightforward. Again the centre must be able to use his/her skating ability to cover vast portions of the ice, and is responsible for the greatest percentage of ice in his/her own zone than of any position.

Defending the slot area

The centre's first and foremost responsibility is defending the slot area from opposing forwards. This is the most difficult area of the ice to defend because of its proximity to the net and its being situated in the middle of the ice. The centre is not only responsible for the opposing centre, but other forwards who venture into the slot as well. Like defencemen, centres are often relied upon to block long distance shots while patrolling the slot. Because there are no boards in the slot area, it is difficult to play physically on opposing forwards so centres must be adept at using their sticks to defend via poke checks, sweep checks, stick lifts, and other stickwork.

Defending the perimeter

The perimeter is an advantageous position for the defence, the boards act as an extra defender and the defending team often will try to enclose a puck carrier between the boards and two or more defenders to force turnovers. The centre's general responsibility is to provide support to other players that engage opposing puck carriers in puck battles on the boards by giving the primary defender (normally a defenceman in the defensive zone) an outlet to move the puck to if he/she is able to win the puck from the offensive player, though the centre does on occasion participate in these puck battles if they must.

Breaking out of the zone

When the puck is turned over by the offensive team, the defence must be able to exit the zone fluidly. In a basic fundamental break-out, the puck is controlled by the defence behind the net who then passes up the boards to a forward. The centre curls at the strong side faceoff dot and begins to break out alongside the puck carrying winger. The winger, if undefended, may skate the puck out himself/herself, in which case the centre provides a passing option in the neutral zone, or if the winger is pressured, can make the break-out pass to the centre moving up the ice. Here the centre can carry the puck out of the zone on his/her own, or look for the weak side winger coming across centre ice.

A quick break is sometimes used to take advantage of the opponent's sloppy transition game. In this set, the defenceman directly passes to the centre curling at the faceoff dot. The centre can then carry the puck out himself/herself or try to pass to the streaking weakside winger up the ice.

On the penalty kill

The penalty killing unit normally consists of two forwards and two defencemen. The centre's role does not differ appreciably from any other forward, though they are almost always included on the penalty killing unit for the purpose of taking the faceoff. Depending on what formation the penalty kill uses, the centre along with the other forward on the ice will play high side defence, trying to cut off passing lanes in the slot. Secondarily, they pressure offensive players on the boards if they do not have clear possession.

Back checking

The centre should always be prepared for a quick break-out pass by the opposing team. The centre is expected to play the deepest in the offensive zone but also the first of the forwards to backcheck. On the backcheck, the centre should take the first opposing player not covered (usually "the third man back").

Faceoffs

It is generally the centre's job to handle faceoffs for their team. Centres employ many different tactics to win faceoffs that take advantage their strength or swiftness.

Faceoff techniques and preferences vary widely from player to player depending on that player's skill at taking faceoffs, speed, strength, and agility. Although faceoff techniques differ greatly, it is almost universal now that the centre reverses his lower hand and takes the faceoff on his backhand in order to gain more strength when pulling the puck.

Bigger, heavier, and stronger centres may prefer to use strength tactics such as tying up the opposing centre and winning the puck with his feet or overpowering the opponent by ripping the puck away using sheer strength. Smaller, quicker centres may employ swiftness tactics such as trying to contact the puck before his opponent has a chance to get his stick in the dot, or the slide technique where he allows his opponent access to the dot easily so he can slide his stick underneath and pull the puck back out.

Faceoffs are critical to a team's success on offence or defence. To this end, centres that may be deficient in other areas, especially offensively, can still have value to a team if they are excellent faceoff takers. Journeyman NHL centre Yanic Perreault was offensively limited for much of his career, yet was able to survive in the NHL due to his excellence in the faceoff circle. Perreault is considered one of the best faceoff men in history.[1] Faceoffs are often used as a measure of defensive effectiveness, and good faceoff takers play many minutes on the penalty kill and in late game lead situations where quickly gaining possession of the puck is of vital importance.

See also

References

  • Podnieks, Andrew (2007). The Complete Hockey Dictionary. Fenn Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55168-309-6.
  1. ^ "Winnipeg Jets Schedule, Roster, News, and Rumors - Arctic Ice Hockey". Arctic Ice Hockey.
2011 Canada Winter Games

The 2011 Canada Winter Games were held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Friday, 11 February 2011, to Sunday, 27 February 2011.

2018 Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (Korean: 제23회 동계 올림픽, translit. Jeisipsamhoe Donggye Ollimpik) and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, was an international winter multi-sport event that was held between 9 and 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, with the opening rounds for certain events held on 8 February 2018, the eve of the opening ceremony.

Pyeongchang was elected as the host city in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. This was the first time that South Korea had hosted the Winter Olympics and the second Olympics held in the country overall, after the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. It was the third time that an East Asian country had hosted the Winter Games, after Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998), both in Japan. It was also the first of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, the other two being the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The Games featured 102 events over fifteen disciplines in seven sports, with the addition of "big air" snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. 2,914 athletes from 92 NOCs competed, including the debuts of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore. After a state-sponsored doping program was exposed following the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended, and selected athletes were allowed to compete neutrally under the IOC designation of "Olympic Athletes from Russia". Despite tense relations, North Korea agreed to participate in the Games, enter with South Korea during the opening ceremony as a unified Korea, and field a unified team in women's ice hockey.

Norway led the total medal tally with 39, followed by Germany's 31 and Canada's 29. Germany and Norway were tied for the most gold medals won; both won fourteen golds. Host nation South Korea won seventeen medals, their highest medal haul at a Winter Olympics, five of which were gold.

2022 Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIVèmes Jeux olympiques d'hiver; Chinese: 第二十四届冬季奥林匹克运动会; pinyin: Dì Èrshísì Jiè Dōngjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì), and commonly known as Beijing 2022, is an international winter multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022, in Beijing and towns in the neighbouring Hebei province, China.Beijing was elected as the host city in July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These Games will be the first Winter Olympics ever to be held in China, the fourth Winter Olympics held in East Asia, and the last of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. With its previous hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing will be the first city to have ever hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics: there are plans to utilize many of the same venues that were used for the 2008 Games, including its indoor venues, and Beijing National Stadium as ceremonies venue.

Bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics

A total of six bids were initially submitted for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Four of the bids were subsequently withdrawn by 1 October 2014, citing either the high costs of hosting the Games or the lack of local support, leaving Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China as the only two remaining candidate cities. Beijing was then elected as the host city at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 31 July 2015.

Gangneung

Gangneung (Korean pronunciation: [kaŋ.nɯŋ]) is a city in the province of Gangwon-do, on the east coast of South Korea. It has a population of 213,658 (as of 2017). Gangneung is the economic centre of the Yeongdong region of Gangwon-do. Gangneung has many tourist attractions, such as Jeongdongjin, a very popular area for watching the sun rise, and Gyeongpo Beach. There is an ROK airbase south of downtown Gangneung that formerly doubled as a civil airport.The city hosted all the ice events for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Gangneung Olympic Park

The Gangneung Olympic Park is a sports complex area in Gyo-dong, Gangneung, which contains four of the 2018 Olympic Games venues and served as the Olympic Park.

It includes the following venues:

Gangneung Hockey Centre – Ice Hockey (men competition)

Gangneung Curling Centre – Curling

Gangneung Oval - Speed skating

Gangneung Ice Arena – Short track speed skating and Figure skatingThe Gangneung Stadium is also located in the same area, but was not an Olympic venue.

Gilles Mayer

Joseph Gilles Camille "Gil" Mayer (August 24, 1929 – September 29, 2015) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. Mayer stood 5'6" tall, and weighed 128 lbs.

Ice hockey by country

Ice hockey is a sport played primarily in cold weather countries in the world. The International Ice Hockey Federation has 76 members (54 full members, 21 associate members and 1 affiliate member).

Radisson Heights, Calgary

Albert Park/Radisson Heights is a residential neighbourhood in the south-east quadrant of Calgary, Alberta. It is bounded to the west by the Bow River and Deerfoot Trail, to the north by Memorial Drive and to the south by 17 Avenue SE. The community of Forest Lawn lies to the east.

This community, established in 1910, enjoys ample open space, is well provided with public and separate schools, has good access to shopping and citywide transportation

routes, and has views of the Bow River Valley, the Downtown and the Canadian Rockies.

However, like many communities in the inner city, it suffers from a number of problems such as shortcutting of nonlocal traffic, residential infill development that is insensitive to the block or the community at large. The community has an area redevelopment plan in place and is part of the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone.

It is represented in the Calgary City Council by the Ward 10 councillor.

Richmond Olympic Oval

The Richmond Olympic Oval (French: Anneau olympique de Richmond) is an indoor multi-sports arena in the Canadian city of Richmond, British Columbia. The oval was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics and was originally configured with a speed skating rink. The venue has since been reconfigured and now serves as a community multi-sport park and includes two ice hockey rinks, two running tracks, a climbing wall, a rowing tank and a flexible area which can be used for, among other sports, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer and table tennis.

The Olympic bid called for the oval to be located on the grounds of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, but Richmond was instead selected in 2004. Although twice the price of the SFU alternative, the location was selected because the city offered to cover all costs exceeding $60 million. Construction started in 2006, cost $178 million Cdn and the venue opened on 12 December 2008. In addition to speed skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the venue has hosted the 2009 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships. Designed by CannonDesign, the oval's elements are made to resemble the heron.

Samuel Mlynarovič

Samuel Mlynarovič (born 23 May 1990) is a Slovak professional ice hockey center who is currently playing for the HK Poprad in the Slovak Extraliga, previously for HC Košice. In the 2014-15 season became a champion of Kazakhstan with Ertis Pavlodar.

Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield Steelers is a professional ice hockey team located in Sheffield, England. It was formed in 1991 (see 1991 in sport) and plays its home games at the FlyDSA Arena. It is currently a member of the Elite Ice Hockey League. The club's main (title) sponsor is Sheffield Window Centre.

UBC Thunderbirds

The UBC Thunderbirds are the athletic teams that represent the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands just outside the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In Canadian intercollegiate competition, the Thunderbirds are the most successful athletic program both regionally in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, and nationally in U Sports.

Venues of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

The compactness of the venue locations for the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Winter Paralympics, hosted by the county of Pyeongchang, was one of the winning arguments of the bid. The Games were gathered around two main venues: these were the mountain resort of Alpensia in Pyeongchang for the outdoor (snow) sports (Nordic and alpine skiing, bobsleigh, etc.) and the coastal city of Gangneung for the indoor (ice) sports (figure skating, ice hockey, etc.) There were also two stand-alone mountain venues.

The Games had a total of 13 competition venues, six of which were constructed especially for the Games. The last venue to start being constructed was the long track speed skating oval in Gangneung; work began on this in October 2014.

Venues of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

The Beijing Olympic Games Bidding Committee unveiled the venue layout plan for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on 20 February 2014: five ice events will be held at the Olympic center, the Capital Indoor Stadium and the Beijing Wukesong Sports Center, which were some of the main venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Competitions for luge, bobsleigh and alpine skiing will be held in Xiaohaituo Mountain area northwest of Beijing, 90 kilometres (56 miles) away from the city centre. All other skiing events will be held in Taizicheng Area in Chongli County, Zhangjiakou, 220 km (140 mi) from downtown Beijing and 130 km (81 mi) away from Xiaohaituo Mountain Area.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.