Hockey Intermission


We've already learned about the basic structure of an ice hockey game. Every ice hockey game is made up of three periods. Together, these periods of play are called regulation.

In this tutorial, we will learn about the break between the periods called intermission.


An intermission is a brief break from play between periods. There are two intermissions in a regulation ice hockey game. The first intermission takes place between the 1st period and 2nd period. The second intermission takes place between the 2nd and 3rd period.

Intermissions last 18 minutes in the NHL and time is recorded by the game timekeeper and presented to fans on the scoreboard.

During intermission, players leave the ice through an opening in the boards to the locker rooms. Intermissions allow players to regroup and make adjustments to their game plan prior to the next period. During this time, the zamboni will also come onto the ice to perform necessary maintenance.

PRO TIP: If an ice hockey game goes beyond regulation, there will be a brief intermission before the start of overtime. However, in the NHL this intermission only lasts one minute.

Halftime Show

To keep fans entertained, some ice hockey games have something called a halftime show. This usually consists of some form of entertainment on the ice.

PRO TIP: If you're watching on TV, there's usually a breakdown of each team's performance by sports analysts on major networks.

Face-offs After Intermissions

So what happens when teams come back onto the ice after an intermission? Who gets the puck? The puck is always put back into play via a face-off at the face-off spot at center ice.

We'll learn more about face-offs and how teams put the puck into play in future chapters.

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