Shooting the puck is a motion a player takes to push the puck with his hockey stick into the air or along the ice towards the opposing team's goal cage in hopes of having it go in the net. If the puck crosses the goal line of the goal cage, or into the net, a team earns a goal.
A shooter can be predominately a left-handed or right-handed shooter. Lefties typically play along the left side of the ice, while right-handed shooters play along the right side of the ice.
Playing on the wing of the ice that matches your dominant shooting side gives you a benefit of creating stronger angles on your shots.
Before we define a shot on goal, let's make sure we understand what the definition of a shot is.
A shot is an attempt at hitting the puck into the net or goal cage.
A shot on goal is a statistic that is recorded for an individual player or an ice hockey team. A shot on goal in hockey is a statistic recorded for an individual player as well as a team whenever a player shoots the puck at the opposing team's goal.
Each time a player shoots the puck at the opposing team's goal, it gets recorded. The shot gets recorded for the individual and the team.
Players have a lot of tools in their arsenal for scoring goals. There are many ways for a player to shoot the puck:
A wrist shot is a type of shot in ice hockey that is a fast and sudden movement, requiring the skater to flick his wrists lifting the puck into the air with his stick towards the net. Wrist shots are great when players are close to the net and want to surprise goalies on which direction of the net they are shooting.
A backhand shot is a shot in ice hockey where the player will use the back-portion of the stick to shoot the puck. It all depends on if a player is right-handed or left-handed and the type of stick they are using.
While the puck is in motion towards a teammate from a pass, an offensive player is winding up his swing timing the upcoming shot on goal. This is called a one-timer and requires a strong sense of timing and anticipation. One-timers are great for surprising the opposing team's players and goalie and giving them little time to react to the upcoming shot.
A slap shot in ice hockey is like a one-timer, except that it is not timed off a pass. Instead, an offensive player will wind up his swing and shoot the puck with intense force. Slap shots are very difficult to defend against.
Offensive players should utilize slap shots when they have plenty of time and are near the blue line in the attacking zone.
A snap shot is like a wrist shot in that the offensive player has a small windup and a quick release of the puck. The only difference is that a snap shot doesn't have to utilize a flick of the wrists. Snap shots are a great shot selection from anywhere in the attacking zone.