Glossary: 5-Hole Goal

Little goalies seem to be full of holes — gaping holes to the left, to the right, above their heads. If they’ve got 5 holes, they have 20. But as goalies grow and cover more of the net, shots get more strategic. Crowds particularly admire 5-hole shots, which are both hard to make and hard to prevent. You, too, can appreciate a 5-hole goal if you know what fans are talking about.

A 5-hole goal goes in between the goalie’s legs and skates. Goalies try to prevent 5-hole goals with their stick and with “butterfly” moves (although nothing will remind you less of an elegant fluttering butterfly than a padded, smelly hockey player dropping to the ice). Holes 1 through 4 include glove-side high, glove-side low, stick-side high and stick-side low. If you poke around online, you can’t find references to the mythical 6-hole where the puck seems to go straight through the goalie. You can also find 6-hole and 7-hole referencing the goalie’s stick-side torso and glove-side torso. In the United States, however, you can sound like a real fan by simply knowing what 5-hole means.

The best look we found of a 5-hole goal is from behind the net at a roller hockey game. See it in action here:



Editor’s Note: Thank you to Kelly Kordes Anton for this story.
The Colorado Avalanche and coloradoavalanche.com are trademarks of the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 2008 Colorado Avalanche and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.