How Long Is a Hockey Game?

how long is a hockey game


Hockey, with its fast-paced action and thrilling moments, has captivated fans worldwide. Whether you’re a die-hard supporter or a curious newcomer, understanding the duration of a hockey game is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of game length and explore factors that influence it. So, grab your stick and let’s hit the ice!

how long is a hockey game

How Long is a Hockey Game?

The National Hockey League (NHL) set the standard for professional hockey games. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Regulation Play: NHL games consist of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. That’s a total of 60 minutes of gameplay.
    •  Intermissions: After the first and second periods, players enjoy a 15 to 18-minute break. These intermissions serve multiple purposes: Player Rest: Hockey demands peak physical performance, and these breaks allow players to recharge.
    •  Ice Maintenance: The Zamboni glides across the rink, resurfacing the ice for optimal play.
    •  Commercial Breaks: Advertisers love this time to showcase their products.
    •  Fan Comfort: Concession stands beckon hungry fans.

Factors Affecting Game Duration

Several factors extend the actual time spent watching a hockey game:

  1. Stoppages in Play:
    • Penalties: Referees enforce rules, leading to penalty minutes.
    • Goals: Celebrations and puck retrieval take time.
    • Injuries: Players occasionally need medical attention.
    • Fights: Gloves drop, tempers flare, and the clock stops.
    • Timeouts: Coaches strategize during these brief pauses.
  2. Overtime and Shootouts:
    • If the score remains tied after regulation, we enter overtime. Teams play a 5-minute sudden-death period with fewer skaters. No intermission here!
    • If still tied, it’s shootout time. Each team gets three shots on goal, and sudden death follows if needed.
how long is a hockey game

The Longest NHL Game Ever

In 1936, the Detroit Reds and Montreal Maroons battled for 176 minutes and 30 seconds, six overtimes! Mud Bruneteau finally scored the game-winner, etching their names in hockey lore.

The Shortest NHL Game

In the annals of NHL history, there exists a game that defied expectations, not for its duration, but for its brevity. On November 1, 2018, the Montreal Canadiens etched their names into the record books during a matchup against the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

Here’s what happened:

  • The clock ticked down to the last moments of the game.
  •  In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence, the Canadiens scored two goals in just two seconds.
  •  The crowd erupted, players exchanged high-fives, and the arena buzzed with disbelief.

Imagine the lightning speed of those goals, the puck zipping across the ice, the net bulging, and the scoreboard updating in an instant. It was a testament to precision, timing, and sheer hockey magic.

And just like that, the game concluded with a 6-4 victory for the Canadiens. Two seconds—barely enough time to catch your breath, yet forever etched in NHL lore.

Step-by-Step Guide for Fans

  1. Arrival: Get to the arena early.
  2.  Warm-Up: Watch players practice.
  3.  Pregame Show: Anthem, player introductions, and excitement.
  4.  Periods: Enjoy the game’s heart in three intense periods.
  5.  Intermissions: Grab a snack and chat with fellow fans.
  6.  Overtime: Hold your breath.
  7.  Shootout: Nail-biting moments.
  8.  Postgame: Celebrate (or commiserate) with fellow fans.


Hockey games are more than just numbers on a clock. They’re adrenaline-fueled battles, weaving stories of triumph and heartbreak. So, next time you settle in to watch, appreciate the nuances of the penalties, the goals, and the Zamboni’s graceful glide. And remember, whether it’s 60 minutes or six overtime, hockey’s magic lies in every second on the ice.

If a hockey game starts at 7 what time will it end?

Typically, a standard hockey game lasts around 2 to 3 hours. So, if a hockey game starts at 7:00 PM, it would likely end somewhere between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

How long is a field hockey game?

A standard field hockey game typically consists of two halves, each lasting 35 minutes at the international level for men’s matches and 30 minutes for women’s matches. However, at lower levels or in different formats of the game, the duration may vary. Additionally, there may be added time for stoppages, such as penalty corners or injuries. Therefore, the total duration of a field hockey game can be around 70 to 80 minutes, including halftime.

How long is a hockey game in person?

In some youth or amateur leagues, games might be shortened to accommodate younger players or time constraints. These games could last anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours, including warm-up, gameplay, and breaks.

How long is a hockey game college?

In college hockey, games typically consist of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, for a total regulation playing time of 60 minutes. This duration is similar to professional hockey games. However, with stoppages, intermissions, and potential overtime periods, the total time spent at a college hockey game might be around 2 to 2.5 hours.

How long is a hockey game high school?

Typically, each period lasts around 15 to 20 minutes, resulting in a total regulation playing time of 45 to 60 minutes. Including intermissions and potential overtime, the total duration of a high school hockey game can range from about 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

How many periods in hockey?

Games consist of three periods. Each period typically lasts for 20 minutes of continuous play, with stoppages for various reasons such as goals, penalties, and timeouts. There are also intermissions between periods where players rest and coaches can make adjustments.

Anthony H
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