Players will often receive "penalties" for their bad behavior. The referees are the final arbiters of the penalties they call, and players can get into worse trouble by arguing with refs who penalize them. There are 4 different kinds of penalties:

  1. Minor penalty, for which a player must sit in the penalty box for 2 minutes.

  2. Major penalty, for which a player must sit in the penalty box for 5 minutes.

  3. Misconduct, for which a player must sit in the penalty box for 10 minutes.

  4. Game misconduct, which sends a player out for the whole game.

Minor penalties. When one team has a player in the box due to a minor penalty, it must play "shorthanded" (with one less skater) until either the penalty expires or the opposing team scores a goal. This situation is called a "power play" for the un-penalized team, and a "penalty kill" for the penalized team.

Major penalties. If the penalty is a major penalty, the penalized team must kill the penalty for the entire five minutes, regardless of how many goals the opposing team scores. If a penalized team manages to score a goal while killing the penalty, it is called a "shorthanded goal." A team can be shorthanded by two players, but no more. If more than two of a team's players are penalized, the team will continue to play with four players-a fill-in player will be brought in, because the penalized players must still serve their punishments. If a player from each team is assessed a minor or major penalty in the same incident, the penalties are called "offsetting." The players must sit in the box but the teams continue to play at full strength (with six players each).

Misconducts. A misconduct (either kind) only results in the player being ejected from the game for the stated amount of time; the player's team is not shorthanded for the duration of the misconduct, so another player is brought on in his stead.

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