Can there be a 5 on 2 in hockey

Can there be A 5 On 2 in a Hockey Game? (Let’s Find Out)

Are you wondering if there can be a 5 on 2 in a hockey game? This post will teach you all you need to know about the power play and the number of hockey players on a team in different situations. 

Usually, a hockey team starts with six players on each side— five skaters and one goaltender. And this is known as a 5-on-5 situation. But sometimes, teams could have a player short during the game. 

Penalties and infractions can lead to the opposition getting a power play and hence having more players on the ice. However, a team can not have less than three players on a team, which means you cannot have a 5 on 2 in hockey. 

When a team is on a power play or their opponent is on a penalty kill, it disrupts the balance of a 5 on 5. 

What happens if a team takes a penalty when they Have three players?

When a team having three players on the ice takes a penalty, another player from the substitute can replace the offender. That is because a team cannot have less than three skaters on the ice. However, the team would still take the penalty at the end of the game. 

This situation is called delayed penalization, and it happens in hockey. 

Can there be a 3 on 2 During overtime?

In the National Hockey League, the overtime in the regular season sees the team move from a 5 on 5 to a 3 on 3. This situation also brings about whether you can have a 3-on-2 if a team takes a penalty. The answer is No. 

A hockey team cannot have less than two skaters at a time. Instead, the opponent will have an extra player to make it a 4 on 3. This would be a fair situation to ensure that the power play counts. 

5 on 3 power play

Can there be a 6 on 3 in Hockey?

A hockey team usually starts with a 5 on 5 (excluding the goaltender of each side). However, in rare cases, when teams are on a 5-on-3 power play and are in desperate need of a goal, they would bring on their goaltender to join the skaters. So, a 6-on-3 is possible in hockey.

This strategy would give them a superior numeral advantage over their opponents. However, the goal would be empty, and the opponent could score on the open post. 

How Many Players Are In An Ice Hockey Game?

Hockey players that go on the ice from the start include 5 skaters and one goalie. However, a team can have up to 20 players dressed up for an ice hockey game. These players consist of goalies, defensemen, and forwards (left-wing, right-wing, and centre). 

A team can start with one goalie, a pair of defensemen (right defenseman and left defenseman), and three forwards (left-wing, right-wing, and centre). 

On the bench, teams can also have other groups of defensemen, forwards, and one goalie. So, the substitutes will have two pairs of defensive players (4), three groups of attacking players (9), and one goalie. If you sum up all the number of starters and substitutes, you have 20 players dressed up for a hockey game. 

Read More: How Many Players Are There On Each Side Of the Hockey Team

How Often Can A Team Change Players In Hockey?

Line changes are common in hockey games. This game is physical and requires stamina, strength, and endurance. The players on the bench can come on for the tired players already on ice. The game strategy could also make the team change players during a game. 

Read Also: How Do Hockey Players Know When To Change?

A hockey team can make changes after every 45 to 60 seconds. However, this time could be more for recreational hockey games. 


The hockey game is one of the most exciting sports you could watch. The rules and regulations allow for a fair advantage for players on the power play or penalty kill. Although a hockey game starts with a balance of 5 on 5 (excluding the goalie), penalties could affect this number. 

However, you can have a 5 on 4, 5 on 3, 4 on 3, 3 on 3, and even 6 on 3 in a hockey game. But a team can not have less than three skaters at any period of the game. That means having a 3 on 2 or a 5 on 2 is impossible. 

So, if you were wondering if you can have a 5 on 2 in hockey, I believe you now know why you cannot. 

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