Why Pulling the Goalie is An excellent Rule

Adam Rothstein
2 min readAug 8, 2022


USA Hockey Goalie

There are many unique rules in sports. The designated hitter rule in baseball and the onside kick in football may come to your mind first. But these two rules can’t compare to pulling the goalie.

A hockey team can pull the goalie at any time in the game and have an extra skater on the ice. Teams will do this at the end of the game if they are down by a goal or two. Teams will also do this if there is a delayed penalty. If there is a delayed penalty, you can pull the goalie and have an extra skater on the ice because the opposing team may not want to take the penalty immediately. As soon as the team who was penalized touches the puck during the delayed penalty, the player(s) who made penalties go to the penalty box. Once the player(s) are in the box, the play resumes with both goalies on the ice.

When a team is down by a goal with two minutes to go, a coach’s main goal is to get the team to overtime. By pulling the goalie and putting an extra skater on, the team is more likely to get the puck. However, some people could also consider it a disadvantage because the opposing team can score a goal on an empty net and put their team up two goals.

I believe this is one rule that should be kept a rule forever. If a team is down by in the game, that team should have a fair chance to come back. Having the ability to pull your goalie and set up one last final play gives a fair balance to the team leading and the team trailing.

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