How Long is a Hockey Game?

Hockey Players Playing Inside a Rink

Hockey games are 60 minutes long and are divided into three 20-minute periods, but they can take up to 2.5 hours to complete due to stoppage time and intermissions. During stoppage time, the game clock stops for various reasons, including the puck going out of bounds, injuries, and fights. Additionally, TV commercials and timeouts can extend the game’s length. If the score is tied at the end of the third period, a five-minute overtime occurs, followed by a shootout if necessary.

The length of playoff games is longer than regular-season games, with a 20-minute intermission instead of 15 minutes. However, minor league hockey games take less time to complete because they do not have TV commercials. NCAA college hockey games also take less time because there are no TV commercials.

The longest NHL game ever played was between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Maroons in 1936, which lasted for 176 minutes and 30 seconds. Before the 2005 season, games could end in a tie, but since then, they go into a shootout to determine the winner.

In summary, a professional hockey game takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, including 60 minutes of play, stoppage time, intermissions, and TV commercials. Understanding the reasons behind stoppage time is essential to understanding the game’s length.