Shorthanded in hockey terms refers to having one less skater on the ice during play. The one player removed from play is to serve a penalty in an off-ice box for a set amount of time, depending on the infraction. The opposing team is usually referred to as having an "advantage" until the penalized player returns to play. If the team with the advantage scores a goal while the other team is shorthanded, the penalty is over unless it was a major penalty.
The objective of the shorthanded team is to keep the puck away from the attacking team and not allow them to set up in the offensive zone, thus, running time off of the clock and "killing the penalty".
A shorthanded team cannot be called for icing, thus, its players will not hesitate to shoot the puck down the entire length of the ice when killing a penalty.
When this occurs the shorthanded team will generally play in a triangle formation with two defensemen by the goal and one forward in the middle of the defensive zone.
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