A term common to the sport of hockey, the five-hole refers to the space between a goaltender's legs. If a player scores by shooting the puck or ball into the goal between the goaltender's legs, he is said to have scored "through the five-hole," or to have "gone five-hole."


The term five-hole derives from the target practice sheets or plastic tarpaulins used to cover the mouth of the hockey goal. These sheets (often with the image of a crouching goaltender printed on them) completely cover the space between the goalposts and crossbar except for four holes - one in each corner. These holes are often numbered one through four. The number five-hole (usually not cut out of the sheet or marked) is the space between the printed goaltenders legs. These five-holes represent the best places to shoot the puck in order to score.

Another theory as to the term's origin suggests it is based on five-pin bowling, a game invented in Canada where ice hockey is extremely popular: of the five pins, knocking down only the middle pin earns a score of five points, which is analogous to shooting a puck into the middle of a goal between the goaltender's legs.

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