Clark's Corner: Blog #2

John Clark

John Clark

Dec. 26, 2012

Army senior defenseman John Clark is authoring a blog this hockey season titled Clark’s Corner, continuing the long tradition of players offering thoughts and insights on the Black Knights.

A native of Baudette, Minn., Clark is a Management major and four-year contributor to the Black Knights. His blog will be updated throughout the season.


“In a couple of big tilts at a dusty barn last weekend, the boys threw some serious sauce, got in a few tilly’s,  and dangled some benders for a big four points.  The fans were dressed as empty seats.”

If you haven’t the slightest idea what that statement was about, don’t worry,  you’re not alone.  What you read was a sample of the complicated language most commonly known as Hockey Talk. 

Although its origin is factually unknown, I personally believe the language originated up in Canada in the early days of Junior Hockey with large groups of 17-21 year olds living similar lifestyles of minimal responsibility (as described in my last blog) who saw each other so often day in and day out, that they developed new definitions for existing words in the English language to apply to hockey life.

These original players then went on to play on other teams, spreading the language across the hockey world to a point where now, the language is fully integrated into the life of every player above the high school level. 

Many of you may have had a personal encounter with the puzzling language and had to ask for clarification.  This was often the situation with many of our friends here at school, so rather than keeping them in the dark, we (myself, Andy Starczewski, Cheyne Rocha, and Ryan Leets) created an educational “hockey term of the day” to broaden their language skills to include hockey as a second language.  This process has proved to be highly successful with the lacrosse and volleyball teams. 

Therefore, it is now my hope to give you a crash course on hockey talk, so when you find yourself with a group of hockey guys or girls, you can catch enough words to keep up and maybe throw in a few “chirps” yourself.  I’ve compiled a short list, a reference card if you will, of common nouns and adjectives used in our confusing language.  (User Warning: regional dialects often introduce their own words, in that case… good luck!). 

Hockey Talk Meaning
Sick, filthy, dirty, nasty Good
Garbage, dusty, brutal, tough Bad
Bender, Duster Poor hckey player (often with weak ankles)
Sauce An elevated pass that flies flat like a saucer
Barn Arena
angle To stickhandle proficiently
Tilly A fight
Wheeling To talk to girls
Tilt A game


This list is by no means comprehensive, but you should now be able to at least understand the hockey players summary of the weekend that started this blog entry. 

This lingo also applies to nicknames on the team as some are often difficult to decipher.  To test your deciphering skills,  here are a few nicknames on the team.

Try to guess what player holds each nickname.  1)Rico.  2) Ogie.  3)Captain InThane-o .  4)Rooka.  5)Steel  [*hint*- read it backwards]   6) Warshy.   [Answers at the bottom]

Our language is just one of many things that makes this great sport so much fun and bonds us together as friends for life.  

The boys just finished up finals week (or Game 7 as Brian Schultz likes to call it) and have enjoyed a full week of time off at home to spend with friends and family, and possibly throw some “sauce” at their local alumni game.  Everyone is back at West Point now gearing up to play the Russian Junior All-Stars on Dec. 27 at Tate Rink and then hit the road to play Canisius on Dec. 29 and 30 up in Buffalo 

The Army Hockey family wants to wish each and every one of you a Happy Holidays.  May your holiday bring your family together and the new year bring you peace and happiness… and hopefully a few AHA wins down the stretch as well .

Remember to hit me up on Twitter (@johnclark5) with any questions you want answered or topics discussed about your Black Knights in the my next blog. 


Keep your stick on the ice,
Clarky  #5                                            

Nickname Answers: 1) Christian Pomarico; 2) James McNulty; 3) Thane Heller; 4) Cheyne Rocha; 5) Ryan Leets; 6) Matt Walsh.

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