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Physics of Ice Hockey

Acceleration
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Acceleration


acceleration.jpg
This player has to accelerate to get to the puck before his opponent.

Acceleration is the rate at which velocity changes. Aceleration can come in three different ways: increasing speed, decreasing speed, or changing direction. In hockey, players are constantly accelerating. They always increase their speed to try to have an odd man attack, catch a lucky breakaway, or just simply get to the puck before the opponent. They aren't only increasing their speed; they decrease it too. Players may decrease their speed when they are trying to tag up onsides or a defensemen may slow down and skate backwards to protect their goal. Players are also constantly changing direction, either to get around a player, or to go behind the net and set up a play. Goalies are also sliding between the pipes while trying to keep their eye on the puck, which is also always changing direction.