Required Gear

MGHA rules require full hockey gear to play. Gear costs vary depending on if you get new or used equipment.

Required Gear – The TL;DR List

From toe-to-head, the gear you’ll need is:

  • Hockey skates
  • Good socks for your feet
  • Shin guards
  • Hockey pants (a.k.a. breezers)
  • Hockey socks
  • Garter belt or hockey shorts with velcro or clips to hold up your hockey socks
  • Cup (for people with dangly bits) or pelvic protector (for people who just need to protect the pubic bone). Hockey shorts with velcro or clips and a built-in cup or pelvic protector are an option.
  • Elbow pads
  • Shoulder pads
  • Gloves
  • Jersey: light and dark
  • Helmet. Must be HECC certified
  • FULL face mask (metal bird cage or plastic shield). Must be HECC certified.
  • Stick

Other items you will want to include:

  • Bag to carry it all (good gear bags include vents and pockets for small items)
  • Water bottle

Optional items:

  • Undershirt. Most players wear an undershirt of some kind below their pads. Long-sleeved “performance” shirts are available from several brands. You don’t need a name brand, as long as it is comfortable and “wicks” moisture away from your body.
  • Mouth guard (to protect against concussions)
  • Mouth guard case and helmet tether
  • Throat protector
  • Cloth tape for your stick
  • Clear shin guard tape (sold at hockey stores alongside cloth tape)
  • Skate guards
  • Spare laces
  • Spare skate blades (if your skates are newer and have the on-the-fly blade change tech)
  • Helmet repair kit
  • Anti-fog
  • Gear spray
  • Odor absorbers
  • Rag for wiping skate blades after use
  • Sweet stick/stone
  • Towel
  • Shower shoes
  • Shampoo and body wash
  • Fresh change of clothes
  • Foot/skate mat

/end Tl;DR

Help buying gear: All new players are assigned mentors to help familiarize them with the MGHA and ease them into hockey if they’ve never played before. Mentors can answer any questions you may have about purchasing or sizing gear, and will accompany new players to make sure they get the right gear that fits.

Detailed Gear Guide

  • General
    • Buy gear based on your actual size; don’t buy “senior” gear simply because it’s marketed for adults. Proper fitting intermediate or junior gear will be better than too-big senior gear that will impede your play and fit poorly, often leaving unexpected gaps in protection

Required Gear

  • Skates
      • Ensure you are buying hockey skates as these will help protect your foot and provide better support than figure or recreational skates.
      • Please get these fit by a professional (if possible; Pure Hockey can help with this, even if you will not be buying skates there) to ensure the correct fit for your foot and proper protection.
      • If your skates can be baked (the box or paperwork will say, if buying new), have this done at a hockey shop! Ensure you’re wearing the same socks you will be wearing when you skate.
      • A higher level and/or stiffer skate will provide more support and protection. This is especially important for larger players and players in L2.
      • Consider better insoles, especially in lower end or used skates
  • Socks
      • Many companies make skate socks; any moisture wicking sock will work, and the specifics (thick, thin, extra cushioned, etc) will depend on personal preference
      • Ensure you wear these socks when trying on skates, as a different sock can lead to a very different feel in the skate.
  • Shin Guards
      • Wear skates while trying on shin pads to ensure that your shin is completely protected. These can go on under or over the tongue of the skate (personal preference) as long as they cover the leg. Ensure your calves are also protected.
  • Hockey pants (a.k.a. breezers)
      • Look for a pair with proper padding in the butt and hips, where you’re most likely to land when you fall.
      • These should come to the top of your knee so there is little to no gap between the bottom of the pant leg and the top of the shin guard
  • Hockey socks
      • These are available in knit or mesh
      • The MGHA will issue you a pair of team colored knit socks when teams are assigned; however, you will need a pair for practices and events beforehand
  • Garter belt or hockey shorts with velcro or clips to hold up your hockey socks
  • Cup (for people with dangly bits) or pelvic protector (for people who just need to protect the pubic bone). Hockey shorts with velcro or clips and a built-in cup or pelvic protector are an option.
      • A cup or pelvic protector is usually included when buying the velcro shorts.  
  • Elbow pads
      • Try these on with gloves and shoulder pads to ensure you’re able to move comfortably while still having your arms fully covered
  • Shoulder pads
      • Try these on with gloves and elbow pads to ensure you’re able to move comfortably while still having your arms fully covered
      • Try these on with hockey pants; between the two, your torso should be well covered; there should be no large gaps
  • Gloves
      • Try these on with elbow pads to ensure you’re able to move comfortably while still having your arms fully covered
      • Make sure you can comfortably hold a stick while wearing the gloves
  • Jersey: light (white if possible) and dark
  • Helmet. Must be HECC certified
      • Buy new if possible! You can never know the type of impacts used gear has taken before you bought it. It’s your head – invest in protecting it
  • FULL face mask (metal bird cage or plastic shield). Must be HECC certified
      • Make sure your chin rests in the chin cup while attached to the helmet and buckled. It is not unusual to need a different size cage than helmet, and a proper fit will not only be more comfortable, but will help keep you safe. Buying a helmet and cage combo from a store will often pair small helmet to small cage, medium helmet to medium cage, and so on, so make sure that fits before ordering. Otherwise, buy your helmet and cage separately (but check with your mentor, a store employee, or the internet to make sure the helmet and cage you buy will be compatible with each other).
  • Stick
    • Don’t worry about the labels “righty” or “lefty” – being right- or left-handed often has very little to do with how you hold a hockey stick. Try holding some of both, and see what is more comfortable

Other items you will want to include:

  • Bag to carry it all (good gear bags include vents and pockets for small items)
    • There are three styles of bag: carry bags, wheel bags, and backpack bags
      • Carry/traditional: two straps, which often attach to each other, that you put over your shoulder to carry the bag. These are soft-sided bags.
      • Wheel bags: what it sounds like! A bag on wheels. (There’s also a variation of this called a tower bag that stands upright on wheels.) These may have side attachments for sticks, but will have a rigid bottom that makes them harder to fit in smaller cars and less comfortable when they need to be carried over the shoulder.
      • Backpack bags: There are two main variations: the carry bag with backpack straps, and the jumbo-sized backpack. The first version is just what it sounds like, it can be used as a carry bag but has backpack straps (which can often be stashed in an external pocket when not in use). The latter is shaped more like a normal backpack, but large and with bigger side pockets. These sometimes also have wheels.
    • There’s a balance between a bag that’s big enough that it isn’t a game of Tetris to pack, and small enough that it’s somewhat organized and convenient. Don’t be afraid to look at “junior” bags if you wear smaller gear.
  • Water bottle
    • Consider a squirt bottle vs a straw bottle and decide which is right for you
    • A straw bottle is often easier for those using a “bubble” (the plastic shield face mask) as it’s less likely to spray your mask and contribute to fogging

Optional items/things to have in your bag

    • Undershirt. Most players wear an undershirt of some kind below their pads. Long-sleeved “performance” shirts are available from several brands. You don’t need a name brand, as long as it is comfortable and “wicks” moisture away from your body.
    • Mouth guard (to protect against concussions)
    • Throat protector
    • Cloth tape for your stick
    • Clear shin guard tape (sold at hockey stores alongside cloth tape)
    • Skate guards
    • Spare laces
    • Spare skate blades (if your skates are newer and have the on-the-fly blade change tech)
    • Helmet repair kit
    • Anti-fog
      • For use on bubble style face masks
    • Gear spray
      • For odor and bacteria control
    • Odor absorbers
      • For in your bag, skates, gloves, etc
    • Rag for wiping skate blades after use
    • Sweet stick/stone
      • If you’ve never used one, you’ll want to have an experienced player teach you how, or use it for you, but these are useful to hande nicks in your blades between sharpenings
    • Toiletries
      • Cap Ice has two showers shared between every two locker rooms
      • Towel
      • Shower shoes
      • Shampoo and body wash
      • Dry shampoo and shower wipes
    • Fresh change of clothes
    • Foot/skate mat
      • Locker room floors are gross; this could be as simple as a cheap rubber door mat or a small towel to stand on
    • Skate fenders/shot blockers
      • Can add some protection to parts of your foot
      • Attach to your skate to provide additional protection against impacts from pucks
      • These are not adequate protection without a decent hockey skate, they are merely a supplement for those worried about extra hard impacts
      • Most commonly used by defense or those with a history of foot injuries, particularly in L2

Gear Care

Gear is expensive, get the most out of it and keep yourself healthy by taking good care of your gear and cleaning it when appropriate. It is recommended that gear is cleaned, at a minimum:

  1. When used gear is purchased
  2. Beginning and/or end of a season
  3. Before returning to the ice after any long breaks the gear was stored away for

General

  • Remove all gear from your bag after every use and spread it out to air dry
    • You can use a fan and/or dehumidifier to help, but once gear has dried it is recommended to turn these off to prevent the gear from getting too stiff and unnaturally dry (especially important for the palms of your gloves)
    • Consider a closet, shelving units, or gear tree to keep things off the floor; consider something with a door if you have pets
      • With a door, include additional ventilation to help the smell
  • Cats love hockey bags; do not leave gear bags open and unattended somewhere the cat can reach, or you’re far too likely to find cat pee in it the next time you go to pack your gear
  • Wash soft items (undershirts, underwear, socks, jerseys, etc) frequently – after every use if possible
    • This is especially important if you have sensitive skin, and to keep white jerseys and socks looking clean; sweat will turn them yellow quickly!
  • Most “hard” items (padded gear) can be washed! Some are easier than others. There are two methods: washing machine and (bath or big plastic) tub
    • Washing machine
      • some equipment can fit in your washing machine. Oxyclean and vinegar are great for helping banish the smell.
      • An extra rinse cycle is recommended to ensure the cleaning agents are washed out.
      • Do not put gear in a washing machine with an agitator.
    • Tub
      • Fill a tub with hot water and oxyclean. A small amount of vinegar and laundry detergent are optional.
      • Soak gear in the tub (you may need to weigh it down or flip it over periodically to ensure all parts are reached).
      • Drain tub and repeat process if necessary. Warning: the water is gonna be nasty.
      • In a tub or with a hose, rinse gear until water runs clean through all parts of the equipment
      • Air dry; it is not recommended to leave equipment in the sun for long periods of time, but a few hours to kickstart the drying is great
  • “Hard” items should be air dried only when washed; remember that  this can take some time, so carefully consider when you will need to wear it next before washing

Skates

  • Clear snow from and dry your skate blades after each use
  • Use soft skate covers that will absorb extra moisture (rubber guards will trap it and can lead to rusty blades)
  • Store skates without skate covers when possible, unless 100% dry
  • Fully loosen your skates when taking them off. Use your hands, not your other foot/skate, to hold your skate down when pulling your foot out
  • Check your skate laces for cuts or worn spots; have a correctly sized pair on hand in case a lace breaks or needs to be replaced
  • Put absorbing sneaker balls in your skates to help the smell
  • Most hockey bags have a dedicated skate pocket; this will help protect your skates, as well as protecting your other gear from your skates

Shin Guards

  • Most shin guards have removable liners; these can be machine washed between uses. Take note of which side of the velcro they have and put in separate laundry bags if necessary to avoid sticking to other clothing
  • Periodically check for cracks or broken pieces. Though some minor cracks can be fine, keep an eye on them and replace as soon as possible when any major cracking occurs
  • Hockey pants/breezers, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves
    • Can be machine washed if they fit in your washing machine; air dry
    • Ensure velcro is secured before washing
    • Check for holes or tears; fix or replace to prevent worsening. Replace if any padding is missing
  • Garter belt or hockey shorts with velcro or clips to hold up your hockey socks
    • Ensure velcro flaps are appropriately closed to avoid sticking to other clothes when washing
  • Cup (for people with dangly bits) or pelvic protector (for people who just need to protect the pubic bone)
    • Wash periodically with soap and water (or just leave it in the shorts/jock when you wash them)
  • Helmet and face mask (metal bird cage or plastic shield)
    • Always buckle at least one side of your cage/shield closed before putting helmet in your bag, to prevent screws and cage clips from breaking
    • Pack helmet in the middle of your bag (inside the hockey pants usually works well) to protect it from hard impacts when bags are handled roughly or dropped
    • Regularly check for loose screws and tighten as needed. Replace any broken or missing hardware/plastic clips immediately
    • DO NOT SUBMERGE HELMET
    • Clean helmet padding and chin cup with warm water and mild soap on a cloth or sponge
    • Rinse thoroughly
    • Replace immediately if cracked or padding is missing
    • If padding is not missing but is no longer glued in place, contact cement can be used to re-attach it to the helmet. However, this is usually a sign that the helmet is old and no longer safe, so please only use this as a stop-gap until you are able to acquire a new helmet.
    • Cage
      • Check for bent bars, rust, or broken welds. Replace immediately if the integrity of the cage is compromised.
    • Plastic shield/bubble
      • Check for cracks. Replace immediately if cracked.
      • Treat with an anti-fog solution of your choice. Recommended to keep some in your bag
      • A helmet sweatband or bandana may help prevent fogging by trapping moisture away from the shield
      • When packing, put helmet in a helmet bag to prevent gear from scratching the shield; do not store in bag after use, remove and allow to air dry
  • Stick
    • Tape stick blades before use
    • Retape sticks when the bottom is about to wear through and expose the blade, or as desired
    • Use a plastic blade protector if using your ice hockey stick outside
    • Stick bags are not necessary for most players most of the time, but recommended if flying with gear, or if sticks are traveling in a rougher-than-usual environment, like in a truck bed or a car rooftop box.

Places you can get hockey gear: