Five-hole: a noun.

“The space between the legs of a goaltender,” Merriam-Webster defines the hockey jargon in its latest addition to the English language dictionary.  

Please use it in a sentence.

A blast through the five-hole of Montreal's Jeff Hackett gave the Panthers a 1–0 lead 13:33 into the game,” the definition states.

May I get the country of origin?

Unknown, but the first known use of the word was in 1980 and the concept likely originated with from former NHL goalie Jacques Plante.

Five-hole is one of more than 1,000 new words added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this this week along with airball, humblebrag, binge-watch, photobomb, FLOTUS, EpiPen and phytoremediation.

Hockey fans are very familiar with the five-hole, but the lingo has not been widely and officially recognized until now.

The new word has appeared three times in our Wild coverage this season.

Wild forward Erik Haula used it to tell “[Zack Mitchell] to stop shooting five-hole every time.”

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk said “[Jared Spurgeon] almost scored on me first. I thanked him, but I was like, ‘Really, you’re the one that put it through my five-hole, so you better sweep it out of there or we’re gonna have to go on TV.’ No, that’s not the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last time he bails me out, so that was nice of him.”

Even beat writer Michael Russo mixed it into his writing: “The mental giant recalled immediately the bizarre five-hole goal [Patrick] Kane scored against him last year the moment Kane flubbed a knuckler to beat him in the first period. In the second, after a faceoff, a Kane shot funkily ramped up Matt Dumba’s stick to beat Dubnyk."

Merriam-Webster also added sports words “up-fake” and “airball,” both basketball jargon, to the dictionary.

There are now 12 hockey words in the dictionary: Five-hole, slew-foot, deke, hat trick, dance, Zamboni, dangle, icing, slap shot, rink, puck and hockey.

According to Merriam-Webster, “The concept of the five-hole likely originated with Jacques Plante, NHL goalie and author of the 1972 book On Goaltending. Plante numbered five 'holes' in the net that goalies needed to protect: four at the corners of the net, and the hole between the goalie’s legs. Though there is some debate about how to number holes one through four — Plante lists one through four as stick-side low, glove-side low, glove-side high, and stick-side high — all sources follow Plante’s lead when it comes to the five-hole. Though no one uses one-, two-, three-, or four-hole when referring to shots or saves, five-hole has stuck for shorthand for ‘between the legs.’ ”

Here is an example of Haula scoring through the five-hole:


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