Protect your face
All ice hockey players, from the minor level upwards including college and university, are required to wear a face mask on their helmets. Masks can be purchased as part of the helmet or separately. There are three kinds of masks wire cage, face shield and combination. There are also neck protectors on the market to give you added protection. Itech is generally regarded as the leading manufacturer of face masks and shields.
Hockey Wire Cage
A wire cage consists of a metal or composite wire shield that covers the entire face and jaw area. Some models come with an added chin cup/protector. Wire cages provide more protection and do not fog up like face shields, but they are generally heavier. Prices on wire masks are about $30.
Hockey Shield/ Hockey Visor
These masks are generally made from a high impact-resistant, anti-scratch clear plastic. There are full face shields and half shields, which usually cover to just below the nose. Some players prefer shields instead of wire masks because they offer better overall vision because no wires get in the way. However, shields do tend to fog up during use, but they are often made with fog-resistant coatings. If you find your shield is still fogging up there are de-fogging sprays on the market. Many players also wipe their shields with shampoo before a game to keep them from fogging. The half shield doesn't offer the protection of a full mask and the bottom half of the face is basically left unprotected. Prices range from about $25-$60.
Combination Hockey Mask
This mask is a combination of the wire mask and the shield. In a combination mask the top half is a shield and the bottom half is wire. It gives the airflow and added protection of a cage with the visibility of a visor. Prices range from about $30-$90.