Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. In countries where the sport is very popular it is known simply as "hockey"; however, the name ice hockey is used in countries where the word hockey is generally reserved for another form of the sport, such as field hockey or roller hockey. The game is played between two teams with six players (Five Skaters and a Goalie) on the ice. A team usually consists of four lines of three forwards, three pairs of defencemen, and two goalies. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Each team has a goaltender who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal or "net."
A fast-paced physical sport, hockey is most popular in areas of North America (particularly in Canada and northern parts of the United States) and Europe that are sufficiently cold for natural reliable seasonal ice cover. With the advent of indoor artificial ice rinks hockey has become a year-round pastime in some areas. In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men, and the most popular. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity. The first organized game was played on March 3, 1875 in Montreal, Canada.
While there are 68 total members of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), 162 of 177 medals at the IIHF World Championships have been taken by these seven nations: Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States. Of the 66 medals awarded in men's competition at the Olympic level from 1920 on, only six medals did not go to the one of those countries. All 12 Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals have gone to one of these seven countries, and every gold medal in both competitions has been won by either Canada or the United States.
Read more about Ice Hockey: History, Equipment, Injury, Game, Penalties, Officials, Periods and Overtime, Women's Ice Hockey, Pond Hockey, Ice Hockey in Popular Culture, Attendance Records, Number of Registered Players By Country
Famous quotes containing the word ice:
“...there was the annual Fourth of July picketing at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. ...I thought it was ridiculous to have to go there in a skirt. But I did it anyway because it was something that might possibly have an effect. I remember walking around in my little white blouse and skirt and tourists standing there eating their ice cream cones and watching us like the zoo had opened.”
—Martha Shelley, U.S. author and social activist. As quoted in Making History, part 3, by Eric Marcus (1992)