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- Created 2012-02-14
, commonly referred to by its North American fans as
, is a team sport played on ice, in which
use wooden or
a hard rubber
into their opponent's net to score points. In
, where the sport is very popular, it is known simply as "hockey"; however, the name ice hockey is used by the governing body
and in most other countries. There the word hockey is generally reserved for another form of the sport, such as
. 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 defensemen, and two goalies. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a
against the opposing team. Each team has a
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
and northern parts of the
that are sufficiently cold for natural reliable seasonal ice cover. With the advent of
s 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 72 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:
the Czech Republic
the United States
. Of the 66 medals awarded in men's competition at the
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
from Wikipedia (last updated: 21 May), licensed under
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SIHR – The Origins of Hockey
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