Portal:Ice hockey

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The Ice Hockey Portal

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Ice hockey, referred to simply as hockey in Canada, the United States, and most of Europe including Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic is a team sport played on ice. It is one of the world's fastest sports, with players on skates capable of going high speeds on natural or artificial ice surfaces. Though played on six continents, ice hockey, as a participatory and as a spectator sport, is most popular in nations in which the climate is sufficiently cold as to permit natural, long-term seasonal ice cover; Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia, Sweden, Russia, and the United States have dominated international competition, claiming 47 of the 48 gold and silver medals awarded in the men's and women's competitions at the Olympic Winter Games.

Ice hockey is one of the four major North American professional sports, represented at the highest level by the National Hockey League. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where seven of the 30 NHL franchises are based; Canadian-born players, though, outnumber American-born players in the NHL by a factor of three (30 per cent, additionally, come from outside North America).

The sport is played on a hockey rink. During normal play, there are six players, five positional players and one goaltender, per team on the ice at any time, each of whom is on ice skates. The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting a hard vulcanized rubber disc, the puck, into the opponent's goal net, with the goal nets placed at opposite ends of the rink. The players may control the puck using a long stick with a blade that is commonly curved at one end. Players may also generally redirect the puck with any part of their bodies, but the kicking of the puck into the goal is prohibited.

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Toronto Maple Leafs v. Detroit Red Wings, 1942

The Great Depression and World War II reduced the league to six teams, known as the "Original Six" by 1942. Maurice Richard became the first player to score 50 goals in a season in 1944–45, and ten years later, Richard was suspended for assaulting a linesman, leading to the Richard Riot. Gordie Howe made his debut in 1946, and retired 35 seasons later as the NHL's all-time leader in goals and points. Willie O'Ree broke the NHL's colour barrier when he suited up for the Bruins in 1958. In 1959, Jacques Plante became the first goaltender to regularly use a mask for protection. (more...)

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Recreation of Montreal Canadiens Dressing Room from the Montreal Forum
Credit: Aude

Recreation of the Montreal Canadiens dressing room from the Montreal Forum at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Did you know ...

Pete Muldoon
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Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be.

Wayne Gretzky

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