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Ice Hockey : All the Information You Need to Know About Ice Hockey!

Winter ice hockey, sometimes known as “hockey,” is an all-out, full-contact team sport played on skates on a rink marked out specifically for the game. Hockey is played with rubber discs called “pucks,” which are controlled by ice hockey sticks used by two opposing teams. There are a total of ten points for each goal. The team with the most goals is crowned victorious in the competition. The goalkeeper is one of six skaters on the ice for each team in a formal game unless there are any penalties.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) governs the IIHF World Championships for both men’s and women’s ice hockey tournaments, both of which are featured in the Winter Olympics. A professional ice hockey league exists, and it’s one of the most popular.

The sport is commonly referred to as “hockey” in North America and parts of Europe. “Hockey” refers to field hockey in many nations except in the Northern regions of Russia, where bandy is still referred to as “Russian hockey” (русски окке) or “hockey with a ball” (xокке с метро), while ice hockey is called “hockey with the puck” (xокке с метро). 1994 saw ice hockey become formally recognized as Canada’s official winter sport.

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During the game’s early years, women were allowed to participate, but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that organizers began to formally ban body checking from female ice hockey that it began to acquire wider popularity. IIHF Women’s World Championship was the first to be contested in 1990, and in 1998, the Olympic Games included women’s hockey.

Ice Hockey’s Origins

Simple stick and ball sports, such as bandy, hurling, and shinty, were popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and elsewhere throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and are thought to be the ancestors of ice hockey. Lacrosse, a popular sport in the United States, has had an impact. Perhaps the most significant games in the early development of ice hockey were early forms of the organized sport known as bandy, which is unique from ice hockey. Several comparable winter sports with informal rules, such as shinny and ice polo, were introduced to North America, but they were eventually combined into one new organized sport with defined rules, which we now know as ice hockey.

Antecedents

Before the advent of Christianity, people played with sticks and balls. The Irish game of hurling, the closely related Scottish game of shinty, and variants of field hockey were among the European variations on this theme (including bandy ball, played in England). For centuries, the Low Countries enjoyed playing an ice-covered version of golf called IJscolf. It was particularly popular during the Dutch Golden Age. With a curved wooden bat (known as a colf or kolf), a wooden or leather ball, and two poles or adjacent landmarks, the goal was to hit the designated spot with the fewest strokes possible.

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In the Icelandic sagas, the Scandinavian peoples chronicled a thousand-year-old game known as knattleikr. Horseback polo has been dubbed “hockey on horseback” by some. As far back as the late 17th century, there is evidence that field hockey was played on ice in England.  A bungee cord was occasionally used to play these “hockey on ice” games (a plug of cork or oak was used as a stopper on a barrel). In a 1799 letter from Chesham, England, William Pierre Le Cocq wrote:

Carl Gidén and Patrick Houda discovered a 1797 etching of a skater skating on the Thames, presumably in December 1796, in Sweden.

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During the winter, British troops and immigrants carried their stick-and-ball games to North America, where they were played in the ice and snow. An Arctic voyage led by John Franklin in 1825 included a stop at Great Bear Lake, near Déline, where Franklin noted that “the game of hockey played on the ice was the morning pastime.” Lieutenant-governor Archibald Campbell of New Brunswick and his family are seen in an 1830s painting enjoying a stick-on-ice game with British soldiers on skates.

Game

An Arctic voyage led by John Franklin in 1825 included a stop at Great Bear Lake, near Déline, where Franklin noted that “the game of hockey played on the ice was the morning pastime.” Lieutenant-governor Archibald Campbell of New Brunswick and his family are seen in an 1830s painting enjoying a stick-on-ice game with British soldiers on skates.

In 1839, British Army Captain R.G.A. Levinge, stationed in New Brunswick at the time of Campbell, described “hockey on ice” on Chippewa Creek, a tributary of the Niagara. The next year in Kingston, Ontario, a British Army officer wrote, “Began to skate this year, developed swiftly and had tremendous fun at hockey on the ice.” An item in the Boston Evening Gazette in 1859 alludes to an early game of ice hockey in Halifax.  The painting by John O’Toole portrays ice skaters on a frozen stream in West Virginia, which at the time was still a part of what is now known as Virginia.

Hockey League in the United States

.In the NHA, others disagreed. The NHA decided to dissolve and organize a new league to expel one of its members. When the National Hockey League was established in 1917, it became the premier professional hockey league in the world. In 1924, the Boston Bruins became the first American team to play in the NHL. First, in 1925, the New York Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates were accepted, followed by the New York Rangers, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Detroit Cougars in 1926, respectively (later called the Red Wings).ice hockey

NHL purchased Patricks’ league in 1926 for $250,000 to equip the new clubs Eddie Shore, a “rushing” defenseman, was one among the players who moved to Boston and helped revolutionize the sport. For many experts, he was one of the sport’s most fearsome and skillful players, paving the way for future NHL stars like Gordie Howe, who mostly played for the Detroit Red Wings.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Americans soon left the NHL, leaving just six clubs: the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens. The NHL finally expanded to include 32 teams in 1967.

The Sport of Ice Hockey at the International Level

Professional athletes dominated the international competition for most of the twentieth century, although amateur athletes had their moments. In 1903, amateur sports leagues were established in England. The European ice hockey federation, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), was founded in 1908. Great Britain, Bohemia, Switzerland, France, and Belgium were the five initial members. Great Britain won the inaugural European tournament in 1910 at Avants, Switzerland. Since then, the federation has accepted members from all across the world. In 1920, Canada won its first Olympic gold medal and the inaugural IIHF world championship at the same time. Until the Soviet squad emerged in the early 1960s, Canada’s dominance of international competition was unchallenged. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet Union had the strongest squad in international ice hockey.