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Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

The fast-paced game of ice hockey is a winter sport played mostly in many countries in the northern hemisphere.  The object of ice hockey is to use a curved-end stick to hit a puck into the other team’s goal.  A hockey puck is a one-inch-thick disk made of hard rubber. A hockey game starts with a face-off, where two opposing players stand opposite each other and the official drops the puck between them. Whoever wins the face-off determines which team gets first possession of the puck.

Sturdy equipment is very important in ice hockey.  Perhaps the most important piece of protective gear is a helmet, and add to that a facemask for the goalie.  A mouthguard is also important because the puck can fly around at speeds near 100 miles per hour.  Hockey players themselves are fast, too, gliding on the ice wearing skates.

Although a hockey team tries to score as many goals as it can, defending its own goal is also a priority.  This is the job of the goaltender or “goalie.”  Other defensive moves include checking when a player tries to take the puck from an opposing player by force.

A hockey team’s offense is led by the center.  This player must be good at winning face-offs and passing, and he or she should be a good shooter, too.  The right and left wings also need to be good at scoring goals.

There are different types of shots in hockey.  The type of shot which produces the fastest puck speed is the slap shotWrist shots and snap shots are also common.

Like most sports, sometimes players commit fouls against the other team.  A player receives a penalty for hitting another player from behind, elbowing, and fighting, among other things.  A player must serve time off the ice in the penalty box leaving his or her team one player short.  When this happens, the other team is said to have a power play because it has one more player on the ice.

Hockey has a loyal following in North America.  It’s safe to say hockey is the coolest sport around!

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