Ice Hockey is known as the fastest game on earth. It is a team sport played on ice where skaters use hockey sticks to shoot a rubber disk into their opponent's net.
In the US and Canada, it is simply known as "hockey", while the name "ice hockey" is popular in countries where hockey means "field hockey".
What hockey players cannot do:
Players cannot hit another player from behind.
Players cannot use forceful stick-on-body contact.
Players cannot hold the puck.
Players cannot direct the puck into the goal with their hands.
Players cannot kick the puck into the goal.
A puck can travel up to 100 miles per hour.
A goalie's chest pad is made of the same material as a bulletproof vest.
1875 - First organized hockey game was played in Montreal, Canada.
1877 - Players identified the first 7 hockey rules.
1883 - Montreal, Canada included hockey in their Winter Carnival.
1885 - The Montreal City Hockey League formed.
1893 - There were over 100 hockey teams (just in Montreal, Canada).
1910 - The Natioanl Hockey Association formed in Montreal, Canada.
1917 - NHA became the National Hockey League and expanded into the U.S.
1924 - The Winter Olympics inluded hockey for the first time.
1952 - Canada won 6 of the first 7 Olympic gold medals (between 1924-1952).
1969 - Karen Koch became the first professional female hockey player.
1990 - Hockey Super Skill championships began with competitions for the fastest skater, the hardest shot, breakaway challenges, and goalkeeper skills.
1994 - There was a player lockout where owners and the NHL argued with players about salaries and other work issues.
1998 - Women's ice hockey became a medal sport at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
2004 - There was a lockout and disputes over player salaries. As a result, the entire season was cancelled.
2005 - The NHL created stricter rules about body checking to keep play moving and increase scoring opportunities.
2012 - There was another lockout, which was a labor dispute over player salaries. As a result, 510 regular season games were cancelled.
Orr started playing hockey at the age of 5. When he joined the Boston Bruins in 1966, he became the highest paid rookie in NHL history. He was the Boston Bruins' star player from the end of the 1960s to mid-1970s.
He played for 9 seasons (1966-1975) in the NHL. He helped the Bruins win 2 Stanley Cup Championships. Bobby Orr is one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Howe entered the National Hockey League in 1946 at the age of 18. He scored a goal in his first game then went on to score 1,070 more goals in his career.
Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings, Houston Aeros, New England Whalers, and Hartford Whalers. As a Detroit Red Wing, Howe led the team to 4 Stanley Cup Championships.
Howe set the record for the most records by any athlete ever in any sport. He had the all-time record for goals (1,071), assists (1518), points (2,589) games played (2,421), All Star appearances (29) most MVP's (7), most scoring titles (6) and most seasons played (32).
Howe had his best years when he was 41 and 48 years old! He was a tough player, so he had many injuries during his career. Over time, he had to have 500 stitches in his face!
Lemieux started playing professionally at the age of 15. He was a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1984-2006. He was the Rookie of the Year, and he was the first rookie named as All Star MVP.
Lemieux was a fast skater, he was good at faking out the defense, and was a key playmaker. Despite many health problems that limited his play, he led the Pittsburgh Penguins to 2 Stanley Cup Championships.
In 1988, Lemieux scored 8 points and became the only player in NHL history to score a goal in all 5 possible game situations in the same game: even-strength, power-play, shorthanded, penalty shot, and empty-net.
He tied the NHL record for most goals and points in a postseason game, most goals in a postseason period (4 goals in the first period), and most assists in a postseason period (three assists in the second period).
Aside from being an amazing hockey player, Lemieux created the Mario Lemieux Foundation to raise money for medical research. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1993, he was Knighted in 2009, and he was given the Order of Canada from the Governor-General in 2010.
Gretzky started skating and playing hockey when he was 6 years old. Gretzky played the position of center. He had a unique strategy of passing the puck to oncoming players, and he worked to surprise the defense with his moves and tricks.
Gretzky played for several different teams, including the Edmonton Oilers. He led the Oilers to 4 Stanley Cup championships. Gretzky played in the NHL's All-Star Game every year he was in the league and was the first player to be named the game MVP with three different teams.
Off the rink and after he retired from playing in 1999, Gretzky has been in many advertisements for different companies (like Pepsi), he works to raise money for several different charities, he started a winery, and he served as the executive director of the men's Olympic hockey team.