The most commercially successful winter sport, and one of the fastest sports in the world, Ice Hockey is not most famous as an event in the Winter Olympics, but is rather more popular for its domestic leagues such as the NHL. Nonetheless, the Olympic competition has produced many memorable contests in the past.
source: Olympic Channel
Ice Hockey is one of the few team sports at the Winter Olympics. The sport is played on skates, in an ice covered rink, which the puck can’t leave. Like many common sports, and like its summer counterpart, the objective of each team is to score as many goals as possible, done by hitting the puck into the goal net using hockey sticks. Each team is made of 5 skaters + 1 goalkeeper on ice at a time. The game is played in 3 periods of 20 minutes each. There are 5 lines on the rink: a goal-line at each end; a centre line; and two blue lines which divide the field into a defending zone, a neutral zone, and an attacking zone. The puck doesn't go ‘out of play’ as the players can continue even behind the goal-lines. However, there are stoppages in play for penalties (for offside, dangerous play, etc.), which result in face-offs from one of the circles on the ice. The games are quite rough, however, as bodychecking is allowed to try to gain control of the puck, and therefore, the players wear extensive protective equipment. The goalkeepers are very important members of the team. However, they can’t leave their goal area.