Last updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2006

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What is the origin of ice hockey ?
There are 17th Century paintings which appear to show people playing hockey on ice in The Netherlands. Three Canadian towns, and one city, claim to be the birthplace of ice hockey - Halifax, Kingston, Windsor and Montreal
i. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - town claiming to be the birthplace of ice hockey.
ii. Kingston, Ontario, Canada - town, said by some, to be the birthplace of ice hockey in 1855.  
iii. Windsor is the Canadian town generally referred to as 'The Birthplace of Hockey' in the Canadian media, the town is also called 'The Little Town Of Big Firsts', because many things started there before they started in the rest of Canada.  Canada's first college, King's College, was established in Windsor in 1789. It was the boys at King's College School who adapted an Irish field game to the ice of their favourite skating pond, called Long Pond. They called the game Ice Hurley which later developed into Ice Hockey. See Birthplace of Hockey.com [web site]
iv. Montreal, Québec, Canada. Said to be the birthplace of modern hockey. Where earlier versions of the game were developed, with the assistance of students of McGill University, to give the sport its first written rules and a structure that included officials, a defined goal area, a limited number of players, a defined playing surface, where it was played on skates with a stick and a puck.  Also see Montreal Rules
v. In the summer of 2002 the IIHF officially recognised the 3rd March 1875 game at the Victoria Skating Rink as the earliest eyewitness account of a specific game of hockey. The circumstances that surround that event, fulfill the IIHFs criteria for what can be recognized as the site of the first game of hockey.
See Society for International Hockey Research [web site]
What are the rules of ice hockey ?
See Rules
What is the origin of the phrase "hat trick" ?
i. An ordinary hat trick is where the same player scores three goals in a game but another player or players from the same side scores in between. In North America, and the NHL in particular, the player is normally said to have had a 3-goal-game.  
ii. A natural hat trick is where three goals are scored consecutively by the same player in the same game. 
iii. In ice hockey circles, the term is generally accepted to derive from the habit of a Toronto haberdasher presenting a new hat to any three-goal scorer in Maple Leaf Gardens - although it is also said that the originator was the Biltmore Hat Company, who sponsored the Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey League. In truth, it seems to originate from the English game of Cricket and refers to a bowler taking three wickets with three successive balls - a very unusual achievement.  Similar to the ice hockey version of events, the 19th century custom of a cricket club awarding a new club hat to mark the success, gave rise to the phrase which was first recorded in print in the 1858.
iv. Today's custom is for fans to throw hats onto the ice to celebrate the achievement.
How do they get the white colour surface on the ice ?
The concrete under the ice is painted before the surface is flooded with water to create the ice. It's the same with all of the markings on the ice pad surface.
Why do they call the area in front of the net a crease ?
The English game of cricket is the source of the term crease. One dictionary definition of crease is "a slight depression in the smoothness of a surface". When early cricketers marked out their playing area in front of their wickets, they made a furrow in the turf. The term crease was used to describe these markings. This method of marking lasted until the mid 1800s, when painted white lines were introduced. It was natural for the early ice hockey players to use a term they were familiar with for something that served a similar purpose - hence the area in front of the goal is known as the crease.
When was the rule change that meant goalies could leave their feet ?
In the early days the goalie had to stay on his feet. It wasn't until the 9th January 1918 that the NHL introduced a rule change allowing goalies to leave their feet while making a save. Prior to that a penalty was awarded if a goalie stopped a puck by sitting or laying on the ice.
What is the temperature of the hot water poured onto the ice by a Zamboni ?
Between 50 and 60 degrees centigrade.
When was the first vulcanized rubber puck used ?
Vulcanized rubber was invented by Goodyear in 1839 but was not used for puck construction until the 1880s. In 1886, an official ruling was adopted by the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada designating the vulcanized disc as the "official" puck of the association.
What is a shot on goal ?
Goal judges count shots that would have gone into the net if a player or the goalie had not intervened.  Hitting the pipework does not count as a shot on goal.
What happens when a penalty is called on a team already reduced to three skaters and a goalie ?
If a penalty cannot be started, because a side is already at the minimum of 3 skaters plus a goalie, the player called for the infraction goes to the penalty box immediately but his penalty is held over until the previous penalty has completed. This is the case at all times - regular game time and overtime.
What are the playing positions in a game of ice hockey ?
There are six players on the ice during regular play and they line up as follows :
  Goalie/Netminder  
Right Defence   Left Defence
Right Wing Centre Left Wing
When was the first World Championship match played ?
On the 23rd April 1920 - Sweden 8-0 Belgium
When was the first NHL game played ?
Two games were played on 19th December 1917 : Montreal Canadiens 7-4 Ottawa Senators and Montreal Wanderers 10-9 Toronto Arenas.
Who was the first black player in the NHL ?
Willie O'Ree
Who was the first NHL goalie to wear a mask ?
Clint Benedict wore a crude leather mask when he returned to the nets, from a bad facial injury, towards the end of the 1929-30 season. 
When was the first live TV hockey game broadcast ?
The world's first live TV transmission of ice hockey took place way back in 1938. It was on the 29th October from Harringay Arena in London. The second and third periods of Harringay Racers v Streatham were transmitted by the BBC via their studios at Alexandra Palace - where the world's first regular high definition TV channel commenced two years earlier.
Which team did Canada beat 47-0 in the 1949 World Championship ?
Denmark.

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