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Ice Hockey - game history and rules, betting odds and best bookie offers

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Hockey - fast and furious 

This is a very technical and fast-paced team sport played on an ice rink. Ice hockey is especially popular in northern areas as the cold weather allows the sport to be played outdoors during the winter months. Hockey is one of the four national sports of America (along with Basketball, Baseball and American Football). It’s also the official national sport of Canada, where ice hockey is extremely popular.

Todays version was founded between 1840 and 1875 in Canada, where on March 3, 1875 the first organized ice hockey game was carried out by students and professors at McGill University in Montréal. In the US and Canada, ice hockey is often referred to simply as hockey. The ice rink used is usually 60 meters long and 30 meters wide, surrounded by a wooden or plastic board, which is extended with safety glass and netting for further protection for the audience. The goal area is marked by semicircles in front of the goals. In case you have ever thought about betting on ice hockey matches, you should compare the odds first and place your bets at a respected bookie. We were able to negotiate a first deposit bonus for our users at bet 365. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

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The objective of the game is to shoot the puck (which can reach speeds of up to 190 km/h), into the opponent’s net. A goal is only scored when the puck has completely crossed the goal line. There are no own goals, meaning the point is scored by the last offense player who made contact with the puck.

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Playing Time

The playing time amounts to 60 minutes and is divided into three 20-minute periods. Due to interceptions where the game clock is stopped, it usually lasts longer.


A team generally consists of 22 players. During game play, only six players from each team are allowed to be on the ice at once, normally consisting of five field players and a goalie. The exchange of players is not only allowed during interceptions but can also take place during the regular game.

Game Play

Important offense tactics are the dump’n’chase, the counterattack as well as many other pass strategies, where the center can reach a forward player. Defense tactics are back checking, stick checking, sweep checking, or poke checking, which are often used in various combinations. Officials are divided into on-ice officials, referees and linesmen, and off-ice officials, goal judges, time keepers, video goal judges, penalty timekeeper, statistician, and official scorers. Through the announcement of penalties, referees and linesmen can exert a much bigger influence than, for example, during a soccer game. Ice hockey is a body-bruising sport, where it is possible to push the opponent away from the puck through so called “body checks”. To prevent injuries, heavy protective equipment is required.


Penalties are announced by the referees, for example due to interference, holding, delaying the game, unsportsmanlike conduct or roughing. They are spent off the ice, in the penalty box. The goalie is usually not sent to the penalty box, so his penalty has to be served by another player that was on the ice at the time of the infraction. Major penalties can lead to suspension. Ice hockey is globally organized through the International Ice Hockey Ferderation (IIHF), which regularly publishes a rulebook. The most popular and well known ice hockey league is the National Hockey League (NHL). Important international tournaments are the Olympic Games, the IIHF World Championships, the World Cup of Hockey, the Spengler Cup and the IIHF European Champions Cup. Good hockey odds and the high bonus offers can be found at Betfair – when you visit the Betfair website directly from here, you will receive a Welcome Bonus. In our Live Scores section, you can find results from current matches and compare the odds of various bookmakers for upcoming games.

Terminology in Ice Hockey

  • UnibetOffside: A play is said to be offside when a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck does.
  • Assist: An assist is attributed to the players of the scoring team who assisted the scoring teammate to make a point.
  • Time-Out: Each team has a time-out of 30 seconds per game.
  • Bully (Faceoff): A method to begin the game.
  • One timer: An ice hockey shot where a player meets a pass with an immediate shot towards the goal
  • Power Play: A team is on power play when one or more opposing players are serving a penalty at the penalty box and the team has a numerical advantage.
  • Puck: The puck is a hard black disc of vulcanized rubber, usually 25.4 mm thick, 76.2 mm in diameter, and weighs about 160 g.
  • Slide: To prevent the puck from sliding into the goal underneath his body, the goalie slides his body onto the ice.
  • Penalty Shot: A type of penalty, where one player is given the chance to score a goal without opposition from any other player, except the goalie.
  • Icing: When a player shoots the puck across both red lines, the linesman stops the play but it is then resumed immediately.

Ice Hockey Hall of Fame

  • Saku Koivu (Finland)
  • Peter Forsberg (Sweden)
  • Mario Lemieux (Canada)
  • Wayne Gretzky (Canada)
  • Wladomir Krutov (Soviet Union)
  • Jaromir Jägr (Czech Republik)
  • Mike Modano (USA)

If you think you know who will win an upcoming match and want to place some money on it, then you should compare the odds offered by various bookmakers before doing so. In our Live Scores section, you will find a list of current and upcoming games as well as compare odds from different online bookmakers.


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