10 Fascinating Facts About Ice Hockey

Did you know that ice hockey pucks were once made of cow dung? Despite this unappetizing fact, people of all ages love the fast-paced action of ice hockey. Here are some weird and interesting facts about the game that you may not know.

Brush up on these facts and you’ll be ready to impress your friends at your next trivia night.

Hockey Pucks are Kept Frozen

A modern hockey puck is made of rubber, which becomes flimsy and bounces when it gets warm. To prevent this, pucks are kept frozen until they are needed in a game. Freezing the hockey pucks prevents them from bouncing, making it easier for players to control them. On average, 12 pucks are used in NHL games because they thaw so quickly.

The First Pucks were Made of Cow Dung

Legend has it that the first pucks used in outdoor hockey games were made of frozen cow patties. Later on, cut-up lacrosse balls were used before the final form of the puck was made from vulcanized rubber.

Octopus-Throwing is a Lucky Tradition for Detroit Red Wings Fans

When there were only six NHL teams in 1952, eight wins during the playoffs clinched the Stanley Cup. Brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano threw an octopus on the ice during a Red Wings playoff game that year, and the team went on to win the Cup. Since then, octopi have become the team’s lucky charms, and an octopus became the team’s official mascot in 1995.

The Ice in the Rink is Less Than an Inch Thick

The ice layer in a professional hockey rink is only ¾ inches (1.90 cm) thick and is kept at -9℃ (16℉). Thinner ice layers allow the water to freeze faster and harder, while thicker ice becomes softer and slower.

The Anaheim Ducks were Named after a Disney Movie

The Anaheim, California hockey team was named after the famous Disney film The Mighty Ducks and was once owned by the company. In 2007, a year after Disney sold the franchise, the team won the Stanley Cup. Today, they are known as the Anaheim Ducks.

Referees Drop the Puck for a Good Reason

Before 1914, hockey refs used their hands to place the puck between the two players’ sticks in a faceoff. Obviously, this wasn’t a good idea, and referees ended up with cuts, bruises, and broken bones. They began dropping the puck between the players’ sticks instead.

Players Use the Stanley Cup as a Snack Bowl

When a team wins the Stanley Cup, each team member gets to keep it for 24 hours. As long as the watcher or trustee permits it, the players can do whatever they like with the Cup, including using it as a snack bowl.

The Cup is commonly used as a punch bowl by players to hold drinks and snacks.

Some of the treats enjoyed from the trophy include chicken wings, ice cream, cereal, and champagne.

Goalies can be fans.

In case both goalies of a team are injured and unable to play, fans are allowed to help. Anyone from the audience can serve as a backup goalie.

An emergency goalie from the audience even got the win for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2020.

During a game, players can lose over 10 pounds.

Goalies can lose up to 10 pounds of water weight during a hockey game due to the lights, padded layers, and the fact that they play the entire game.

To prevent dehydration-induced muscle cramps, goalies consume sports drinks, pickle juice, and mustard packets.

Mouthguards are optional for hockey players.

Despite the rough nature of the sport, NHL players are not required to wear mouthguards.

Mouthguards, however, prevent players from clamping their teeth, biting their tongues, and decrease the risk of broken jaws or chipped teeth.

Hockey is a ruthless sport, but it has a fascinating history and interesting facts.

Keep these facts in mind the next time you watch an ice hockey game!

FAQ

What is ice hockey?

Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, where the objective is to shoot a puck into the opposing team’s goal. It is played with six players on each team and is one of the fastest and most physical sports in the world.

When was ice hockey invented?

Ice hockey’s origins can be traced back to the mid-1800s in Canada, where it was played as a variation of field hockey. The first official game of ice hockey was played in Montreal in 1875.

Why is ice hockey so popular in Canada?

Ice hockey is considered to be Canada’s national sport because it has deep roots in the country’s culture and history. It is also played professionally in the National Hockey League (NHL), which has seven Canadian teams.

What are some basic rules of ice hockey?

The basic rules of ice hockey include no touching the puck with your hands, no tripping or checking from behind, and no high sticking. The game is divided into three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, and teams can make substitutions on the fly.

What is a hat trick in ice hockey?

A hat trick in ice hockey is when a player scores three goals in a single game. It is called a hat trick because in the early days of hockey, fans would throw their hats onto the ice to celebrate a player’s achievement.

What is the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in professional sports and is awarded annually to the NHL team that wins the playoffs. It was first awarded in 1893 and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the cup.

What is a power play in ice hockey?

A power play in ice hockey occurs when one team has a player in the penalty box, giving the other team a one-man advantage for a set amount of time. The team on the power play will have an extra player on the ice and will often try to score a goal.

What is a Zamboni?

A Zamboni is a machine used to resurface the ice during breaks in play. It was invented in the 1940s by Frank Zamboni and has become an iconic part of ice rinks around the world.

What is a Gordie Howe hat trick?

A Gordie Howe hat trick is when a player scores a goal, gets an assist, and gets in a fight all in the same game. It is named after Gordie Howe, a legendary NHL player known for his physical style of play.

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