The Bolshoi Ice Dome in Sochi

Experience Olympic ice hockey with your kids

Find basic information about hockey and about the Canadian athletes who are in Sochi competing for medals. Look to the right for links to interviews and for information on how your kids can get into ice hockey themselves, including how they can play hockey at home.

Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport and it’s also one of the fastest sports, with players such as Canada’s Steven Stamkos skating close to 50 km/h, as fast as cars go on city side streets. Canadian hockey teams are often the ones to beat in international competition, and hopes are high for our men’s and women’s teams when they take to the ice at the Bolshoi Ice Dome (pictured above).

Here’s how ice hockey started

Games using a stick and a ball have been played throughout history (the Vikings even played them on ice). But modern ice hockey became popular in Montreal in the 1870s when it was played by a group of students from McGill University. James Creighton helped organize the first games and establish seven rules, based on those governing field hockey.

The first ice hockey world championship took place during Montreal’s Winter Carnival in 1883 and was won by McGill. A rivalry between the ice hockey teams from England’s Oxford and Cambridge Universities has been ongoing since about 1885.

How cool is this?

  • Early hockey games may have been played using frozen cow poop.

Here’s how to watch ice hockey

  • Two teams have 5 “skaters” and 1 goalie on the rink at a time
  • Games are made up of three, 20-minute periods
  • Each team defends a net at either ends of the ice
  • The skaters try to shoot the puck into the other team’s net
  • The winner has the most goals at the end of the game

Here are the types of ice hockey played at the Olympic Winter Games

  • Men’s
  • Women’s

Cheer for Canada’s hockey teams

Watch an amazing, heart-stopping video

You’ll get emotional as you watch Sidney Crosby score the goal that won Canada a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

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