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Hockey is a beloved sport around the world. Played on ice, hockey players skate with curved sticks trying to hit a small round puck into the opposing team’s goal. While football fans wait for the Super Bowl yearly, hockey fans anticipate the Stanley Cup. If you aren’t familiar with the sport or just want to learn more about its history, read on for some fun facts about this popular sport.

Most Stanley Cups Earned

The Stanley Cup is awarded to the champion of the National Hockey League every year, and it’s the oldest sports trophy in North America. While they haven’t won the cup since 1993, the Montreal Canadiens hold the record for the most Stanley Cups at 23 trophies.

Puck Storage

Pucks are made of rubber and can get flimsy if they get too warm. As a result, pucks are kept frozen until they are needed on the ice. This keeps them from bouncing, allowing players to have more control. During the course of a game, an average of 12 pucks are used, as they are swapped out when they begin to thaw too much.

First Game Played

The first organized hockey game was played in Montreal in 1875. Versions of the game existed before this time, potentially as far back as the Middle Ages. It was students from Kings College, though, that came together for the first indoor game at the Victoria Skating Rink.

Ice Thickness

Many people assume the ice in a hockey rink is thick. However, it’s actually less than an inch. It’s kept at three-quarters of an inch thick and sixteen degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the water to free fast, providing an ideal game surface.

Highest Scorer

Wayne Gretzky is hailed as one of the greatest champions in NHL history. Part of that reputation is thanks to him earning the title of the highest-scoring player ever. He scored 2,857 points over the course of his career, helped his team earn multiple Stanley Cups, and broke the record for most season points.

Mouthguards

Hockey can be a dangerous sport. With ice, sticks, and a flying puck, there are many opportunities for injury. In many professional sports, mouthguards are a required piece of equipment to protect players’ teeth. However, the NHL doesn’t require them. Consequently, some hockey players are missing a few teeth from incidents on the court.

 

Had you heard these facts before? Hockey has a long history and will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. If you’ve never been to a hockey game, look into local teams and learn more about this exciting sport.