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  • Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice in which two teams of skaters use sticks to shoot a hard rubber hockey puck into their opponent's net to score points. In some countries such as Canada, the United States, and some European countries such as Latvia and Sweden, it is often known simply as "hockey"; the name "ice hockey" is more used in countries where "hockey" generally refers to field hockey or both sports are almost as popular. Ice hockey teams usually consist of four lines of three forwards, three pairs of defencemen, and two goalies. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team. Each team has a goaltender who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal. A fast-paced physical sport, hockey is most popular in areas of North America and Europe. In North America, the National Hockey League is the highest level for men's hockey and the most popular. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity. Worldwide, there are ice hockey federations in 73 countries.

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