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The holy grail of ice hockey players worldwide is to play in the NHL (National Hockey League) in the United States.NHL is by far the most watched and financially rewarding ice hockey league in the world. That is even though in the USA, ice hockey comes 4th on the list of the most watched sports, after American Football (NFL), baseball (MBL) and basketball (NBA).In the United Kingdom, ice hockey is played professionally in an eleven team format in the Elite Ice Hockey League, founded in 2003. Ice hockey in the UK experienced worldwide success, in the beginning, winning medals in World Championships and even gold at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Germany. However, since the Second World War it has all dwindled down.While in the most parts of the world the word hockey alone is identical with ice hockey, in the UK it might create some uncertainty due to field hockey, which is played on grass or artificial turf. To avoid any confusion for the remainder of the article, in any instance the word hockey is used, it will most definitely referto ice hockey.Ice Hockey ExplainedBefore you jump in and start betting on ice hockey, it is very important to have a solid understanding of the game. An ice hockey match is played between two teams of six players and the match lasts one hour of regulation time. It is split into three periods, each consisting of 20 minutes. The goald of the game is to win by scoring the puck into the opponents’ net more times than they do. The puck is a small circular disk made of vulcanized rubber that easily slides on ice. The net or goal in ice hockey is merely 120 cm tall and 180 cm wide. When you add a rather large goaltender on the line of the net, it is no wonder why hockey is considered by many bettors a low scoring sport.An ice hockey game will always end with a winner, some rare exceptions being an exhibition or friendly match. Hockey games that are tied at the end of the regular 60 minute play time, will go to overtime and play on a Golden Goal rule. This makes a difference when it comes to betting on ice hockey, whether to bet on a team winning in regulation time or with overtime included.Ice hockey is also known as a very physical and violent sport. It has its own structure of penalties and sin bins. For example, if a hockey player is called for a dangerous foul, he is sent to a sin bin for 2 minutes or until the opposing team scores a goal. There is no limit on how many players can be sent to a sin bin at the same time. Also, the 2 minutes penalty can be increased, depending on the level of the player’s infraction.