LONDON – Ice hockey is a part of much of the northern hemisphere’s shared cultural heritage. The Vikings were slapping rudimentary ‘pucks’ (and presumably each other) around icy surfaces as far back as 1,000 years ago, spreading the seeds of the modern game wherever they pillaged their merry way.
As is the case in most team sports, the ice hockey rulebook is fairly nuanced (check the full NHL rulebook), but the basic premise sees two teams competing to score as many goals as possible by hitting a puck into a goal guarded by the opposing team. Matches take place over 3 action packed 20-minute periods, with gameplay situations sometimes playing out over a matter of seconds, complete with crunching checks (blocking tackles), dynamite hits and clever footwork galore.
Who’s who in the EU?
Whilst perhaps not as famous as the American NHL, Europe’s most prominent hockey leagues still contain some serious big hitters.
Ones to watch:
• The GET-Ligaen – Norway’s top pro hockey league
• The Czech Extraliga – The Czech Republic’s leading league
• The SM-Liiga – Finland’s premier hockey division
• The Deutsche Eishockey Liga – The top pro level league in Germany
• The PHL – Ukraine’s professional hockey league
Keep an eye on these five leagues in particular for the very best in European hockey.
To catch up with all the latest news on European hockey, click here.
Top tips for betting on ice hockey
There’s a huge array of ways to play when it comes to betting on ice hockey. Before diving in and tackling a bet, take on board some of the following information and compare betting sites for the best odds.
Your main betting options in ice hockey include;
• Overall winner – Simply which team you think will win. Also known as ‘the money line’
• Total goals – How many goals will be scored by both teams during the game
• Correct score – What the final score will be at the end of the regular time
\Make sure you’re clued up on your stats and you’ll be in with every chance of a win. Remember when betting in-game that hockey is a much faster paced and more capricious sport than association football – leads of three or more goals are commonly overturned within short spaces of time in this game. Just keep your eyes on the game and you might be in for some serious cash!