Winter Olympics 2018: Guide to ice hockey

Ice Hockey
The ice hockey event at the 2018 Winter Olympics will be played at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and Kwandong Hockey Centre
Ice Hockey at XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Gangneung Hockey Centre Dates: 10-25th (finals on 21, 22, 24, 25 Feb) Number of events: 2
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

How it works

Six-a-side teams contest games of three 20-minute periods, with overtime and shootouts if required. Teams can make unlimited substitutions during games but frequently must play short-handed when players are sin-binned. The competition begins with a group stage; only the men's group winners and top two in each women's group are guaranteed to progress to the knockout phase.

Anything new since Sochi 2014?

NHL players - who have featured at every Winter Olympics from 1998 onwards - will not be allowed to compete, depriving the men's competition of the world's best players and hugely weakening the Canada and USA teams. The IOC decided it would no longer cover the cost of insurance, travel and accommodation, while ice hockey's governing body cannot afford to do so.

British prospects

Non-existent - Great Britain's men and women both failed to qualify.

Who to look out for

Ice hockey
In 2006, Sweden became the first - and only - team to win the World Championships and the Winter Olympics in the same year

Sweden's men won gold the last time NHL players were excluded, and they are world champions. Russia may also benefit from the NHL ban - their league is the strongest outside north America.

The women's competition is likely to be a two-horse race between USA and Canada - the latter, led by Marie-Philip Poulin, are chasing a fifth straight gold.

I didn't know that...

An average collision between male skaters, who reach speeds of up to 24mph generates a G-force of 19 - roughly equivalent to a 30mph car crash.

Great Britain's medallists

Total: 2 Gold: 1; Silver: 0; Bronze: 1

Most recent gold

1936: Men's team

Most recent medals

1936: Men's team gold

How do I get involved?

Fancy giving ice hockey a go? Take a look at this Get Inspired guide.

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