Each team has a 23-man roster, of which 20 dress for each game. Every team uses six players at a time on the ice: three forwards (center, right winger, and left winger), two defensemen (left and right) and one goaltender.
All players are allowed to carry the puck, make forward/backward passes and shoot at the opposing goalie. Players can also go on and off the ice while play is in progress.
Unlike his teammates, the goalie does not skate around the ice. His job is to keep the puck out of his net by stopping shots that can exceed 100 mph. The goalie can use any part of the body or any piece of equipment to stop the puck. He needs quickness, good balance, concentration and courage!
The right and left defensemen play a dual role. They have to stop incoming opponents, preventing them from shooting at their goaltender. They also have to support their forwards on offense by initiating offensive charges and following the play into the attacking zone. Once inside the offensive zone they attempt to keep the puck inside the blue line.
The center primarily operates up and down the middle of the ice and takes all face-offs. The center is the playmaker, passing between the two wings to set up a goal. In the defensive zone, the center's job is to get back and assist defense "down low" and try and break up the opposing team's play.
Right and left wings predominately move up and down the sides of the rink with the direction of play. The wingers are often big players willing to battle along the boards to gain possession of the puck and create scoring opportunities. Defensively, they guard the opponent's pointmen and try to keep them from shooting.