When skating, the skates of a hockey player do a couple things: You use the blades and push with the inside edge of the
blade in order to gain speed. Experienced hockey players make this process look natural, which is to be expected since
they are constantly playing offensive and defensive positions, while also controlling the puck
The physical properties of ice is what allows hockey players to maneuver the way they do. For instance, the low friction of the skate bl ade gliding over the ice is what allows a hockey player to move around the ice. Physical make up of the ice is what allows a player dig in with the blade and push, turn or stop.
A hockey player propels himself forward by pushing off the ice with a force perpendicular to the skate blade. Since the friction of the blade with the ice is almost nothing, this is the only way he can accelerate forward. The figure below illustrates the physics behind this principle.
Skating The Stick Hitting References