Fun Fact: Word to the wise if you want to win your next game of Ice Hockey: the best team is Czechoslovakia, and the Americans are terrible.
Most Nintendo fans will remember Ice Hockey as the game with “the skinny one, the average one, and the fat one,” in reference to the three different kinds of players they could choose from to make up their 4-man team on the ice. Skinny guys were fast but weak, fat guys were strong but slow. You get the idea.
Players in Ice Hockey didn't check one another as much as bump up against each other, and if there was too much bumping a little “fight” sequence would start where all the players gathered together and bounced off each other until the referee broke it up and sent people to the penalty boxes.
Ice Hockey was a lighthearted game that had no pretensions about simulating anything, and that playfulness is precisely what made it great.