The ice surface is divided by blue lines into three zones: defensive, offensive and neutral.
The defensive zone is the area in which a team protects its own goal and attempts to keep the opposing team’s offensive zone, or the area in which they are attempting to score.
The neutral zone is the area between the two blue lines.
On the outside of the playing surface are two team benches, a timekeeper's box and two penalty boxes - one for each team
There are nine (9) dots on the ice which are designated as "faceoff" dots, two in the defensive zone, five in the neutral zone and two in the offensive zone. A faceoff starts the play at the beginning of a game, when a puck is frozen, the puck goes out of play or any other stoppage of play (icing, offside, penalty etc.).
The dot at centre ice is used to start each period and after a team scores a goal. The four dots outside the blue lines in the neutral zones are used for offsides or when the puck exits the playing surface in the neutral zone (and shot by a player in the neutral zone). The dots in the end zones are primarily used after the puck has been frozen, icing or shot out of play in that zone.
During the faceoff, the referee drops the puck and the two opposing teams fight for the puck to gain possession for their team.