Here’s a method that I found to work and give good result each and every time.
Set the file format of the camera to RAW. The RAW file format will give you the flexibility to make adjustments in software later without degrading the image too much.
Set your camera exposure mode to manual. You do not want the camera messing about with the exposure settings because they’re very specific.
Set the aperture fully open, so that would be the lowest f number permitted by your lens(that would generally be f2.8 on long, fast zoom).
Set the shutter speed 1/250~1/500 of a second to freeze the action.
Adjust the proper exposure using the ISO setting. What? Yes, not the conventional thing to do, but it works. Take a few exposure readings in a few areas of the rink, preferably with some players or the net in the frame, find the middle ground since there might be an area of the rink which is brighter than other and that’s the ISO setting you’ll be using. In my experience, ISO settings usually end up in between 1200 and 2400.
Focus mode. Set to Autofocus continuous mode so that focus follows the action.
White balance. Set to auto, modern DSLR will get this mostly right and, shooting RAW, it can be adjusted later in software if need be with no ill effect on image quality.
Burst mode. If your camera has this, by all mean use it. Just be aware that once the camera buffer is full, you will be out of action for a few seconds while the camera write the data to the card, so time this correctly.
Flash OFF. Did I mention to turn the flash OFF?
Following the simple guideline above will get you good result right away, but do keep in mind that’s all they are: my particular view of guidelines to get started with good result straight away. Please do not be afraid to experiment and get creative, after all, this, above all, has to be fun.