Here's an interesting story from the New York Times questioning why most Canadian hockey players are left-handed shots, while most Americans are right-handed.
I've had a theory about this ever since the day I bought my first hockey stick when I was out of college. I'm right-handed, so, I figured, I should by a right-handed stick. It didn't feel right at all. When I skated fast and took one of my hands off the stick, my instinct was to take my left hand away, which left my right hand on the middle of the shaft. Awkward. I switched my hands and that felt right.
The article mentions that ideally, you want your dominant hand a the top of the stick. But that doesn't explain why Canadians, who are primarily right-handed when it comes to other things, like writing, are left-handed shots.
I've always figured that Canadians just "knew" about this since hockey is their sport, while there are a lot of American players whose parents didn't play and bought sticks for them based on how they did other things (writing, swinging a baseball bat, etc.).
When my son began playing hockey, I remembered my awkwardness and bought him a flat (non-curved) stick and let him or, rather, his body decide which way he would shoot. He writes and bats right-handed, but guess what?
He's a lefty.
By the way, here are the MSU stats in that department: Canadians: two lefties (Irwin, Galiardi), one righty (Mouillierat). Americans: 10 lefties (Canzanello, Cooper, Gaulrapp, Elbrecht, Sackrison, Davis, Mueller, Peterson, Boe, Zuck), 12 righties (Youds, Pitlick, Harrison, Louwerse, Jokinen, Stewart, Mosey, Dorr, Wiley, Thompson, Hayes, Schiller). Pretty even.