Color of Hockey: Puerto Rico wins men’s Division I title at LATAM Cup

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — The 3rd time used to be the attraction for Puerto Rico when it defeated Argentina 4-3 to win the Amerigol LATAM Cup men’s Division I title at the Florida Panthers IceDen on Sunday.

Puerto Rico misplaced two times to Argentina: 5-3 on Thursday and 6-3 at the Amerigol LATAM Cup Spring Classic hosted via the Dallas Stars in Farmers Branch, Texas, in March.

“These don’t come easy, right?” Puerto Rico captain Scott Vargas mentioned. “You’ve got to earn it, and that’s what we did.”

Vargas mentioned his staff performed with a way of goal whilst Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday, inflicting energy outages and in depth harm around the island.

“You think about some of the things going on today,” Vargas mentioned. “A hurricane hit the island. We’ve got a bunch of guys here that are banged up, some older guys that maybe can never play again that still battled through broken fingers, dislocated shoulders.”

Playing via it made hoisting the LATAM Cup at the tip of the five-day match that a lot sweeter, Vargas mentioned.

The match featured 44 groups competing in six divisions and greater than 750 avid gamers who represented 21 international locations and territories together with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

The LATAM Cup men’s Division II ultimate had a Middle East taste with men’s groups representing Egypt and Israel enjoying for the championship. Egypt’s Pharaohs defeated the Stars of Israel 3-0. Sameh Ramadan, Egypt’s captain, mentioned their program entered the match to make a dash and a commentary.

“There’s lot of Egyptians that play high level,” Ramadan mentioned. “We need an ice rink in Cairo as soon as possible. This absolutely helps. This is the platform that we need. We went against teams at our same level from around the world and ultimately came out on top.”

Egypt trainer Yasser Ahmed mentioned the win “means everything for everything. A win like this puts the spotlight on us even for a little bit, just to show there are Egyptians who play ice hockey and ice hockey is for everyone.”

An Under-16 staff representing Mexico City defeated Puerto Rico 5-1. Brazil’s Under-12 staff received 9-6 towards Hockey Players of Color Movement, a staff that highlights and helps minority avid gamers. Egypt’s Under-16 staff defeated a staff of Caribbean heritage avid gamers 8-6 to win the match’s Rest of the World Division. Puerto Rico defeated Team Caribbean 8-1 for the Under-20 title. Mexico’s Warriors received the ladies’s championship with a 9-4 victory towards Chile.

Most of the LATAM Cup international locations and territories aspire to play hockey at the international level however do not need rinks or appropriate ice amenities that meet International Ice Hockey Federation laws and make allowance them to play in IIHF-sanctioned tournaments or compete for a berth within the Winter Olympics.

They play within the LATAM Cup hoping to encourage sports activities federations, Olympic committees or non-public traders of their international locations and territories to make stronger ice hockey, basically via construction ice rinks.

“Our motto is ‘Whatever it takes,’ that captures the Puerto Rican culture,” Vargas mentioned. “The more people find out about us, and they see what these teams do on the ice and the effort they put out … they’ll get behind us and then we’ll have people on the island playing, and the community will grow.”

Photos: Courtesy of BC Photography

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