Jamaica ice hockey team to face Puerto Rico in New York
Jamaica’s senior ice hockey team will play three matches against a strong Puerto Rico national team in New York City on June 8, 9 and 10.
The team, which is coming off comprehensive victories in the 2019 and the 2021 LATAM tournaments played in Fort Lauderdale, has accepted an invitation to play in New York as part of its effort to grow the sport and keep the team playing as often as possible.
The matches are scheduled to be played at two venues in Flushing, Queens.
Since 2019, Jamaica’s Senior Ice Hockey team has recorded victories over teams from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Lebanon, Venezuela and Puerto Rico and this has created a high degree of awareness of the team in International Ice Hockey playing circles.
At the 2021 LATAM Cup, Jamaica, who were the defending champions, were forced to play as an Exhibition team as the tournament organisers considered the team too strong for the opponents. In that tournament, the team scored 58 goals to seven against in the six matches they played. To date, the team is unbeaten in any of the 12 games it has played.
The current team will comprise mainly of players who were in the 2021 contingent. The national coach for the team is Chris Stewart, a recently retired National Hockey League star of Jamaican parentage, who played close to 800 NHT games in an illustrious professional career..
The federation currently has some 78 players of Jamaican descent registered to it. All these players are based in the USA and Canada, with a few in Europe. The federation in July 2022 launched a local programme to develop the sport here in line with the International Federation’s requirements and had a week-long summer camp which was attended by more than 50 youngsters, boys and girls aged 10-14. The camp was led by Ted Cheesebrough, who is the assistant coach of the senior team.
Already there is significant interest from the Jamaican diaspora in New York for the upcoming matches.
June 8 at The City Ice Pavillion
June 9 at the World Ice Arena
June 10 at the World Ice Arena
All matches start at 9 p.m.