The International Ice Hockey Federation welcomes the Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association as its newest member. The 2022 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress today approved the admission of Puerto Rico as an associate member.
With the addition of the Caribbean island, the IIHF grows to 83 member national associations.
The Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association was formally founded in 2020. Currently 205 players are registered with the organization from the island of 3.1 million inhabitants.
Team Canada defenceman Gary Bergman (2) celebrates the game-winning goal by teammate Paul Henderson, not shown, in Canada’s 6-5 win in Game 8 in Moscow on Sept. 28, 1972. (The Canadian Press)
By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey
Momentum was clearly on Canada’s side after back-to-back wins in Game 6 and 7, but it still had to win Game 8 to claim victory.
After a controversy over the referees nearly resulted in cancellation of the game, the teams skated onto the ice side-by-side for the final set of pregame ceremonies. Canada’s concerns about the officiating were well-founded when Bill Whiite and Pete Mahovlich received questionable penalties in the first 3:01, leading to a 5-on-3 power-play goal by Alexander Yakushev, who had emerged as a star in the series and backhanded a rebound into the net.
J.P. Parise received another questionable call a few seconds later for interference. When he was given the penalty, he went to the box. Then he came out of the penalty box, skated around and worked himself up. And then he charged the referee, with his stick over his head — he was threatening to bring down his stick on the West German referee Kompalla .
Parise was given a misconduct and a game misconduct. And the crowd started up, ‘Let’s go home, let’s go home.’ I think if at that moment, Eagleson had said ‘let’s go,’ the players would have gone off the ice. But he didn’t, so we carried on. The incident fired up Canada.
GAME 8: CANADA 6, SOVIET UNION 5
Paul Henderson’s goal for the ages in Game 8 capped a stunning Canadian comeback over the Soviets to win the 1972 Summit Series. First Period: 1, Soviet Union, Yakushev 6 (Liapkin, Maltsev), 3:34 (pp). 2, Canada, P. Esposito 6 (Park), 6:45 (pp). 3, USSR, Lutchenko 1 (Kharlamov), 13:10 (pp). 4, Canada, Park 1 (Ratelle, Hull), 16:59.
Scott Vargas remembers the looks he and other members of the Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association got when they marched in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York in June.
“A lot of people were utterly confused and a lot of people that were at the parade still don’t know we exist, probably,” said Vargas, the PRIHA’s president and executive director.
Vargas said he believes the profile of the association, dedicated to promoting and expanding hockey within the Puerto Rican community throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, is about to be raised.
Puerto Rico’s men’s team, captained by Vargas, won the Amerigol LATAM Cup on Sept. 18 with a 3-2 win against Argentina 3-2 at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, Florida.
The men’s victory followed Puerto Rico’s women’s team winning the LATAM Cup in 2020, defeating Colombia 2-0.
Buoyed by the LATAM Cup performances, the PRIHA is looking for a larger platform. It applied for membership for Puerto Rico in the International Ice Hockey Federation, the sport’s governing body.
The IIHF could decide on the application during its Semi-Annual Congress, which begins in Belek, Turkey, on Thursday.
“We thought long and hard about what the purpose was of the association and, simply put, it’s to represent Puerto Rico at the highest level possible on the international stage,” Vargas said. “In order for us to do that, we’ve got to get into the IIHF. … We feel we can be a competitive organization, move up those world rankings and truly represent Puerto Rico that way.”
But Puerto Rico must overcome some serious hurdles before that can happen. The island doesn’t have a suitable ice rink — a requirement for full membership in the IIHF — and the U.S. territory has a balky electrical power grid.
The Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena, which opened in 2005 and was the only ice skating facility in the Caribbean, was damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and hasn’t reopened.
The Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Argelot in San Juan, where the New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 in the first and only NHL game played on the island on September 23, 2006, has ice-making ability but is a large multi-use venue.
“That’s at least definitely there,” said Vargas, a 31-year-old Tampa, Florida, native who played NCAA Division III hockey at Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan, from 2012-15. “We’re trying to see if there are other places that have permanent chillers. If we could find a smaller facility, that would help us a lot.”
In the meantime, the PRIHA continues its drive to recruit more players and raise awareness of hockey on the island. The association was founded in 2020 with 11 players and now has more than 200 registered players, Vargas said.
It hosted its first evaluation camp in Chicago in May that attracted 105 players. In 2021, the PRIHA became part of Puerto Rico’s National Olympic Committee’s Federation of Puerto Rican Winter Athletes.
“If we have Olympic teams in baseball, basketball and skeleton, why not ice hockey?” said Jazmine Miley, 27, who captains Puerto Rico’s women’s team and who coaches women’s hockey at Paul Smith’s College, an upstate New York school that competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. “Why not ice hockey? Skeleton, you don’t even have (facilities) on the island. It’s much easier to put a rink on the island when we have the funds.”
The PRIHA plans to host its first event on the island in October, a roller and inline hockey gathering in San Juan designed to introduce residents to the sport and whet their appetite for ice hockey.
“We’ll do 3-on-3, no goalies, and we’ll have small pond hockey nets,” Vargas said.
“The grassroots level is extremely important. That’s how you start, that’s the beginning. And then we’ll see where we can get to.”
Canadian and Soviet hockey players pile up during a game in Moscow.
By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey
Team Canada made 2 changes for game 7: Tony Esposito was back in for Ken Dryden, and Red Berenson is out for Bill Goldsworthy. The Soviets meanwhile made 5 changes to their lineup, most notably Valeri Kharlamov, his already sore ankle cracked by the slash of Bobby Clarke in the last game. The Soviets also pulled Shatalov, Lebedev and Bodunov and replacing them with Gusev, Kuzkin, Blinov and Mikhailov.
GAME 7: CANADA 4, SOVIET UNION 3
The Canadians received a late lift from Paul Henderson before surviving a desperate push by the Soviets in the final two minutes of Game 7. At the end of the day, Canada was back in business with a 4-3 victory that evened the 1972 Summit Series.
The Canadian fans sang the Canadian national anthem. every player on the team would say they had a tremendous influence on the Canadian players and in the game.
Paul Henderson celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winner against goalie Vladislav Tretiak in Game 7 on Sept. 26, 1972 in Moscow. Canada won 4-3. (Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
By George Da Silva _ National Teams of Ice Hockey
Team Canada changed strategies for game six getting away from the straight-line tactics that was normal in the NHL and pushing the tempo with head-man passes and criss-crosses to take advantage of the Soviets’ biggest weakness: their play in their own zone. The Canadian players were also starting to get into shape heading into game Six in Moscow.
Game 6, was a very heated game with a lot of pushing and shoving going on. Then the famous incident where Bobby Clarke of Team Canada two-handed chop on forward Valeri Kharlamov’s ankle. Clarke came up from the side and laid the chop on Kharmalov’s ankle. Clarke was given a misconduct. Kharlamov finished Game 6, but he didn’t appear in Game 7. He came back to play in Game 8 but he was nowhere near the player he was earlier in the series.
GAME 6: CANADA 3, SOVIET UNION 2
Canada left the ice after Game 6 with a 3-2 victory that gave them renewed confidence and kept alive their hopes of winning the 1972 Summit Series. First Period: No scoring
There was 13 days between Games 4 and 5, with Canada preparing for the bigger international ice surface Team Canada played two games in Sweden, winning 4-1 and tying the second game 4-4, that featured a lot of stick work by the Swedes, Wayne Cashman needed 50 stitches to close a cut in his mouth after being high-sticked and alot of rough play by international standards from the Team Canada.
Nearly 3,000 Canadian fans made the trip to Moscow, forming a red-clad island of noise in an otherwise a very quiet gathering of 15,000 people.
Game 5 @ Moscow, Soviet Union September 22nd, 1972
GAME 5: SOVIET UNION 5, CANADA 4
The Soviet Union scored five third-period goals on just 11 shots for a stunning 5-4 victory in Game 5 to open up a 3-1-1 lead over Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.
First Period: 1, Canada, Parise 2 (Perreault, Gilbert), 15:30.
Puerto Rico were double winners at the 2022 Latam Cup. The men’s team defeated Argentina 4-3 in the final to claim there first title in the Men’s Division I, not to be out done the Puerto Rico U20 team defeated the team from the Caribbean 8-1 for the Under-20 title. this is the first time U20 division as been played at the Latam Cup.
The Latam Cup men’s Division II final was a Middle Eastern confrontation between Egypt and the Stars of Israel. Egypt’s defeated the Stars of Israel 3-0.
Egypt 2022 Latam Cup Men’s Division II Champions.
Mexico’s Warriors won the women’s championship with a 9-4 victory against a surprising Chile team who beat Puerto Rico (defend champions), Argentina and Colombia twice to reach the final.
Croatia sweeps through the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B in to win gold. The Netherlands also celebrates after blanking hosts Serbia 4-0 on the final day to claim the second promotion spot.
The tournament in Belgrade was the last of the tournaments played in summertime after being moved from January due to Covid-19.
Advancing in emphatic style, Croatia took maximum points and sealed promotion ahead of Saturday´s concluding 4-2 win versus Belgium. Played in the newly refurbished Pionir Ice Hall in Belgrade, the triumph tasted even sweeter for Croatia, winning it at the home ice of their fierce rivals, Serbia.
Coming from behind to beat Serbia 3-1 in a high-octane opening day encounter set the tone for the Croats. They followed it up by grinding out a 4-2 win against the Netherlands. Against Iceland, they sparked into life scoring four unanswered third-period goals in a 7-3 victory. Four wins out of four in a highly competitive tournament bodes well for Croatia’s promising next generation.
“All of the games were tough, but this is a very good team that works hard. With seven players on this team playing their hockey outside of Croatia the future looks good,” said head coach Marko Sertic as Croatia’s U20 national team steps up to a level they most recently competed at in 2017.
“We are all very good friends and working very hard as a group. That I think is the key for our win and I think this team will have a good chance of winning a medal at the higher level,” said Croatia’s Alex Dimitrijevic, one of six players on the victorious Croatian U20 roster who also skated for Croatia’s senior team winning bronze at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A.
The key win for Croatia en route to their gold medals came in their tricky opener against arch-rivals and hosts Serbia. The Pionir Ice Hall erupted in a rousing cheer following Matija Dinic´s opener for Serbia at 4:01. But the joy was to be short-lived as Fran Zavrski tied the game for Croatia just 32 seconds later. Working themselves into the game, Serbia´s Minja Ivanovic sat out a two-minute minor when Karlo Marinkovic found the tournament´s top scorer, Vito Idzan, who converted at 6:18 on the power play as Croatia went ahead 2-1.
With emotions running high both on and off ice, the penalty-laden second frame finished goalless. 967 onlookers in the stands were backing Serbia relentlessly in their hunt for goals as the third period wore on. When Croatia’s Bruno Idzan was serving a minor and Serbia charged ahead, his older brother came to the rescue. The tournament’s top scorer Vito Idzan raced clear to cooly slot home the 3-1 shorthanded goal past Akim Padalica with 5:05 left in regulation time.
“We knew that there were going to be a lot of people and Serbia would be favourites playing at home. It was hard, but it was expected. We knew what we were coming for when arriving here,” said Dimitrijevic.
The original six teams skating in Belgrade had been cut down to five following China’s withdrawal due to their current Covid-19 countermeasures and quarantine rules. The suspension from participation at the top of the World Championship pyramid of the Russian and Belarusian U20 national teams until further notice also directly impacted this tournament. With two places for promotion up for grabs and nobody suffering relegation, it gave way to a week full of offensive and adventurous hockey.
Heading into the final game of the tournament, the Netherlands went head to head with Serbia for the second promotion spot. Entering the game with a two-point advantage over their opponents, the Dutch head coach Ron Berteling and his young team were relishing the challenge ahead of them.
“It’s a Saturday night game at eight o’clock against the hosts. When you hit the ice during the warm-up there are already people in the stands. If you are not ready then something is wrong, but these guys will be ready,” he said.
Berteling was not to be disappointed. The Netherlands had gone behind in all of their previous three games, but against Serbia they were switched on right from the start.
Following a goalless first frame, the Dutch broke the deadlock to go ahead on the power play at 8:22 of the middle frame thanks to their top scorer Jay Huisman. He then turned provider three minutes later as Mike Collard doubled the Dutchmen’s lead.
Despite Serbia winning the shots 28-20 in the game, the crowd of 826 was silenced at 2:11 of the third when Rolan Loos stretched the Dutch lead even further. Desperate four goals, Serbia head coach Spiros Anastasiadis went for bust pulling Padalica from the net with 6:47 left of the third frame. 53 seconds later Pim van der Meulen hit the final nail in the coffin with his empty netter.
“We dreamed of winning the gold medal, but our goal was promotion and to go up to a higher group,” said Berteling as the Netherlands sealed a return to a level, they last competed at in 2018.
A dejected Serbian team had to settle for bronze. A slight consolation is that Serbia’s Padalica was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament. Wesley de Bruijn of the Netherlands won the best defender award and Croatia’s Vito Idzan was selected as the top forward.
The tournament also marked the end of the 2021/22 season in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program with the final remaining tournament being concluded after being pushed ahead from its original date due to Covid-19.
The 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A will be played in Kaunas, Lithuania between 11 and 17 December 2022 with players born 2003 and later eligible to play and return. Croatia and the Netherlands will then play against Great Britain, Spain, Lithuania and Romania.
Ice hockey has progressively risen in popularity since it was first played professionally in Canada in 1895. The game’s popularity is particularly noticeable in the winter when several local and international leagues are played worldwide. Like field hockey, the game requires players to move around using sticks to shoot at a target, but with skaters instead of grass or artificial turf. It is a very physical and fast-paced game, which makes it a very entertaining sport, for fans to watch,
In England, the first recorded ice hockey games took place in the early 20th century, but it was not until after a few years that it generated enough interest to form permanent teams. However, the sport has grown significantly in England from its humble beginnings as a five-team league in the early twentieth century to now being played professionally in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) today.
Origin of ice hockey
The origins of ice hockey have been traced back to a variety of stick and ball games popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the games closely associated with the origins of ice hockey is bandy, a winter sport played with ice skates and sticks to direct a ball into the opposition’s goal. Other similar games included the Irish game of hurling, Scottish shinty, and North American lacrosse. However, because these three games were played on a field rather than on the ice, the bandy remains the most similar to modern ice hockey in terms of gameplay.
The game of bandy is said to have evolved from a group of similar ice skating games. It was first played in British North America (present-day Canada), where it was known as “hockey on the ice.” However, since field hockey developed in 17th century England, there is a belief that some of the games took place on the ice, which means England can also be credited directly with the development of ice hockey.
While the sport’s origin seems contradictory, there is no doubt that modern-day ice hockey began in Canada. In March 1875, the first modern ice hockey game was played in Montreal, Canada, between two teams of nine players each.
The first English ice hockey game was said to occur in 1885 between Oxford and Cambridge universities. However, there are doubts that this said match even occurred. Some believe it was a bandy game that took place, not ice hockey. Nevertheless, by 1903, the first European ice hockey league was formed in England. It consisted of five teams, and the London Canadians won the league that year.
Five years later, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) was established, with Great Britain as a founding member. Great Britain went on to win the IIHF European Ice hockey championship in 1910. By 1914, the British Ice Hockey Association (BIHA) was established. However, it was later replaced by the Ice Hockey UK (IHUK) in 1999.
Ice hockey grew tremendously in popularity in England between 1935 and 1954. At the time, the English National League and the Scottish National League were the two most popular ice hockey leagues, drawing much attention. The Men’s National team also had an incredible run of success, winning the Olympic and European titles and a couple of world titles. One of their memorable games was their 2-1 victory over Canada, the reigning world champions at the time.
The English and Scottish national leagues were later merged in 1954 to form the British National League. However, things didn’t go well for the game after the merger, which eventually caused the league to fold up in 1960.
After the 1960 decline, the sport fell into obscurity for more than 20 years. It wasn’t until 1982 that it began to regain prominence. The former British National League was restructured to form the English Ice Hockey Association. At the time, the association comprised 60 ice hockey teams.
The sport went on to enjoy even more prominence in the 1990s. At this time, the game became quite popular, attracting an average of eight thousand spectators each match day. One of the most attended matches at the time took place at the 17,000 Manchester Arena, which was completely sold out. One important factor that contributed to the sport’s incredible success at the time was a large sponsorship deal with Heineken, which brought more revenue into the league.
The Ice Hockey Super League, an additional top-tier league, was later founded in 1996 with the goal of improving the image of the sport. However, the Super League only lasted six years before collapsing. It was replaced by the Elite Ice Hockey League, which suffered from low attendance when it was newly introduced.
Ice hockey in England today
The Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) eventually recovered in the 2010s, increasing the national profile of ice hockey. Today, the EIHL is England’s highest-tier ice hockey league. The other league tiers in the country today are the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL), National Ice Hockey League 1 (NIHL1), and National Ice Hockey League 2 (NIHL2).
Despite many ups and downs, ice hockey has gradually grown into one of the most notable sports in England. Today it continues to garner more enthusiasts, particularly during the winter season.
Vladimir Shadrin scores the final goal for the Soviet team in Vancouver, on Sept. 8, 1972, during Canada–USSR Summit Series hockey action. Team USSR took the victory in a 5–3 win over Canada. (The Canadian Press)
By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey
Watching their Canadian heroes blow a pair of two-goal leads and having to settle for a 4-4 tie in Game 3 of the Summit Series in Winnipeg did not set well with Team Canada fans. Game 4 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Sept. 8, 1972, wound up making them even unhappier.
Injuries cost Canada both members of one of its best defensive pairs, as Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard of the Montreal Canadiens sat out. Even more costly was a pair of early penalties to Bill Goldsworthy, who had been inserted into the lineup to add energy. He was called for cross-checking at 1:24 and elbowing at 5:58 — and Boris Mikhailov capitalized on both power plays to give the Soviets a 2-0 lead after one period.
To say this wasn’t the start Team Canada had envisioned would be putting it mildly.
Game 4 @ Vancouver, Canada September 8th, 1972
GAME 4: SOVIET UNION 5, CANADA 3
Vancouver fans booed Team Canada off the ice after a 5-3 loss to the Soviet Union in Game 4 of the Summit Series, triggering an emotional postgame outburst from Phil Esposito.
Growing up in Canada I was a huge hockey fan, but it wasn't until the 1972 summit series and the 1976 Canada Cup that I became a big fan of international hockey. The best players in world all playing on a sheet of ice.
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