After failing to record a victory a year ago, the Brazilian national hockey team was able to secure their first ever ice hockey victory after defeating a Mexican Select U17 junior team 5-2 on Wednesday.
Brazil, not known for their hockey heritage, is one of the newest teams in the ice hockey scene. To start the tournament back in 2014, the team lost 16-0 to Mexico. a tough start for a team really trying to find their footing early.
Development takes a lot of time, and for Brazil, the start began just recently. In fact, according to coach Snej Jensen, the current team has almost no experience under their belt.
“(Five) days ago many of these guys stepped on the ice for the first time. They had to learn everything in 6 practices,” Jensen said in a tweet following their opening game victory.
Back in 2013, Brazil released their roster for their first ever attempt at the tournament, containing a large amount of inline hockey players. With no official size hockey rinks just yet, very limited resources and a lack of experience, the program has moved slowly in recent years, but not without effort. Players do have the chance to participate in small, 3-on-3 style games at some local rinks, but for the most part, the chance to play on big ice is a big deal for a big country with big aspirations for their hockey program.
On the inline side, the team has seen some previous success. Brazil has won six Division I Inline World Championship medals between 2003 and 2009. Due to a variety of issues, the team wasn’t always able to send their best players, and this year, they aren’t even listed in any of the inline events. Hopefully, the whole program will be able to find stable support, giving them a chance to grow both divisions even further.
Brazil will return to the ice on Thursday, when the country takes on Argentina’s B team to kick off day two. Game time is set for 9:30 AM local time in Mexico City.
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