Following their 6-1 victory over Argentina A today at the Pan-American Ice Hockey Games in Mexico, Brazil was able to win their first ever ice hockey medal just a year after coming dead last in their first ever tournament.

Brazil, a small hockey nation with just eight games under the belt, finished off the 2015 Pan-Am Ice Hockey tournament with three wins and two losses, dropping decisions to just Mexico and Colombia along the way. Two of Brazil’s victories came against the two separate teams from Argentina, outscoring them 13-1 over two games of action. Their first victory of the tournament came against Mexico’s U17 squad, defeating the group of kids 5-2 to secure their first ever hockey victory this past Wednesday.

A year ago, the team began their ice hockey journey with very little support or experience. Made up of some players from inline hockey, the team only managed to score three goals last year, all coming in a 5-3 loss to Argentina late in the tournament. This year, some of the players hadn’t even played on ice until just days before the tournament, but after some training, and some exhibition action against Colombia, the team came into the Pan-Am games with a lot to prove.

As anyone would hope, the good result will hopefully show the CBDG, the Confederação Brasileira de Desportos no Gelo, that the team deserves further funding to help build their program further. At the Pan-Am level, aimed at helping small hockey countries develop in a low-level event, Brazil proved that they’re program has come a long way, and if the tournament does indeed return for 2016, expect them to be even stronger in hopes of going for another medal.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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