After an incredible game to finish off the tournament, Team Colombia was able to overcome Mexico with a 6-5 victory to win the Pan-American Ice Hockey Games, their first ever tournament championship.
Led by Daniel Echeverri, considered to be the top player in the whole tournament, Colombia managed to stick around all game long against Mexico, who were considered to be the favourites heading in. In the shootout, three Colombians would find the back of the net, with Echeverri’s goal on their first chance easily being the most impressive after making a great deke in tight. Colombia would allow just two goals in the shootout, and when it was all said and done, the team managed to hold on for the 6-5 victory, earning their first tournament championship in just their second try.
While fellow newbies Argentina and Brazil were still trying to find their footing last year, Colombia had a very solid tournament, en route to their first ever medal (a bronze) in ice hockey. Colombia came home with the third place title after a commanding 9-1 victory over Argentina in the bronze medal game to end the tournament, a huge achievement for a small team.
For a team like Colombia, a 5-0 record in their second ever tournament is better than anyone would have expected. The first ever team to ever win a game at the Pan-American Ice Hockey Games, Colombia’s background mainly comes from inline hockey, similar to Argentina and Brazil. Still not a member of the IIHF just yet, Colombia’s victory will likely lead to further support from outside the team, with hopes of a World Championship appearance in the near future.
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