On Thursday, they were newly crowned hockey victors, securing their first win in dominating fashion. On Sunday, they became hockey champions.
The Copa Invernada in Chile proved to be the opening event for the Falkland Islands ice hockey team, the smallest hockey nation on record. A brand new team with very resources and players to choose from, the Islands made their debut on the ice this past week, with an 8-2 win over Santiago Yetis on Thursday setting the tone. The team finished that up with 14-3 and 6-3 victories over the next two days, earning them a spot in the finals of the four team tournament.
On Sunday, the Falkland Islands met with the Rio Grande Dragones from Argentina for the second straight day. For the Islands, the team had won by three goals the day before, and with 28 goals in the first three games, it looked rather promising heading into the winner-takes-all event. The team would once again allow three goals to their 3-on-3 rivals at the other end of the rink, but their nine goals was what it would take to grab the 9-3 victory and the tournament championship.
The expectation is that the Falkland Islands will return to Chile for one more chance at playing again on the ice this year, with no ice available in their own country. Falkland Islands is one of the 14 British Overseas Territories, a group of nations with very little hockey experience so far. Another member of the group, Cayman Islands, has played ice hockey previously, competing in the 2005 World Pond Hockey Championships in Canada. Gibraltar also has a rink, unlike the previous two countries, but has had no ice hockey action to date.
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