Just over a month after announcing their intention to play ice hockey, the Falkland Islands have won their very first game after defeating Chilean club Santiago Yetis 8-2 on Thursday.
With a total population of just 2,932 people, Falkland Islands is the smallest hockey nation to play organized ice hockey on record. Back in May, the team announced their intentions to travel to Chile twice a year to compete in 3-on-3 games taking place. For the Islands, their victory on Friday took place in just their very first attempt, a big step forward for the small nation. The win comes just a month after Brazil won their very first hockey game, and three months after Georgia took down Bosnia 4-1 for their inaugural victory.
According to an image of the score sheet, Ryan Bahl led the way with a five goal performance, assisting on two other goals in the contest. Bahl, a native of California, has played hockey in various different countries, including Spain, New Zealand and South Africa. While he’s trained on ice for many years, the rest of the team focused on honing skills in inline and ball hockey in the country, with months and months of preparation going in to their successful debut.
The win comes part of a 3-on-3 tournament in Chile known as the Copa Invernada, a four team tournament involving the Punta Arenas Kotaix and Santiago Yetis from the host nation, as well as the Rio Grande Dragones from Argentina. Falkland Islands’ next game is set for Friday against the Kotaix, with their third and final preliminary round game to take place against Dragones on Saturday. The gold and bronze medal games will take place on Sunday.
For our full team coverage for the Falkland Islands, including an interview with chairman Martyn Barlow, click here.
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