The Portugal national ice hockey team will be heading to Prague, Czech Republic in January to take on a team of Czech select players in a friendly tournament.
As a way of helping promote the game of hockey in Portugal, members of the small national hockey team will travel to Prague, Czech Republic from January 14th-18th, with a mix of hockey and sightseeing on the schedule. The two teams will play on January 17th after taking in a Czech Extraliga game at the O2 Arena between HC Ocelári Trinec and HC Sparta Praha, two legendary clubs in the country.
According to the National Teams of Ice Hockey website, Portugal has played five exhibition contests in the past, with two victories against the Czech’s in Portugal this year being their most recent contests. All time, the team has a 2-3-0 record with 34 goals to their credit. Pedro Regado is on record for having the first ever goal in Portuguese hockey, scoring mid-way through the first period of the first game on the small ice surface at the Palácio do Gelo in Viseu, Portugal.
Per the IIHF, Portugal currently has 48 men’s players and 116 players in the country total. While they are IIHF members, they only have an associate membership, meaning they can play in tournaments, but just not in official IIHF World Hockey Championship events. A full explanation of the membership structure can be found here.
Portugal does have a long history of playing roller hockey, with the team winning gold’s at the U17 and U20 level’s this year. At the men’s division, the team has won a total of 18 Nations Cup’s, considered to be one of the biggest roller hockey tournaments in the world.
Here’s a clip from Portugal’s first ever ice hockey game against Canada back in 2000, an 18-6 victory for the Canadian select team.
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