Jamaica’s Ice Hockey Team to Continue Strong Performance in New York

The Jamaican senior ice hockey team is scheduled to play Puerto Rico’s national team in three matches in New York City. Jamaica’s team, which had notable wins in 2019 and 2021 in the LATAM tournaments, will play as part of its ongoing program of having the team play as often as possible and to contribute to the growth of the sport overall. Members of the Jamaican Diaspora in New York have already expressed a strong interest in the upcoming competitions. The first match will be held in Flushing, Queens, on June 8, 2024, at The City Ice Pavilion, with matches on June 9 and June 10 to be played at the World Ice Arena. have expressed.

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A record of victories

The Jamaican senior ice hockey team has achieved notable victories against teams from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Lebanon, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico since 2019, which has generated considerable attention for the team at the international ice hockey level. Jamaica was the defending champion at the 2021 Amerigol LATAM Cup, a tournament established in 2018 and administered by the Amerigol International Hockey Association. In 2021, Jamaica was required to play as an exhibition team because the tournament’s organizers felt its team would overpower its opponents. The team proved organizers’ concern to be viable when it scored 58 goals in six matches, compared to seven goals from their rivals. Jamaica has remained unbeaten in the 12 games played to date.

The makeup of the team

The team that will play in New York will include many of the players who competed in 2021. Coaching the team is Chris Stewart, a National Hockey League star of Jamaican heritage who recently retired after playing nearly 800 games in the league during his professional career. Jamaica’s team has been consistent in its efforts to establish a strong ice hockey program with an eye on playing in the Olympic Qualifiers. The Jamaica Olympic Ice Hockey Federation (JOIHF) has put in place a major recruitment effort to find hockey players of Jamaican descent who are currently members of teams in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Coaches and former members of National Hockey League (NHL) teams have indicated their interest in working with Jamaica as well.

About Jamaican Ice Hockey

Jamaica’s ice hockey team was established in 2018 comprising players of Caribbean ancestry under the age of 20 born in Canada. Over time, the JOIHF, led by E. J. Phillipps, expanded its outreach and currently includes only players with Jamaican ancestry. Plans to build a multipurpose ice rink in Kingston are in place to facilitate Jamaica’s bid to become a full member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IJHF). The Jamaican Hockey Federation has registered some 78 players of Jamaican descent, with most based in the US and Canada. In 2022, the federation initiated a local program to develop the sport of hockey in Jamaica under the requirements of the international federation. Jamaica’s team is governed by the Jamaican Olympic Ice Hockey Federation (JOIHF). It became the first Caribbean country to become an associate member of the IJHF in 2012.

Photo – Luke Ballentine