Kingston, 20 October 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated Jamaica’s senior men’s Ice Hockey team for winning all six matches played, as an exhibition team, in the LATAM Cup at the Panthers Ice Hockey Den in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last weekend.
Minister Grange said: “Winning all of their matches, which were played against Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, Venezuela and Argentina, was spectacular for the Senior Men’s Ice Hockey team since they were playing together for the first time since 2019 owing to the 2020 competition being abandoned because of covid-19.
“I am particularly pleased that all of the players are of Jamaican roots which is a pre-requisite for participation. The players spoke with passion of their life-long desire to play for Jamaica as they have displayed this passion and commitment to the black, green and gold on and off the ice.
“I want to reiterate that Jamaicans in the Diaspora play an important role in the development of Jamaica and we must always let them know how much we appreciate them.
“I wish to commend the Jamaica Ice Hockey Federation which has been doing a great job in promoting the sport and is already seeing the fruits of its labour with the remarkable performance of the team.”
Federation President, Don Anderson, has said that the team has attracted significant interest from the International Federation and from the National Hockey League by virtue of the sensation it created in the competition.
He said that offers of assistance to move our game forward have been received from a number of key private sector interests in North America.
“Plans are now being drafted for this team to continue to play together in competitions during 2022 and considerations are being given to Jamaica hosting a tournament, perhaps in Florida, with teams drawn from across North America,” Mr Anderson added.
The Jamaica Ice Hockey team is co-coached by Chris Stewart who has recently retired from the NHL after playing close to 700 regular season games and 39 play-off games and whose father is a Jamaican. He is also on the board of the International Federation’s Hockey Diversity Programme, charged with the responsibility of spreading the game globally. In addition to this, he owns two Ice Hockey facilities in the US and has indicated a keen interest in further advancing the cause of Jamaica’s Ice Hockey programme through his facilities.
The other co-coach is Jamie Huscroft, himself a former professional hockey player of note.