By Sam DeLeon
PRIHA kicks off their first day of their 4 day weekend in New York City with orientation, practices, team building exercises, games against FDNY, the first of 3 rivalry games against Jamaica, and much much more in an exciting weekend for PRIHA’s first event in the northeast.
To start off the weekend for the youth development teams would spend the first day having two practices, the first of the two would see the teams have tune up’s, practicing as a team, and building chemistry for the upcoming games. The second ice session would see the two teams have high intensity small area games where the two teams would really build a good chemistry and maximize their time together.
In the first of a 3 game series against Jamaica, the men’s national team would fall 8-2, but the score would not indicate how hard fought this game was played. The Jamacians are a tough team to play, arguably the best team in the world not in the IIHF, the Jamacians make little to no mistakes, and at the level both these teams play the contest becomes a game of capitalizing on the opponent's mistakes. Both teams came out buzzing- playing at a high intensity. It should be noted that Puerto Rico is well equipped to handle an opponent like Jamaica with players from NCAA D1, USHL, QMJHL, AHL, MHL, and ACHA.
Late in the first, Logan Cuvo, would net the first goal of the weekend with a hard nose one timer in the slot. Late in the third, Mikey Marquez, would score a beautiful wrap around goal netting Puerto Rico’s second and last goal of the game. Although not the outcome anyone wanted, this was a hard fought game with big hits, high paced play, high skilled goals, and a good building blocks game for the Puerto Rican’s national team.
The men’s ADP1 team would face off against FDNY alumni and it was a game with quite a bit of action happening. FDNY would take a 2-0 lead to start the game early in the first, but the Puerto Rican’s would not lose their fight and tie the game by the middle mark of the period. Heading in to the 2nd period with the game tied 3-3, the Puerto Rican team would spend the whole game chasing, FDNY would get a 1 goal lead and the Puerto Rican’s would tie, that was the story for most of the game until about the 7:00 minute mark in the third. Chasing 2 with 7:00 to go in the game, the Puerto Ricans would go on a heater, scoring 5 unanswered goals to make the score of the game 11-8, final.
The U18 national team would face off against Long Islands Dix Hills Hawks. The Hawks are an established local team with tons of talent on their roster, having all the ingredients to make this game a great matchup for both parties involved. The Dix Hills Hawks would take a 2-0 lead, but the U18 team would show the same relentlessness the ADP1 team would, being down 2-0 would not break the Puerto Rican’s spirits and they would fight their way back to making the game a competitive one. After a lot of back and forth, the Puerto Rican’s would best the Dix Hills hawks with a final score of 5-3. This high skilled Puerto Rican team did not have the greatest start, but took about half the game to really get their wheels under them and start rolling on all four cylinders, this showed on the scoreboard by the end of the game.
The women's team would face off against New Puck City for their first game of the weekend. Playing together for the first time since the LATAM Cup in Miami in September, all players on the women’s team were thrilled to finally put back on the jerseys and represent Puerto Rico once again. In a hard fought game against New Puck City, the women’s national team would unfortunately fall 4-3 against New Puck City. Not the ideal way for the women’s team to start the weekend, but they will play New Puck City one more time before taking on their next opponent for another two games.