After an exciting day one, all teams would again have practice and game on day two and really kick things into high gear. Day two see the youth development teams (YDP1 and YDP2) face their first opponents.
With spirits high and national pride running through the hearts and minds of everyone, the men's national team would face off in game 2 of 3 against team Jamaica and the outcome of this game would be much different than the 8-2 loss they suffered at the hands of Jamaica the night before.
With the intensity being as high as ever after the loss the night before, both teams would look to make statements, Puerto Rico wanting to show everyone they can win against one of the best non traditional hockey markets being Jamaica and the Jamaicans looking to maintain their perfect 10-0-0 record. This game started as you would expect, both teams throwing huge hits, both teams making great plays and all around a great level of play, but Puerto Rico would take the first goal and only progress from there.
Not only would Puerto Rico strike first, they would be the only team to strike at all. Puerto Rico would score 6 goals in this game while also shutting out Jamaica in the process. Team Puerto Rico would dominate on all levels, but three players would really stick out.
Kevin Lebron, would start for PR in net and not let any goals by him until the third when he would have to leave due to an undisclosed lower body injury. After leaving with an injury, Michal Nabozny would step in net and take the reins holding down the crease and stopping all 14 shots he faced. The one skater who stood out was Harvard NCAA D1 skater and New York native Christian Jimenez. Jimenez tallied 2 goals in the 6-0 win and not only would he show up big on the score sheet, he would make great plays defensively in his own zone. These three players really stood out, but do not be fooled, this was a team effort and the comradery and brother like bond was highlighted in this win.
The ADP1 team would face off against the Long Island Tide. In this contest, spirits were riding as high as ever coming off the energizing 11-8 comeback win against FDNY Alum the night before. To start this game against the Tide, the Tide would score first early in the game, but that lead would not last long. ADP1 would go on to score 16 goals, the momentum was definitely still moving in the right direction for PR shown most by the scoreboard. In this blowout win everyone was playing well and scoring at a great pace. The final score would be 16-3 by the end of the night.
The U18 team would face off against the Great Neck Bruins where the Puerto Ricans would dominate their way to an outstanding 12-0 blowout win against the Bruins. This game would see the Puerto Ricans take an early lead and not let their foot off the gas pedal, hammering away for the entire game. Resilience is a word synonymous with PRIHA as a whole, but looking at this game, the U18 team truly embodied every known meaning of this word.
YDP1 would see the team face off against the Dix Hills Hawks 16U team. In this game the YDP1 would fall 5-3 to the Hawks in a very evenly matched game where the Dix Hills Hawks were able to capitalize on more chances than the Puerto Ricans. In a hard fought game where both teams played their hearts out, both teams are able to walk away with their heads high and look forward to what these young hockey players have ahead in their young hockey careers.
Playing in their first game of the weekend, the YDP2 team faced off against the Hockey New Jersey team. In this game, the Puerto Rican youngsters would put on a performance all the players would remember. The YDP2 team would win 7-3 in a win where all the players were connecting, playing as a team, truly playing for the logo on their chest, not the number and names on the back of their jersey.
The Women's National Team would face off against the Lady Islanders on day 2 of the weekend and in this game, unlike the night before the Women's team would take the win. Winning this game 4-1 the women's team would bounce back in a huge way after the tough close loss they had the night before. On day three the Women's National Team will play in two games and look to win them all, with the roster they constructed, this will be a tough task, but one not impossible to think about.
By Sam Deleon
Images courtesy of Katelynn Reiss and Michael Rosado