Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sports You Didn't Know Mexico Played

David Agren on Mexico's recent performance in the second-division hockey championships:
The Mexican power play was sputtering badly one evening last week during a round-robin game against Australia in a chilly rink with sloppy ice in this industrial suburb of Mexico City.

Then, a tipped shot put the host country on the scoreboard, and the home crowd erupted as the players celebrated on the ice and the Mexican Hat Dance blared from the sound system.

Welcome to hockey night in Mexico, where a country with barely a dozen rinks, many of them in poor repair, is hosting a world championship for six of the teams occupying the lower rungs of the sport's hierarchy.

The teams -- Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey -- are here in a quixotic quest for international hockey glory. The winner advances to Division I, just one rung below the division that includes such powers as Canada, Russia and Sweden.

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