As Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, ice hockey team showed resilience

Scott Vargas and the Puerto Rico men’s hockey team took the ice with heavy hearts three hours after Hurricane Fiona made landfall on their island.

Playing in Division 1 of the AMERIGOL LATAM Cup final, Puerto Rico earned its first organizational championship with a 4-3 victory against Argentina at the Florida Panthers IceDen Sept. 18 in Coral Springs, Florida.

There was a brief celebration in the locker room, but not before players and staff quickly grabbed their phones to check on family members and friends in the direct path of the deadly hurricane.

“It had only been a few hours since the hurricane made landfall. We didn’t know everything but we knew it was going to be pretty tough,” Vargas told USA TODAY Sports. “I think it solidified the fact there wasn’t much we could do from a locker room in Florida, but we knew we could represent Puerto Rico at the highest level we possibly could. That’s what we set out to do on the ice.”

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