|National teams|| Men's|
|National federation||Mexico Ice Hockey Federation|
|IIHF since||April 30, 1985|
|Top league||Liga Mexicana Élite|
Mexico is a country in North America. Mexico City is the capital and largest city.
|Senior National Hockey League||2014||-||National men's competition|
|Mexican National Championship||1988||2010||Defunct national championship|
|Liga Mexicana Elite||2010||2012||Defunct national league|
|Liga Mexicana||2012||2014||Defunct national league|
|Mexican junior competitions||-||Various junior competitions|
|Mexican Women's Hockey League||-||National women's competition|
History of hockey in Mexico
See also: Early Mexican Hockey.
Ice hockey was first played at the Arena México in 1957, when an ice rink was installed for a Holiday on Ice show. After the show had finished, the ice surface continued to be used for hockey. In 1962 the first ice rink in Polanco was built, followed by the formation of the first Mexican Ice Hockey League. Many of the teams were formed by schools. A rather humorous anecdote is that two brothers who played in the Mexican League were named Lenin and Stalin Aviles.
Later in the decade, two ice rinks opened in Mexico City, the Pista de Insurgentes and the la Pista de Hielo Revolució, further boosting the development of ice hockey. These rinks closed in the 1970s, but the opening of an ice rink at the Avenida Municipio Libre allowed for the sport to continue, and multiple tournaments were organized.
Ice hockey experienced rapid development during the 1980s, as rinks opened in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Lomas Verdes (Skatorama). The Federacion Mexicana de Deportes Invernales A.C. (Mexican Federation of Winter Sports) was founded in 1984, and the country joined the IIHF on April 30, 1985. Mexico had six teams in existence at the time they became IIHF members. The independent Mexico Ice Hockey Federation was created in 2003.
The old rinks closed in the early 1990s, while a new facility opened in Cuajimalpa, where the first school league was created. In 1993, a rink opened in San Jerónimo, followed by the opening of several more facilities in Lomas Verdes, Cuernavaca, León, Villahermosa and Metepec, among others.
The national championship was first contested in 1989. Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN) from México City won. The next year they lost 3-2 in a tight final against Association del Estado Nuevo León. After that, no championships were organized again until 1999.
During the 1995-96 season a new league was founded named the North American Professional League (NAL). Although two games were played in the league it was quickly found out that the whole league was a scam and it folded after these two games. Only two teams really existed: The Eugene Snowcats and the first and only Mexican professional team named The Mexico City Toreros. In the two games between these two teams the Snowcats won 9-6 and 8-4.
The Mexican team had no Mexican players on the roster. The team was entirely made up by North Americans and one Russian. Their first goal was scored by the Russian Igor Majesky assisted by Larry Bernard. The goalie was James Jensen and some of the forwards included Dusty Mclellan and Peter Cox. But the most well known player on the Mexican team was undoubtedly defenseman Link Gaetz who was selected 40th overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988. "The Missing Link" played 65 games for Minnesota and San Jose between 1988 and 1992, accumulating 412 penalty minutes.
For the 2010-11 season, a new semi-professional league, the Liga Mexicana Élite, was founded. The Teotihuacan Priests became the first champions of the new league. The Aztec Eagle Warriors won the title in 2012, and the 2013 and 2014 seasons were part of the Liga Mexicana. The Senior National Hockey League was first contested starting in 2014-15.
The SNHL is the current men's senior competition in Mexico. It consists of summer and winter seasons and features 30 teams divided into five divisions of six teams apiece. Promotion and relegation exists between the divisions.
The men's national team made its international debut at the D Pool World Championships in 2000. They won the D Pool, and were promoted to the C Pool, which was known as Division II by 2001. Mexico has mostly participated in Division II since first being promoted, but played in Division III in 2004 and 2005. Mexico City hosted the Pan American Ice Hockey Tournament in 2014 and 2015, and the hosts finished as runners-up on both occasions.
The women's national team played its first game on February 18, 2012, an exhibition game against Argentina, which they lost 1-0. The following day, they played the Argentinians again, this time winning by a score of 7-1. The Mexican women have competed in the IIHF World Women's Championships since 2014. They won gold at the Pan American Tournament in 2015.
The junior national team first participated in the IIHF World U20 Championships in 1997. They have only played in the lower pools of the world juniors. The U18 national team participated in the IIHF Asian Oceanic U18 Championships in 1991, finishing last while being outscored 115-3. They made their debut at the IIHF World U18 Championships in 2003, playing in Division III.
Special thanks to Patrick H. for supplying information on this country.