Simoes Represents Portugal In World Championships
LAREDO, Texas -Laredo Bucks forward Steve Simoes was recently overseas representing Portugal at the 2005 IIHF Inline World Championships in Kuopio, Finland. Simoes, whose parents came over to Canada from Portugal, helped to organize the Portuguese entrant into the tournament. Laredo Bucks season ticket holders enjoy many exclusive offers that are available only to season ticket holders. For more information on 2005-06 Bucks season tickets call the Bucks office at (956) 718-BUCKS (2825) or log onto www.laredobucks.com.
The 2005 IIHF Inline World Championships ran from July 9th-16th. Kuopio is approximately 350 km north of Helsinki and was a first-time host of any IIHF World Championship event.
Germany had hosted the IIHF Inline Hockey World championship for the last three years. It was in Germany that the current format, with 16 teams, was adopted. The same format was used at this year's championship.
Simoes has prior international experience with Portugal.
"I got a chance to play in the World Inline Championships in Spain 2001. I was playing for the Portuguese Team, and we ended up finishing 15th of out of 16 teams," Simoes said.
The Portuguese team is truly playing for the love of the sport.
"Inline is a game that still hasn't caught on too much in Portugal, and the players have to pay from their own pockets to play," Simoes explained.
With a different culture, comes a different sporting experience.
"The nets are smaller than the ones they use for traditional old school roller hockey here in Portugal," Simoes said. "The rink is much smaller than a regular ice surface and the referees are in running shoes, mainly because they can't skate. It truly is quite the scene."
Simoes is doing more than playing; he is assisting with the development of the team.
"The players on the Portuguese team range from 18 to 41 years old which is definitely different," said Simoes. "Since I got to Portugal I kind of was running practice and instilling some Bucks tactics in our systems. Since we play four-on-four I've had to adapt a few drills and strategies, but Coach Ruskowski would have been proud."
The Portuguese team was seeded last in Division I going into the tournament.
The 16 teams will be split into a Top Division and a Division I group. The top eight teams will be split into two groups of four for a round robin, while the same will happen in the Division I level. The two last-place teams from the top division round robin and the two first place teams from the Division I round robin will play a qualification game for the right to move, or stay, among the best eight teams.
After the qualification game, there will be a playoff in each group to determine the medalists at each level. The medal games were played on July 16.
The Portuguese team finished 15th out of 16 teams with Simoes totaling 14 points in five games.
BUCKS OPEN HOUSE
- The Laredo Bucks will host an open house on Saturday, July 30th at the Laredo Entertainment Center. Fans will have the chance to tour the building, including a peek behind the scenes into the Bucks locker room. Bucks players will be present at the event. The open house will be highlighted by the annual Bucks summer merchandise sale and Bucks gear will be available at slashed prices. The event is open to all Bucks fans. Fans can look at open seat locations in the LEC and purchase Bucks season tickets by taking advantage of the newly offered payment plans. A Bucks jersey auction will take place and there will be a special unveiling. In addition fans can enter to win door prizes. The Bucks open house runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, July 30th.
LAREDO ANIMAL PROTECTIVE ANIMAL SHELTER
- The Laredo Animal Protective Society Animal Shelter will also be present at the open house and they will have animals available for adoption. Adoption fees run $50 for dogs and $30 for cats. The fee includes rabies shots, distemper shots, spay or neuter, plus a bath and dip.
BUCKS SEASON TICKET PAYMENT PLANS
- The Laredo Bucks are offering several new ways to pay for season tickets. An automatic withdrawal can now be made using checking and savings accounts in addition to credit cards. Laredo Bucks season ticket holders enjoy many exclusive offers that are available only to season ticket holders. A Bucks season ticket can be purchased for as low as five monthly payments of $75. For more information on 2005-06 Bucks season tickets call the Bucks office at (956) 718-BUCKS (2825) or log onto www.laredobucks.com.
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