The Arapahoe Ice Warriors got some special instruction on Tuesday as Patrick Bordeleau and Michael Sgarbossa of the Avalanche hosted the team as they prepare for the 54th Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in Quebec City.
Arapahoe will represent the Colorado Avalanche at this year’s event after they won the club’s qualifier tournament last November. This is the 11th year in which the Avalanche have given a team from Colorado an all-expense paid trip to one of the most famous hockey tournaments in the world.
Bordeleau and Sgarbossa interacted with the kids and helped run drills during the practice, while parents and family members watched with cameras in hand from the benches.
“I think they had a lot of fun today and I think they’ll have a lot of fun at that tournament,” Sgarbossa said. “We tried to give them some pointers and guidelines for when they go up there. I know myself and Bordy had a good time.”
Both Avs players are not unfamiliar with the Quebec tournament as they each participated in it while coming up through the hockey ranks.
Bordeleau’s team lost in the finals of the tournament, but one of the moments that he remembers the most was playing a game in the middle of a shopping mall.
“We played against a Swiss team and we actually played in a mall,” he said. “It was a big mall in Quebec and they had a roller coaster in the mall while we were playing, so you could hear the kids screaming.”
Sgarbossa’s team didn’t have the same kind of success as Bordeleau’s team did in the tournament, but that wasn’t enough to ruin his experience at the event.
“I think we were staying up too late and playing in the pool a little too much before the games,” said Sgarbossa with a grin on his face. “I remember taking the train up there and seeing the city and seeing how important that tournament is to that town."
Prior to the practice at the South Suburban Family Sports Center, all of the Arapahoe players received the jerseys that they are going to wear while in Quebec, the exact same ones that Bordeleau and Sgarbossa wear at Pepsi Center.
This year’s tournament will take place from Feb. 14-24 with about 2,200, 11- and 12-year old players from 15 countries participating.
The Avalanche will be providing coverage of its Pee Wee team throughout the tournament on ColoradoAvalanche.com.