Roller coasters, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, and a hockey game; the Jr. Avalanche experienced it all on Tuesday afternoon at Galeries de Capitale, a local Quebec City super-mall that holds an amusement park and ice hockey rink in addition to the typical stores and food courts of an American mall.
This was the location of the Jr. Avs' second exhibition game. Facing off against a team from Finland, the Espoo Blues, the Jr. Avalanche hoped to turn things around following a tough loss the previous day.
"We got caught sleeping", defenseman Jonah Frederick said of the Jr. Avs falling into a dreaded two-goal deficit early in the game. "We let two quick ones in, then it was too late. We could have played better."
Although the result was a 2-1 loss, the team was encouraged as Holden Spence scored a marker late in the game to end the goal-scoring drought in Quebec. Following the game, the boys enjoyed a team lunch and spent time trading pins at the super-mall.
While the Jr. Avalanche has played hockey games at three different places around Quebec City, the Videotron Centre is the official rink of the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament. Outside of the tournament, this arena is home to the Quebec Remparts, a local junior team that competes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
On Tuesday night, the players, their parents, and billet families returned to the Videotron Centre to enjoy the Remparts taking on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. This was the first experience at a junior hockey game for most of the pee wees, providing a unique look into the league that boasts several NHL prospects.
While the Remparts suffered a 5-2 loss, the boys enjoyed watching the junior level of hockey.
"The guys are pretty big for being so young," said Frederick.
The Jr. Avalanche will face off in their final exhibition game on Wednesday before re-entering tournament play, where they will match up against the Atlanta Fire in a win-or-go-home game on Friday night.