The Colorado Avalanche Pee-Wee Team began its long journey Tuesday to Quebec City, Canada, where it will take part in a two-week competition at the most prestigious youth hockey tournament in the world, the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament.
The journey really began three days earlier when the club held its last practice before the trip. Unknown to the kids beforehand, they were joined on the ice by Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, defenseman Nikita Zadorov and goaltender Calvin Pickard.
Avalanche pee-wee goalies Liam Lane and Tanner Osolinsk had the unique opportunity to sit down and talk after practice with Pickard, the starting netminder for the NHL squad.
"It was cool to get the perspective of an NHL goalie and what is feels like to play in front of thousands of fans," Liam said.
Tanner said the most important part of Pickard's advice was to "just have fun."
On Saturday, Tanner and the rest of the club had a proper send off at Pepsi Center.
"We got to go on the ice with the Avalanche for the national anthem before the game versus the Jets," Tanner said.
In addition to taking the ice with the pros, the peewees were outfitted with official Avalanche gear from head to toe so the team will truly represent the organization in Quebec.
"It was awesome to skate on the ice with the Avalanche players and wear the same gear," Liam said. "It fits so nice, and it is so cool to wear an Avalanche jersey that has my name on it."
After a few flight delays and a lost team stick bag, Lane summarized the first two days of the team's trip in two words: "cold and tired."
Although exhausted after a long day of traveling, all the boys were excited to finally be in Quebec City and are ready to compete against some of the world's best clubs. The Jr. Avs will be on a professional schedule for the next 13 days in Canada.
Check back daily for more Postcards From Quebec to hear all of the squad's adventures on and off the ice.