One of the distinct qualities of the Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament is the opportunity to meet players from all over the world, and the Colorado Avalanche organization designed unique pins for the pee-wee players to trade with other teams.
"Trading pins is really cool because it gives us the opportunity to meet and talk to players from other teams," said defenseman Dominick Pharris. "Today I traded pins with a Detroit team and one from Italy."
The members of Avalanche Pee-Wee Team are staying with billet families for the duration of the tournament in Quebec City, and the players met their families for the first time today at Érablière le Chemin du Roy, a local sugar shack.
They indulged in a traditional Canadian meal, which includes bean soup, potatoes, honey ham, sweet sausage and meat pie. After concluding the meal with a pancake drenched in maple syrup, the players made their way outside to partake in another Quebec tradition: freshly melted maple syrup rolled into a popsicle.
"The sugar shack was really fun with a lot of dancing and excitement," Dominick said. "The food was new and different than normal, but still very good and a lot of fun."
Although many of the billet families have children that only speak French, all of the boys seemed to find a common language once arriving at their houses: EA Sports NHL 2017.
Although missing school this week, Dominick is still learning while in Quebec City.
"While eating breakfast this morning, my billet brother was teaching me French words from the cereal boxes, which was a lot of fun," he said." One important word I learned is 'salle de bains,' which means bathroom in French."
The players have settled into their temporary Canadian homes and are looking forward to getting on the ice tomorrow at the Videotron Centre for their first official tournament game.