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CYAH: Jr. Canes in Quebec

by Paul Strand / Carolina Hurricanes
Hello Quebec Junior Caniacs! Hopefully everyone has already been following us on Twitter. Coach Brian Mehm has been faithfully updating that as the events unfold.

Paul Strand
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All the kids were just dropped off at Le Colisee and are sitting in their seats in section 17 watching their first Pee-wee tournament game in Le Colisee. Thetford is playing Campus DPR. They are both Quebec teams so there is a good crowd already at 9:00 a.m. The atmosphere is electric, the crowd is buzzing, it is 3-1 for Theford with 6 minutes left, vuvuzelas can be heard in the distance, cow bells, and people screaming, in between each whistle the music is blaring, vive le pee-wee du carnival.

So far the trip has been uneventful in terms of our travel up here. Flights went off without a hitch and all the luggage and hockey gear arrived with us in Quebec City. The game sticks arrived the next day, but we had sent some up early in the week so we had all we needed for the kids to get to their billet families and play our games the next day. Travel up here is always the biggest worry, so far so good.

In the morning we headed to Val Belair for a practice and get the legs moving. At practice we announced our three Captains for the year. Riley Stillman will wear the “C” and second year Quebec Junior Hurricanes, Mitchell Glabicki and Bradley Ingersoll will wear the “A”. All three players will provide the team with some solid leadership on and off the ice. Glabicki will take the lead at the annual Team dinner at Mount Tourbillion and has been brushing up on his French to address the Billets in a thank you speech.

After practice the kids headed back to the hotel with the coaches and to get something to eat prior to their game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. We all went to eat at a local favorite in old Quebec, Mike’s, and the coaching staff recorded a glimpse of some of the small things this tournament is about. At the restaurant it was just the coaching staff and the kids. Each player was responsible for ordering and paying their own bill. Some of these kids have never done this before on their own. When the bill came, Britt League and Brandon Osmundson, who were sitting together, got their checks. Two things happened then, first Ozzy did not have his money with him, so League learned how to pick up the check for Ozzy. Second, League was paying with a pre-paid credit card, so he learned how to add the percentage for a tip. Needless to say he was still not quite sure how the waitress was going to get their money and tip, but it was interesting to see him sign the receipt spelling out each letter in his signature like 11 year olds do.

Later we headed to the Mall to play our first exhibition game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Tigers are sponsored by the New York Islanders and are in the C division. The intriguing part of this match up is that Linda Essery, who played for the Junior Canes in 2010, moved to Connecticut over the summer and is now playing for the Sound Tigers in 2011. The Essery’s have been the first family of the Quebec Junior Hurricanes as all three of the kids have come to Quebec as players. Mark, the oldest came once and Austin, the Goaltender, attended the tournament twice.

The game started out rough as the team got to the mall a little late and was rushed onto the ice. The first period was very sloppy play. Eventually we managed to settle things down and play a solid game. The Carolina Jr Hurricanes won the first game of the 2011 Quebec Pee-wee trip 4-1. Scoring for the Hurricanes were Riley Stillman, Jordan Cooper, Bradley Ingersoll and Kyle Moore.

Friday will be a big test playing against the San Jose Sharks a team from the AA Bracket.

Until then, Vive Le Pee-wee Du Carnival.

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