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CYAH: Play with the Canes

by Kalee Stoever / Carolina Hurricanes
Caden Lewis, of Cary, North Carolina, had no idea he was about to have the best birthday present ever. In mid-February, Caden entered to win a chance to “Play with the Canes,” our annual street hockey promotion that features appearances by a select few Hurricanes players.

Kalee Stoever

Little did he know that out of approximately 1,000 entries he would be the one randomly selected (on his 9th birthday) to host this year’s event! After waiting in anticipation for a few weeks, the day finally came. On February 27th, the Hurricanes Promotions team headed out to his neighborhood to set up for this once in a lifetime experience.

Click here for the photo gallery

Caden invited his fellow RYHA U8 teammates over for what they thought was an end of the season pizza party, which they soon would find out was not their ordinary pizza party. When the kids showed up and saw the Hurricanes truck and van, and the border patrol street hockey rink set up in the cul-de-sac, they knew something was up. Hockey players being typical hockey players, the kids jumped right into the rink, grabbing sticks and suiting each other up in goalie gear, and got to playing a game.

About fifteen minutes later, Jamie McBain and Jiri Tlusty showed up, adding a little twist to what the kids thought they had already figured out. After a quick introduction of the players and explanation that this was in fact the “Play with the Canes” event, the kids quickly picked teams with McBain and Tlusty jumping in.

Even though this was just a pickup game, both the kids and the professionals were showing off their best skills. McBain and Tlusty were seen battling for the ball and dangling around one another to give their teammates passes. The goalies, which switched about every ten minutes, made some phenomenal saves, and the kids were shooting every chance they got to try and score a goal and hear that goal horn go off (the sound system definitely added a great touch to the game).

After about an hour of street hockey, the kids put down the sticks and went inside for some Rudino’s pizza and had the chance to get autographs and ask McBain and Tlusty any questions they had. The kids asked your typical questions, “When did you start playing hockey?” and “How many goals and assists do you have?” and once the kids ran out of questions, they took a group picture and McBain and Tlusty headed out to enjoy the rest of their day off.

The promotions team wrapped up the event with some giveaways such as posters and bobbleheads, and Caden received a Team Staal used McDonald’s accuracy shooting target from the All-Star Skills Competition.

Pictures from Sunday’s event can be found by clicking the link below. Check out the promotions schedule to see when the ‘Canes are in your community next!

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