Team of 11- and 12-year-olds to represent the Carolinas for the fifth consecutive year
| Bloggin' with Coach Paul Strand
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 9, 2006
RALEIGH, NC – On Wednesday the 2006 Carolina Junior Hurricanes squad departed for Quebec City, Que., to participate in the Quebec International Hockey Pee Wee Tournament. More than 70 players from around the Carolinas were selected to tryout for the 2006 Junior Hurricanes, with 18 11- and 12-year-old young men making the final cut.
This marks the fifth consecutive year that the Junior Hurricanes have represented the Carolinas in hockey's most prestigious youth tournament. Since beginning in 1960, more than 600 National Hockey League players have participated in the tournament, including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur and Ron Francis. Current Hurricanes right wing Chad LaRose and Assistant Coach Jeff Daniels participated in the tournament during their formative years.
Players on the 2006 Junior Hurricanes represent the North Carolina towns and cities of Raleigh, Cary, Wilmington, Charlotte, Greensboro and Burlington, and South Carolina towns and cities of Charleston, Greenville and Spartanburg. Former professional hockey player and Hurricanes Youth and Amateur Hockey Coordinator Paul Strand will coach the squad in the tournament and provide daily updates on the team's games and activities on CarolinaHurricanes.com throughout the 12-day tournament.
During the tournament, each player is paired with another teammate and stays with a host family in the French-speaking province of Quebec. Aside from the playing experience players take away from the annual tournament, the cultural experiences gained are among the favorite memories and most influential aspects for Junior Hurricanes team members.
The Junior Hurricanes first gained acceptance into the Quebec International Hockey Pee Wee Tournament in 2002. The team scored its first tournament game victory in 2004, and in 2005 won four tournament games en route to their bracket's championship game, including a win over Littleton, CO, the team that went on to win the U.S. Ice National Championship later that year.
The 2006 Junior Hurricanes will play three exhibition games this week against Calgary, New Hampshire and Colorado, before their first tournament game against Team Switzerland on Monday. Following that tournament game, the team will play exhibition games against Los Angeles on Tuesday and CRSA of Canada on Wednesday before their second tournament game on either Thursday or Friday. Please visit CarolinaHurricanes.com for updates on the team's progress in the tournament and activities during its nearly two-week stay in Quebec City.
The Carolina Hurricanes complete a four-game road swing on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) before returning home for their final two home games before the Olympic Break. Carolina takes on the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night at the RBC Center (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) and the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at the RBC Center (5 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). The team will honor all of its representative heading to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games prior to and during the game on Sunday, and the first 18,000 fans in attendance will receive Hurricanes car flags, courtesy of NBC-17 and Quintiles. Individual game tickets for all remaining Hurricanes games at the RBC Center can be purchased at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, by calling 919-834-4000 or via CarolinaHurricanes.com. For information on Hurricanes season-ticket packages and mini-season ticket plans, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES.