Area youth hockey teams were awarded a unique opportunity to play exhibition games on the RBC Center ice last weekend. The teams made the most of their chance and put on a show for everyone in attendance.
As a part of this years’ Season Ticket Gift Pick-Up Weekend, teams from the Mite (Ages 7-8) to Midget level (Ages 16 and under) participated in seven games spanning Saturday and Sunday. The Gift Pick-Up Weekend was an opportunity for the Hurricanes to give back to the community that supports them so well. The Ticket Sales department allowed each ticket plan holder to pick their own gifts based on the amount of points they had accumulated from their ticket packages. While the season ticket holders were on the concourse picking up their prizes and food, the youth teams were hard at work on the ice.
In a highly competitive weekend, five of the seven games were decided by two goals or less. It was a way for the youth of our area to showcase their talents to spectators at the event, which totaled around 4600 Caniacs over the two day event. The crowds were the highest during the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins game that took place at 1pm on Saturday and was broadcast on the Jumbotron. Around 750 fans watched the game between the two RYHA Squirt House teams. It was a thrilling experience for the teams to be able to play in front of so many people, and the support from the crowd was much appreciated by the players, coaches, and families.
The most exciting game of the weekend was played between the Peewee AA2 Jr. Hurricanes and the Peewee Storm White. The Jr. Hurricanes jumped out to a quick three goal lead, but the Storm battled back by scoring six of the next eight goals of the game to take a one goal lead late in the 3rd period. With under a minute remaining and the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, the Jr. Hurricanes evened the score with a hard fought goal by center Nikita Anistratov. When the puck was put in the net to tie the contest the crowd went wild and the kids celebrated the goal both on the ice and on the bench. The contest finishing in a tie was a fitting ending to a great game.
The weekend was a success all around. For CYAH, it is a priority to be involved in youth hockey in order to encourage growth in our own community. The exposure from this event will go a long way towards furthering the partnership that the Hurricanes have with the youth hockey community in our area. Thank you to all who participated and made this event possible!!