RALEIGH — Ever since the Hurricanes moved to North Carolina, hockey fever has been catching on -- especially for kids.
This weekend 16 youth hockey teams are facing off on the ice.
There have been tournaments in Raleigh before. But none this big, and none during the holidays. Because cities up north have been playing hockey for generations, instead of years, hockey players from Raleigh usually spent this weekend on the road. Player Chris Howard thinks they were on the road last year at this time, but he doesn't remember where.
So, parents pretty much scheduled The Raleigh Holiday Classic out of self defense. Hockey mom Kelly Pink was among the parents growing weary of staying on the road during the holidays. So, they decided to throw a tournament of their own.
Like most other youth sports, hockey is a commitment. On the part of players? Sure, but for parents, too. It's a sport that takes as much time on the road as on the ice.
The Holiday Classic is being played at Raleigh's Dorton Arena all weekend, as well as at Cary's Ice House. There are plenty of good seats available.