Local News

Canes success raises interest in youth hockey

Posted April 29, 2009 10:30 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2009 10:14 a.m. EDT

— A lot of people are talking about the Carolina Hurricanes dramatic 4-3 win Tuesday evening over the New Jersey Devils. The Canes success is also helping to influence another generation of hockey players.

“I think the Hurricanes, definitely, they introduced a lot of people to hockey that wouldn't ordinarily have been introduced to it otherwise,” father Mark Brown said.

Actually, most of the young hockey players with whom WRAL News spoke with Wednesday evening said they took an interest in the game around the time the Hurricanes made their first Stanley Cup run back in 2002.

“Our whole life revolves around hockey,” mother Kelly Weiss said.

That is about the time Weiss' sons took up the game.

“At four or five years old, they started playing. That's all they've ever played. This is it,” Kelly Weiss said.

The people running the Cary Ice House,  1410 Buck Jones Road, say the Canes surge is coming at an opportune time. Due to the recession, the numbers there are slightly off.

“It's getting out to a greater number of people,” said Mike Grabowski, with the Cary Ice House.

Grabowski says back in 2006 when the Canes won the Stanley Cup, the skate ring's learn to skate sessions attracted more than 300 people, and the learn to play classes were maxed out.

“It's one of the most competitive sports and there's a lot of contact,” young hockey player Cambell Brown said.

“I'm learning how to check because I'm going into pee wee (hockey),” young hockey player Ryan Weiss said.

“With the way the canes are playing, hopefully, we can get some of the old enthusiasm like we had back then,” Grabowski said.

The series opens in Boston Friday night and continues in Boston Sunday for Game 2. Game 3 is in Raleigh on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 4 is Friday, May 8, at the RBC Center at 7:30 p.m.

Game 6 would be Tuesday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Raleigh.