RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The arrival of the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997 created a boom of interest in hockey all across the state.
In February of 2007, that heightened interest manifested itself in the form of the Carolina Junior Hurricanes hockey program, which is now the premiere youth hockey program in all of North Carolina.
"The junior Canes program is awesome! It's been a huge part of my life; ever since I was young, I've been a part of it," Tavien Mandeville said. "They just like took me in and it's just been an awesome experience."
The hockey program is home to more than 600 boys and girls from ages 8-18.
"We get together every week, practice, have fun," Nolan Roberts said.
The players even get a chance to travel to places they may not otherwise ever get to see. Weekend games often take the teams to different states across the country.
"You miss a lot of school, so that's fun but it's awesome to see different cities," Mandeville said. "Some of the cities I'd never go to, but because of hockey I get to go to them."