RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. Both are noble endeavors but there’s no doubt patience was wearing thin as the Triangle waited for a hockey facility to fill its needs. The wait, though, is about to end.
“It’s been 22 years in the making for a facility like this in the Raleigh area,” said Junior Hurricanes Director of Hockey Steve Henley.
The Wake Competition Center will serve as the Carolina Hurricanes practice facility. It will also be home to the Junior Hurricanes organization.
Three dozen teams and more than 600 players will call this home along with N.C. State and Duke’s hockey programs. This state of the art facility is about to come to life.
“We plan to field 35 teams,” Henley explained. “We will cycle all 35 teams through this facility on a weeknight basis every week. We do all of our player development here that is the plan.”
The Wake Competition Center couldn’t have come at a better time for both the NHL Canes as well as the Junior Hurricanes. Many area rinks are not aging well.
The WCC is a breath of fresh air that will allow even more young hockey players the chance to grow.
“We were kind of at max as to how many kids we could add into the hockey world in Raleigh just based on the number of sheets of ice and the number of players that are here in Raleigh,” Henley said. “We were sort of maxed out so this really does give us the opportunity to grow for sure.”
And that’s exactly what youth hockey in the Triangle has been doing for years. The sport is certainly on the rise in the South and the so-called “hockey hotbeds” are beginning to take notice.
“People don’t realize how good hockey is here in Raleigh,”gushed Henley.
They’ll learn and if given the chance to pay a visit, will find a hockey facility that can stack up with the best of them.
“This one will rank as a first-class facility anywhere in the U.S. and Canada,” Henley bragged. “No question, first-class all the way.”
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