Junior Hurricanes 19U girls ready for challenge of being organization’s standard-bearer

Sports

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Junior Hurricanes’ 19-and-under girls team gets ready in a locker room that is theirs and theirs alone. The new Wake Competition Center spurred the Junior Hurricanes organization to put an added emphasis on this premiere squad.

In the past, a team like this would practice once or twice a week. Now they hit the ice four or five times during the week. On ice, off-ice work, nutrition, strength training, and mental skills — these players are putting in the work.

“It’s great because girls’ hockey has never been a staple in North Carolina,” said co-captain Katie Carlson. “But it’s growing. We’re definitely growing, and I think this program this season will definitely help a big deal for growing girls hockey in North Carolina.”

Associate coach Alyssa Gagliardi grew up playing in the Triangle. When she was 14 years old, she had to play with the boys before heading off to a boarding school in Minnesota. She earned a scholarship there from Cornell and eventually turned pro. These girls will be able to take a much simpler journey.

“We want to be a spot where girls across the U.S. and even Canada can come here and develop and play,” Gagliardi said. “We feel confident in the development we can offer, the great facilities that we have here, and that we can make this a program people are excited to come to.”

As the first, full-time committed 19U girls team, the squad will the standard-bearer for the Junior Hurricanes organization. It’s a challenge these girls don’t take lightly.

“All of us seniors are looking to leave this as a great trademark for this organization and the younger girls on this team,” said co-captain Courtney Raynor.

The Junior Hurricanes are just a few weeks away from being on display. The Wake Competition Center will host the North Carolina Showcase beginning Oct. 9.

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