Jr Hurricanes G Ari Merlino and F Rhea Hicks attended the BFL Under-18 National Summer Showcase in Calgary Alberta. Here's what they had to say about the experience.
On what it meant to put on a Hockey Canada jersey ...
"It was an honour to be a part of the Hockey Canada camp and to have the opportunity to wear the red and white. I took a lot of pride in representing my hometown, my family and the Mississauga Hurricanes organization." - Ari Merlino
"Putting on the Team Canada jersey gave me butterflies. It gave me a sense of hope and a desire to push harder. To be honest, I had never imagined that I would have the opportunity to participate in such an event. And there I was…playing the game I love, wearing a red and white jersey and sharing the ice with such a fantastic group of hockey players. I learned so much about the game, and I learned so much about myself." - Rhea Hicks
On their favourite part of the Summer Showcase ...
"My favourite part about camp was being in an environment where everyone was there to push each other towards the same goal. I excelled in the inclusive but competitive environment of the camp, and along the way met some amazing people from all over Canada." - Merlino
"I knew going into the event that it was a wonderful opportunity and I was really looking forward to working with the amazing coaches and staff, and talented group of players. What I actually experienced during my time in Calgary, far exceeded anything I had imagined." - Hicks
And their advice for younger Hurricanes ...
"The one thing I would tell younger Hurricanes is to enjoy the journey. To enjoy every practice, every workout and every game along the way, because hockey is more then just winning. It is about community and building friendships that will last a lifetime. Don't forget to be grateful for the time your coaches put in, the effort your teammates bring and most of all the support you receive from your family." - Merlino
"Heading home, I was a better version of myself both personally and as a hockey player. I will be forever grateful for the experience I had. My advice for younger Hurricanes is, "Work hard, dream big and believe in yourself…always! Have fun and enjoy every minute this amazing game has to offer! There will be many great days and there will be some hard days…learn from both and enjoy the ride." - Hicks
"We are so incredibly proud of Ari and Rhea. They represented the Jr. Hurricanes on a national stage competing with the best players from across the country. They truly are role models for our younger Hurricanes and proof that hard work and dedication pays off." - Jr Hurricanes Head Coach Darcy Breakey