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Lehigh Valley Flames hockey team heads to Canada

Published On: Jan 16 2014 05:19:25 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 09:33:14 PM CST

A local youth hockey team is heading north in hopes of bringing home a title.

A local youth hockey team is heading north in hopes of bringing home a title.

The Lehigh Valley Flames Midget 16 AA team is traveling to Canada to compete.

"We're headed to Newmarket, Ontario for the 45th Annual Silver Sticks International Championship Tournament," head coach Bob Johnson told 69 News. WFMZ was there Thursday as the team boarded a bus to hit the road.

"It's pretty surreal. It's like the Stanley Cup finals of youth hockey so it's pretty awesome to have this experience and play in front of a lot of people in Canada," said team captain Austin Mininger. "It feels great just knowing that all your hard work has paid off."

"This is probably one of definitely the greatest hockey moments I've ever had in my life and I just can't wait to play," said player Simon Rybansky.

The team won the Eastern Regional Silver Stick tournament in Maryland to advance to the big competition where they'll take on teams from the U.S. and Canada. Their first game is Friday.

"It's going to be tough. The competition is nationally ranked. We have a good chance," said Johnson. "We're hoping we can bring back a title to the Flames and the Lehigh Valley."

Rybansky said, "We have to stick to our game plan and I'm sure we can compete."

The players are looking forward to representing this region.

Mininger said, "Just to put our area on the map, the Lehigh Valley, just grow interest in the sport and everything, it's pretty special for our hometown."