Carolina Lightning History
Carolina Lightning Hockey will have 16 teams; 1-U8 girls and boys development, 1-Squirt boys (A), 3-Peewee boys (U12 A, U12 B and U11 A), 2-Bantam boys (A/B), 2-U16 boys(A and AA national-bound), U18 (A), 1-U10 girls, 1-U12 girls, 1-U14 girls and 1-U17A girls.
If it wasn’t for the incredible support of many people, including all of the Lightning parents who, during two very “tentative” years, made countless trips to Fayetteville and Wilmington, and other supporters of the Lightning philosophy like former RecZone Owner John Beiderman, Marybeth Pearson, Mike Bobay, and countless others, … who knows where the Lightning would be today.
Carolina Lightning Hockey remains a legally registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
The strength of Carolina Lightning Hockey is being “all about the kids”, the core principle of this great association.
Carolina Lightning Hockey prides itself in not participating in or tolerating the “politics” found in many youth sports today. We do not play 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line, power play or penalty kill … every player is an integral part of the success of every team and therefore plays equal ice time.
~ ~ ~
Carolina Lightning Hockey entered into a long-term contract with Raleigh Center Ice, and for the 2013-2014 season, the Lightning organization fielded 16 teams; 4-U8 Mite, 2-Squirt boys, 2-Peewee boys, 2-Bantam boys, 2-U16 boys, 1-U10 girls, 1-U12 girls, 1-U14 girls and 1-U16AA national-bound girls team.
In 2012, with the unfortunate demise of the RecZone, the Lightning was able to purchase ice at the now Raleigh Center Ice through BB&T. During the 2012-2013 season, the Lightning had 1-Peewee A team, 2-Bantam teams (A and B), 2-U16 teams (A and B), and 1-U14 girls team (the first girls team in Lightning history).
In 2008, with no local ice to purchase, two Lightning boys teams participated in the Adult League at the IcePlex and played their CHL home games in Wilmington.
In 2009, the Lightning was offered the opportunity to purchase ice through the other local youth hockey association, and for the next three years, the Lightning’s growth was determined by the amount of ice “available” for purchase. During that time, the Lightning organized anywhere from 2-4 teams annually.
Frankfurt, Berlin, Bad Tolz, Munich and Landsberg Germany
In December 2007 and January 2008, the Lightning spent 11 incredible days in Germany. The team, along with 30 parents and siblings, flew to Frankfurt, rode the high speed ICE trains, overnighted at Castle Wolfsbrunnen in the German countryside and participated in the Gasag International Tournament in Berlin against teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, and host country Germany.
The U16uniforms, and under the leadership of Head Coach Brad Perry included Adam Allington, Ryan Baldridge, Alex Baldy, Cameron Brulport, Sean Kudrick, Matt Kugler” Laughrey, Chris Loehr, Kyle Ostendorf, Ethan Ray, Zach Rideout, Alex Rivers, Derek Schaap, Danny Sirois, Jason Wargny, Cameron White and Justin Williams.
A Raleigh NBC producer and cameraman travelleds Eve celebration with local Germans from a historic church perched on the top of the hill overlooking the town of Bad Tolz and the Isar River below.
The U16 Lightning team practiced and played an exhibition game against the local Bad Tolz team at Hacker-Pschorr Arena, skied in the German Alps in Lenggries, visited a local monastery that brewed their own beer, and enjoyed many traditional German foods prepared for them at the Gasthof Altwirt (guest house) in Sachsenkam.
The Lightning visited the Marienplatz and the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and the small town of Landsberg, before returning to Frankfurt and the United States.
Columbus Ohio, Detroit Michigan, Cambridge Ontario & Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
In 2006, Carolina Lightning Hockey took three teams back to Canada. The teams travelledJoe Louis Arena) and the teams attended a Red Wings vs Minnesota Wild NHL game and participated in intermission activities.
The Lightning then visited Cambridge Ontario (home of the Winterhawks and former Carolina Hurricane Scotty Walker). The teams played multiple games in the middle of the Cambridge Mall with fans and shoppers stopping to watch.
The group travelled to Toronto, Niagara Falls and finally to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where teams played games in Cranberry Township and rode the MonongahelaAt the end of each morning practices, players including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Stahl, Eric Stahl, Matt Cullen and Corey Stillman opened the end board doors and presented their hockey sticks to the younger Lightning guys. The entire group, players and parents, attended the NHL game between the Canes and the Penguins that same night and were acknowledged by Chuck Kaiton on his radio broadcast during the game.
In 2006, Carolina Lightning Hockey was invited to participate in the Gasag International Hockey Tournament in Berlin, Germany, to be held in late December 2007.
Months before leaving for Germany, the Lightning was forced out of the local youth hockey association, leaving the organization in a scramble to purchase local ice. The Lightning was directed to dissolve its 501c3Telephone calls to local rink Managers quickly identified that there was absolutely no available ice for the Lightning to purchase. Several days later, the Lightning's relationship with the other local association was terminated and Carolina Lightning Hockey was now officially on their own.
The Lightning consolidated from five teams back to one team (the U16 Germany-bound team), and started practicing twice a week at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. SPHL Fayetteville FireAntz President Mr. Kevin McNaught provided the Lightning with the support and the ice that the Lightning desperately required. In addition to the ice, the Lightning used the FireAntz locker rooms, and developed great relationships with the FireAntzduring FireAntz game intermissions, and were all part of opening ceremonies, standing shoulder to shoulder with the FireAntzAmerican flag honoring Military Week celebrations.
Binghamton New York, Toronto Canada, Ottawa Canada & Lake Placid New York
Carolina Lightning Hockey was founded in 2004 by Derek and Don Schaap. After coaching many years at the local youth hockey association, Don acquired a very unique and special group of bantam-aged boys on one of his House League teams and after discussions with son Derek, decided to organize a hockey tour to his native Canada.
Schaap grew up in Toronto, playing hockey and taking weekend trips throughout Ontario, billeting with local families, playing pond hockey and meeting new people and experiencing life in many exciting ways, all tied together through the great game of hockey.
The inaugural Carolina Lightning Hockey team included the following players;
Adam Allington, Vince Baccari (G), Alex Baldy, Cameron Brulport, Michael Dombroski, Robbie Dozier, Kenny Dunkle, Charlie Ellis, Tyler Esqueda, Daniel Flaherty, Zack Hickman, Chris Hurley, Nathan Margets, Jake Moser, Collin Moyer, Mathew Reid, Derek Schaap, Storm Tremont, Andrew Urquhart and Stewart Wise (G).
It was this group of boys who chose both the Lightning jersey and team name, initially the Raleigh Lightning, but later changed to “Carolina Lightning” by the boys because several of their teammates were not from Raleigh. The original jersey was an inline/roller design, that was later discontinued, but they later decided to adopt the color scheme of the NHL Boston Bruins.
The initial hockey tour was an 11-day event that took the team, coaches and parent chaperones from Raleigh to Binghamton New York, to Toronto, to Ottawa Ontario, to Lake Placid New York and then back to Raleigh.
In Binghamton, the team billeted with local families and played a game against a local Endicott NY (sister city) team on an outdoor rink. There was a roof overhead but no walls and the temperature during the game was 10-15 degrees below zero.
In Toronto, the team played some good local Canadian teams, visited the Hockey Hall of Fame, the famous Old Spaghetti Factory and the CN Tower.
In Ottawa, they skated for miles on the Rideau Canal, a waterway that runs through the capital city of Canada and which freezes in the winter, and finally in Lake Placid, the group was treated to an old fashioned hayride, special guests at an international ski jumping competition, rode the Olympic bobsled and lugerink against a local youth Lake Placid team.
The 2004 trip was the catalyst of Carolina Lightning Hockey’s future.
The Lightning organization helped create s Independent Program in 2005 which operated successfully for several years within the local youth association before being stopped.