QUEBEC — A team of preteen Ukrainian refugees has arrived in Quebec City, where they'll get the chance to compete in a renowned hockey tournament.
The team of 11- and 12-year-olds landed in Montreal on Wednesday afternoon before being bused to the provincial capital ahead of next week's Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament.
Coach Evgheniy Pysarenko described the team's presence in Quebec City as "almost a miracle."
He told reporters at the hockey arena that it will be hard for players to forget the war in Ukraine, but he hopes they'll leave the tournament with lifelong memories and the belief that anything is possible.
The team's improbable journey comes after months of effort by Pysarenko and a Quebec City businessman, who had to sort out visas and arrange travel for players displaced by war and spread across Europe.
Pysarenko says he's prepared for an emotional moment when the team takes the ice at the Videotron Centre on Feb. 11.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2023
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous version had wrong date in final graph.