Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

September 12, 2008

Central's Kelly fills in with Lightning

Tampa Bay needed a goalie for its practice

TRAVERSE CITY -- It was mainly the same drills, but it was far from just another practice for Hunter Kelly.

Kelly, a senior starting goalie for Traverse City Central, ended up playing in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning in practice at the 2008 NHL Prospects Tournament on Friday.

When one of the Lightning's goalies' equipment didn't arrive along with the team, Centre ICE director Terry Marchand called the Kelly family and the Trojans netminder was called to duty.

"I guess they needed a goalie and the North Stars were out of town, so I was next in line," Kelly said.

When he showed up at Centre ICE at 6 p.m. before Tampa's 7:30 p.m. session, he was given a Lightning jersey with his name stitched on the back.

"I was sitting in the locker room and they started coming in and going, 'Who is this kid?' " Kelly said.

But once the hour-long practice started, he got in the swing of things.

"It was very fun out there," Kelly said. "At first I went into it knowing these guys are way better than me. But after awhile, I felt good out there.

"All teams from every level practice the same stuff. I was surprised it was a lot of the same drills we ran (at Central). At a higher level, of course."

The Lightning even asked Kelly to come back for today's 8:30 a.m. practice, in case the equipment doesn't arrive again.

For complete coverage of the NHL Prospects Tournament and Red Wings Training Camp, including schedules, photos and more, see

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