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JR. ISLANDERS PROSPECTS MEET NYI PROSPECTS

Tuesday, 07.18.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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JR. ISLANDERS PROSPECTS MEET NYI PROSPECTS
Steve Webb takes area youth hockey players on special tour

By Jason Lockhart


There was added excitement yesterday at the Islanders Development Camp at Iceworks. The Junior Islanders program, now led by Steve Webb, hosted a group of youngsters from 11 hockey teams located throughout Long Island and New York City and gave them an opportunity to meet and greet the Islanders prospects and take a tour of the facilities.

Webb first led the kids to the practice room where Bruno Gervais, Petteri Nokelainen and prospect Wes O'Neill were working out. They explained to the kids what it takes to train while playing hockey professionally. Bohemia native Brian Fenster got the chance to spot Gervais while he was lifting.

Following the weight room visit, it was off to the Islanders' locker room, where the kids were introduced to Chris Campoli, who gave them a guided tour. The kids were impressed with the room's size and amenities. The room consists of three big screen TVs, a bubble hockey game, computers and a Sony Playstation 2 console.

"I couldn't believe how much stuff was in the locker room," said Mark Lamarr from Garden City.

The kids received brand new Junior Islanders jerseys and autographs from many of the prospects who had fun meeting their newest fans, following their third day of training.

"It's always great to see the enthusiasm of kids," said Campoli. "I enjoy sharing my love of the game and experiences with young hockey players."

The event ended with Webb wishing them well and good luck with the rest of the season.

"I had a lot of fun today," said Jack Gibbons from New York City. "The best part was meeting all the players."

 "The kids had a blast today, and that's what it's all about," said Webb. "That's what hockey should be about: having fun."

This event was just the beginning of Webb's involvement in the Junior Islanders program.

For parts of eight seasons Webb played with grit and determination on Long Island and the organization and fans appreciated his work ethic.

Two years after hanging up his skates, Webb has returned to bring his grit and determination back to Long Island by heading up the Islanders Grass Roots program. The program encourages the growth of ice hockey on Long Island and the surrounding areas, while fielding a competitive team for the prestigious Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament. The program utilizes the resources of a professional  team to help spread the excitement of hockey to youngsters in the area.

The Junior Islanders program became a reality in the 1980s because of dedication from former Islanders Bob Nystrom and Gerry Hart and local hockey parent Lou Body. The Islanders alumni and the Long Island community had a strong desire to promote hockey on Long Island and this program has made that dream possible.

Webb has only been in charge of the Islanders' grass roots program for a few months, but sitting down and talking with him, you can tell instantly how much passion he has for the program and youth hockey on Long Island.

The native of Ontario turned Long Islander believes that through time and effort the sport of hockey can flourish on Long Island. There has been a steady growth of interest in hockey on Long Island since he began playing for the Islanders in 1996, and he hopes to continue that growth.

"The Islanders and the fans treated me very well when I was playing, and it's only natural that I give back to the organization and the community," said Webb. "Long Island hockey has grown over the past decade or so, with Long Islanders like Montreal's Mike Komisarek and Chris Higgins succeeding in the NHL. I'm hoping to continue building on what has been done in the past, and the Junior Islanders program can help."

One way to help promote the game is by fielding a competitive team at The Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament. Through the Junior Islanders program, hundreds of young hockey players have been given the chance to experience the largest pee wee tournament in the world. The tournament has been in existence since 1960 with some illustrious alumni including Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, along with Campoli and Islanders prospects Luch Aquino and Rhett Rakhshani. Over one hundred teams travel to Quebec City to compete in the three-division tournament. The Junior Islanders play in the highest division.

"It was such a great tournament to be in," said Campoli, who made it to the tournament finals in 1996. "They made playing cards of all the players who participated and people still come up to me today with my card to get it signed. It was an unforgettable experience."

The Islanders joined the tournament in 1983 and have been entered in every year since. The tournament is so popular that once a team misses a tournament, they forfeit their spot permanently. The Islanders are one of the teams that have been grandfathered in and are able to participate every year. Tryouts for the Junior Islanders team that travels to the tournament each February occur in September.

Webb is looking forward to coaching in his first Quebec tournament.

"Playing in the tournament isn't about winning, it's about having fun," said Webb. "As long as the kids play to the best of their ability and have a good time, then it is a successful tournament."

Steve Webb will be running a two-week pee wee hockey camp in August at Islanders Iceworks in preparation for the Quebec tournament. All kids born in 1994 are encouraged to sign up for the camp. You can find out more information about the camp at www.islandersiceworks.com.

 

JUNIOR ISLANDERS BIOS

Name: Brian Fenster

Hometown: Bohemia

Current Hockey Team: Suffolk PAL

Years Playing Hockey: 9

What do you love about hockey? The speed and the thinking

Favorite Islander: Jason Blake

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite food: Pizza, bananas and apples

Favorite sport(s) other than hockey: Soccer, baseball, lacrosse, football, wrestling

Favorite movie: Miracle

 

Name: Oliver Fornell

Hometown: Locust Valley

Current Hockey Team: Beaver Dam

Years Playing Hockey: 7

What do you love about hockey? The speed

Favorite Islander: Steve Webb

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite food: Ribs

Favorite sport other than hockey: Golf

Favorite movie: Animal House

 

Name: Jack Gibbons

Hometown: New York City

Current Hockey Team: New York City Cyclones

Years Playing Hockey: 6.5

What do you love about hockey? The speed and finesse

Favorite Islander: Alexei Yashin

Favorite school subject: Science

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport other than hockey: Baseball

Favorite movie: Die Hard

 

Name: Chris Gilligan

Hometown: Forest Hills

Current Hockey Team: Great Neck Bruins

Years Playing Hockey: 8

What do you love about hockey? The speed and intensity

Favorite Islander: Steve Webb

Favorite school subject: Social Studies

Favorite food: Mashed Potatoes

Favorite sport other than hockey: Baseball

Favorite movie: Fast and the Furious

 

Name: Dan Hulse

Hometown: Merrick

Current Hockey Team: Freeport Arrows

Years Playing Hockey: 4

What do you love about hockey? The skating

Favorite Islander: Jason Blake

Favorite school subject: Science

Favorite food: Chinese

Favorite sport other than hockey: Lacrosse

Favorite movie: Longest Yard

 


Name: Nolan Pues

Hometown: Long Beach

Current Hockey Team: New York Applecore

Years Playing Hockey: 9

What do you love about hockey? The contact and speed

Favorite Islander: Steve Webb

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport other than hockey: Lacrosse

Favorite movie: War of the Buttons

 

Name: Matthew Gault

Current Hockey Team: Long Island Rebels

Years Playing Hockey: 9

What do you love about hockey? The hitting

Favorite Islander: Jason Blake

Favorite school subject: Social Studies

Favorite food: Chicken Fingers

Favorite sport other than hockey: Lacrosse

Favorite movie: Bench Warmers

 

Name: Mark LaMarr

Hometown: Garden City

Current Hockey Team: Nassau County Lions

Years Playing Hockey: 6

What do you love about hockey? Scoring goals

Favorite Islander: Garth Snow

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport other than hockey: Baseball

Favorite movie: MVP

 

Name: Alan Mook

Hometown: College Point

Current Hockey Team: Long Island Edge

Years Playing Hockey: 6

What do you love about hockey? Non-stop action

Favorite Islander: Mike York

Favorite school subject: Science

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport other than hockey: Baseball

Favorite movie: Waist Deep

 

Name: Michael Del Latto

Hometown: Elmont

Current Hockey Team: Long Island Gulls

Years Playing Hockey: 9

What do you love about hockey? Hitting and having fun

Favorite Islander: Alexei Yashin

Favorite school subject: Gym

Favorite food: Chicken Fingers

Favorite sport other than hockey: Lacrosse

Favorite movie: Miracle

 

Name: Albert Markopoulos

Hometown: New Hyde Park

Current Hockey Team: Icecats

Years Playing Hockey: 6

What do you love about hockey? Everything

Favorite Islander: Rick DiPietro

Favorite school subject: Gym

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite sport other than hockey: Football

Favorite movie: Miracle

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 22 16 5 1 61 52 33
2 TBL 22 14 6 2 77 60 30
3 PIT 19 13 4 2 69 44 28
4 NYI 20 14 6 0 68 57 28
5 BOS 22 13 9 0 57 54 26
6 DET 20 10 5 5 55 49 25
7 TOR 21 11 8 2 67 63 24
8 OTT 19 9 6 4 52 50 22
9 WSH 20 9 8 3 56 54 21
10 NJD 21 9 9 3 53 61 21
11 FLA 18 7 5 6 40 47 20
12 NYR 19 8 7 4 52 58 20
13 PHI 19 8 9 2 57 60 18
14 CAR 20 6 11 3 48 62 15
15 CBJ 20 6 12 2 49 72 14
16 BUF 21 6 13 2 36 70 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 20 8 12 -4 20
B. Nelson 20 10 9 5 19
K. Okposo 20 5 14 -1 19
R. Strome 20 4 11 9 15
J. Boychuk 19 2 11 7 13
F. Nielsen 20 5 7 5 12
N. Kulemin 20 4 7 0 11
N. Leddy 20 5 4 8 9
M. Grabovski 17 4 5 5 9
J. Bailey 12 3 4 5 7
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 9 4 0 .918 2.42
C. Johnson 5 2 0 .876 3.33

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