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ICEWORKS SUMMER CAMPS

Bailey and MacDonald attend the Iceworks Summer Camp

Thursday, 07.01.2010 / 9:45 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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ICEWORKS SUMMER CAMPS

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Skating from blue-line to blue-line, 10 kids between the age of six and 13 prepared for their afternoon session of hockey camp at Iceworks in Syosset on Tuesday, June 29. Laughter echoed throughout the building as the young players anticipated meeting Islanders’ teammates Josh Bailey and Andrew MacDonald.

“When the kids get to meet the Islanders, it’s incredible. They are so excited to be able to interact with the players and have the players give them tips,” Coach Vinny Messina, co-director of Hockey at Iceworks said.

Although the kids were excited to meet the players and skate alongside them, they were just as eager to learn what it takes to become a pro. Meanwhile, MacDonald and Bailey reminisced about their childhood and what this type of experience would have meant to them when they were growing up.

“Just look how excited they get. They are always smiling ear to ear. Their eyes are always right on us, listening to any advice we can give them,” Bailey said. “Any kid reminds me of, well obviously I’m still young, but reminds me of when I was younger and how excited I would have been if someone came out on the ice with me.”

Islanders' defenseman Andrew MacDonald had a similar thought.

“It’s nice to see smiles on their faces when we get on the ice and they get a excited. I just think its cool for them,” MacDonald said. “I know when I was this age if I ever met a player playing in the National Hockey League I would have been ecstatic. I just try to have fun with them and make sure they are enjoying themselves.”

Without question, the skaters definitely enjoyed themselves. Before playing a game, the campers practiced receiving passes from MacDonald and Bailey and shooting on net.

Coach Messina explained that repetition and focusing on a few skills at a time, like passing and shooting, helps the campers improve. After practicing a skill, the campers are asked to apply what they’ve learned in a game because practicing the same skill reinforces good habits.

“The improvement that you can make in one week when you can apply those same fundamental skills everyday, is immense.  The Iceworks camp is about consistency, a lot of ice and a constant interaction with coaches,that in the end will benefit each players' game” said Messina.

Once they got that down, the campers began their three-on-three game of give-and-go ball. Played with W-shaped hockey nets and a liquid-filled ball that reduces the bounce on the ice, give-and-go ball teaches the campers the importance of passing because the campers could only shoot on net if they passed the puck to MacDonald or Bailey first.

Iceworks Hockey Camp has been extremely successful. Coach Messina and Mike Lang love hockey, the kids, and most of all – they love coaching.

“We have been here at Iceworks for 17 years,” Messina said. “We are camp people. We love to teach this great sport.”

Parents can sign their children up for one of two options: the full or half-day. The full-day consists of five and a half hours of ice time, while the half-day is two and a half. On a normal hockey team, kids have one-hour practices once or twice each week. By attending the week-long camp at Iceworks, a skater has a better opportunity to improve.

“The full-day or half-day camp always has a power skating segment, puck handling segment and a scrimmage,” Messina said. “Mixed in are a lot of camp games that the kids are not exposed to in any other type of clinic. They are learning skills, having fun, and being competitive. At the same time, they are learning and having fun. Whether it’s an off-ice chalk talk, off-ice game or on-ice game – it’s all hockey pretty much all of the time.”

Consistency is extremely important, but so is having fun. As both Islanders thought about their youth, Bailey & MacDonald offered some advice for the kids who hope to someday be professional hockey players.

Bailey’s advice was about balance. He said, “I think just hard work. You have to love the game obviously and everything needs to be fun still, but hard work is going to take you far in hockey.”

MacDonald was all about having fun. “Make sure you work hard and pay attention to what the Coaches are trying to teach you,” MacDonald said, “but the most important thing is to have fun.”

Most of all, spending the afternoon with the young skaters was important to the pros.

“We know that we are helping them become better,” MacDonald said. “It’s nice to see that they are excited for us to be on the ice with them and we are really eager to go out there and help the kids. We were in their ‘skates’ at one point so it’s always great to give back.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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