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Long Island, NCAA rivals join forces at Islanders Mini-Camp

Marcou and Rosen put past aside to bring best out of Long Island

Friday, 07.15.2011 / 5:47 PM / News
By David Hochman
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Long Island, NCAA rivals join forces at Islanders Mini-Camp
Growing up on Long Island, kids are accustomed to a few things. Beaches, traffic and trains stand out, but so does hockey. Depending on when and where on the isle their parents were born, youngsters could have been raised as fans of the Islanders, Devils or Rangers. No matter what, hockey was probably a part of their lives.

For Ben Rosen and Mike Marcou, the sport exemplified everything that was their childhood. Now, it’s a part of their young adult lives, too, as the pair is taking part in Islanders Mini-Camp.

“I grew up in Syosset, so as you could imagine, hockey played a big role in my life,” said Rosen. “I skated in IceWorks and played a lot of hockey there. And my parents were hockey fans, so we went to games at the Coliseum all the time.”

Rosen and Marcou actually grew up as somewhat of rivals, playing against each other on Long Island, then in the USHL and now in the Hockey East for Boston University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, respectively. This week though, they’re playing alongside each other.

“I played against Ben when we were young here on Long Island and now up in college, so it’s a little different playing on his team,” said Marcou. “It’s fun though. It’s just a great opportunity to be here and learn a lot on the ice from the coaches and the other guys that have been here before.”

Rosen and Marcou are two of seven Long Island locals at camp this week trying to follow in the footsteps of players like Mike Komisarek, Matt Gilroy and Chris Higgins, Long Islanders that have fulfilled their NHL dreams. Hockey has always been a little more popular in the northern states of Michigan, Minnesota and throughout the northeast, but that popularity has spread greatly over the last couple decades, especially through Long Island. If not for having a professional team here, these players may not be where they are.

“Having the Coliseum and the Islanders here was a major influence when I grew up,” the 22-year-old Rosen said. “The Islanders mean so much to Long Island and it would be devastating if they left. A lot of kids may not be as interested in hockey and definitely not follow through with the sport like they would if there was still a pro team here.”

Marcou, who turns 22 next week, agreed with his sometimes rival and current teammate.

“I hope we don’t lose the Islanders or the arena,” he said. “I’ve been playing hockey since I was a kid and I loved coming here to games. Now, being invited here for camp is an honor and so is playing on the ice. Kids growing up on Long Island need to have those same chances in the future.”

For now, that future is here at the Coliseum . And that same future will be on display tomorrow night in the Blue and White Scrimmage & Skills Competition, 7 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 60 39 16 5 162 133 83
2 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
3 NYR 59 37 16 6 186 145 80
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 60 26 21 13 145 169 65
10 PHI 61 26 24 11 162 178 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 59 26 29 4 155 184 56
14 TOR 60 24 31 5 167 183 53
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 61 18 38 5 114 204 41

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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