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Fifth annual Islanders Jamboree delights Long Island's youth hockey community

Children from across Long Island play on the same ice as the pros and experience exciting hockey

Sunday, 11.20.2011 / 6:49 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Fifth annual Islanders Jamboree delights Long Island\'s youth hockey community
Today, the players on the Islanders bench looked noticeably smaller than usual. That’s because the average height behind the bench and on the ice was 3’9…with skates on.

Photo gallery: Youth hockey players experience hockey in exclusive opportunity at Nassau Coliseum.
Hundreds of eager kids from Long Island’s hockey programs came to Nassau Coliseum on Sunday to skate in the New York Islanders fifth annual Jamboree.

The event featured teams from a dozen local rinks with children aged 4-8 years old playing cross-ice games inside the Coliseum. Every year, this is where excited kids get a chance to play their heroes’ parts.

“It’s exciting for them to get on that ice surface,” Islanders Iceworks coach Vinny Messina said. “The lights are brighter than the rinks they skate in. It’s just a whole different feeling when they get to be the person they make-believe they are on the ice.”

“When they get done looking at the jumbo tron and the seats and everything, they settle in and have a great time,” Messina added.

Devyn Quinones, from Selden, NY, skated out onto the ice and proclaimed that this was his dream, skating where the Islanders call home. Quinones fulfilled it at the age of six.

Five-year-old Noah Zinman, a player for the Freeport Arrows, was thrilled to play with his team at the same arena as his favorite player, Matt Moulson.

“[I like him] because he skates so fast,” Zinman said. “Like me.”

Sunday’s jamboree showed the Islanders commitment to promoting youth hockey on Long Island. This grassroots type of interaction with the community is a fundamental part in building the next generation of passionate Isles fans and connecting kids to the sport of hockey.

“Usually that first team you root for, those first experiences you have, you really tend to be a fan forever of that team,” Messina said. “The closer that they feel to the team, the better.”

For seven-year-old P.J. Schrammel, sitting on the same bench as John Tavares reinforced who his favorite team was.

“Me and my dad like the Islanders a lot,” Schrammel said. “They are my favorite hockey team.”

The Jamboree comes one day after the Islanders hosted the finals of the Steve Linzer tournament for house league players, a chance for squirt, pee-wee and bantam players to also skate at the Coliseum.

Today there were no standings or first-place finishers though. Instead, every kid got to play some fun, safe, recreational hockey, learn some new things on the ice and have an all-around wonderful experience.

“We’re promoting things like teamwork and having fun,” Michelle Winter, Islanders Manager of Amateur Hockey Development said. “That’s what this particular event is about. It’s not about competition. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about just getting out there, getting your skates on, being active for a couple hours and just having fun with your friends on the ice.”

There were a few stumbles and blown tires during the day, but also ton of smiles, laughs and fun had by all.





SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 8 6 5 2 11
K. Okposo 8 1 6 2 7
F. Nielsen 8 3 2 0 5
B. Nelson 8 1 4 -3 5
A. Quine 8 1 4 1 5
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
T. Hickey 8 1 3 -3 4
S. Prince 8 3 0 2 3
R. Pulock 4 1 2 -3 3
N. Leddy 8 0 3 2 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 3 0 .937 2.06
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