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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 / 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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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