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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.





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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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