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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 5 2 3 2 5
J. Tavares 5 1 3 0 4
K. Okposo 5 2 1 1 3
N. Leddy 5 0 3 -2 3
R. Strome 5 2 0 0 2
B. Nelson 4 2 0 0 2
C. Clutterbuck 5 1 1 1 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
C. Cizikas 5 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 5 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 2 3 1 .913 2.61
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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