Pandolfo & Eaton visit Modell's

Islanders Jay Pandolfo and Mark Eaton went to the grand opening of Modell's in Oceanside, the first 100 fans in line received a pair of tickets to Tuesday night's game

Tuesday, 12.6.2011 / 2:52 PM ET / News
By Brittany Cole
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Pandolfo & Eaton visit Modell\'s
Monday night, the Islanders continued their support for the grand opening of the newest Modell’s Sporting Goods location in Oceanside. Islanders fans piled into the store to show their support for the team and store – this time with the chance to meet Islanders defenseman Mark Eaton and forward Jay Pandolfo.

After Modell’s opened their Long Beach Road location on Friday, Dec. 2, the Islanders joined in the celebration on Saturday, Dec. 3 with special visits from Sparky, the Dragon and the Ice Girls. Eaton and Pandolfo capped off the Isles weekend at Modell’s.

“It’s great because it gives the local community the chance to come see players that they look up to,” said store manager Wayne Press. “They can both come to the meet and greets and then look around (at the merchandise). It’s nice for the everyday fan to come out and enjoy an Islanders player for a night.”

Joseph Ragusano meets Mark Eaton and Jay Pandolfo of the New York Islanders at Modell’s in Oceanside on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. Click the photo to view a gallery.
Saturday’s event gave the first 100 fans in line a pair of tickets to catch the Islanders Tuesday night match up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lisa Ragusano, her daughter Ashley Marie, 15, and her son Joseph, 9, waited in line Saturday and were first in line for Monday’s autograph signing.

“We came at 4 p.m.,” said Ragusano, a Valley Stream native. “We were really excited. This is our first (autograph) outing. He (Joseph) just became a hockey fan, so this is new for us, but it’s great. We won the tickets, we’re going to the game (Tuesday) and his birthday is Thursday, so this is turning out to be a great week for us.”

Though Eaton and Pandolfo are both currently sidelined with injuries, they signed autographs and posed for pictures with over 50 fans. According to Eaton, anytime there’s a chance to be in the community and interact with fans, it’s always enjoyable.

“These events are nice because these are the fans who support us,” Eaton said. “It’s not often that we can get out and meet them, shake their hands and personalize things for them. Hopefully they enjoy it because we definitely do.”

For Michael Mazzocco and his 7-year-old daughter, Riley, driving from Rockville Centre to meet two of the Islanders was the perfect way to spend their father-daughter time Monday evening.

“We actually come to a lot (of these signings),” the elder Mazzocco said. “We were fourth in line to win the tickets (Saturday) and we went to the Ullstrom signing, so when we heard this signing was also here, we had to come.”

Mark Eaton and Jay Pandolfo of the New York Islanders pose for pictures and sign autographs for fans at Modell’s in Oceanside on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.
Riley brought along an Islanders stick – already signed by Matt Moulson, Josh Bailey and Andrew MacDonald, to name a few – so adding signatures from Eaton and Pandolfo was exactly what she was looking for.

“She’s working on getting that stick signed by the whole team,” Mazzocco said. “We love to go to games together and come out to these events to meet the players. All of the players are just great and she loves it.”

When Pandolfo heard that some fans specifically arrived for the opportunity to meet him, the modest veteran said he was somewhat surprised.

“I mean right now, we’re both on the shelf, so I am pretty surprised,” he joked. “We’ve been playing for a long time, both of us, so it’s nice to see you have some fans out there. It definitely makes these events fun.” 

As the Modell’s grand opening event concludes during Tuesday night’s game, Press said the weekend with the Islanders was a tremendous success overall, thanks in large part to Eaton and Pandolfo.

Eaton was more than happy to contribute.

“We’re glad we can help out,” he said. “We’re happy to be here and if us being here brings more people and introduces them to the new store, that’s a bonus.”

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
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7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
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14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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