Islanders host second Special Hockey Day

Special needs hockey teams skate on Coliseum ice

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 4:47 PM ET / Community
By David Hochman
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Islanders host second Special Hockey Day

Every hockey game is special. It could be opening night, the Stanley Cup Final, a mid-week high school match-up or a little mite’s first time on ice – they’re all special to someone.

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow meets one of the young players from Special Hockey Day. Click here for photos.
On Saturday afternoon, the hockey games at Nassau Coliseum shed new light on the definition of special. The Islanders and the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) organized their second annual Special Hockey Day, featuring the Long Island Blues, New York Raptors, East Coast Jumbos, Nova Coolcats, Fearless Flyers and Bucks County Admirals.

“We work with hundreds of wonderful charities of every year, but this is one of the best events we’re able to host at the Coliseum,” Josh Rose, Islanders Director of Group Sales, said. “It’s extremely important to our organization that we assist these groups however we can and with the Long Island Blues based in our backyard, it’s natural to lend them a helping hand. We’re Long Island’s team and we’re here to take care of our community.”

The six special hockey teams in attendance competed with each other in games before sharing the ice for a skills clinic. That clinic became another special hockey moment when Islanders alumnus Benoit Hogue stepped on the ice to lead the drills and join in the fun.

“Typical kids don’t even get this amazing opportunity,” Stephen Stefanakos, whose son William plays for the Blues, said. “For special needs children to have this chance is incredible. It shows that the Islanders put all their support behind the local causes that need them.”

Before he took the ice, William enjoyed a surprise visit from Islanders General Manager Garth Snow as he watched the first special hockey game of the day.

“This makes our kids feel even more special,” the elder Stefanakos said. “We can really see the Islanders support up close. All week William was saying, ‘I’m really going to be on the ice, just like the NHL.’ That says it all.”

After more than three hours of fun on the ice, the special hockey contingent joined the Coliseum faithful to cheer on the Isles as they squared off with the Sabres in a New York state battle. The Islanders designated the Long Island Blues and their special hockey family as the night’s Charity of the Game, a significant title due in large part to their friends’ and families’ noteworthy contributions.

To learn more about the Long Island Blues and Special Hockey, please visit www.LongIslandBlues.org and www.AmericanSpecialHockey.org.

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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