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Islanders host second Special Hockey Day

Special needs hockey teams skate on Coliseum ice

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 4:47 PM / 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 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 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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