Isles Give Fans A Night To Remember

Players and fans attend Sticks & Steaks Dinner to raise money for the Islanders Children’s Foundation

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 11:56 PM ET / Community
By Stephanie Schuyler
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Isles Give Fans A Night To Remember
Players and fans attend Sticks & Steaks Dinner to raise money for the Islanders Children\u2019s Foundation
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Some of the most loyal New York Islanders fans made their way to the Inn at New Hyde Park Tuesday to wine and dine with their favorite Isles players and coaching staff at the 2013 Sticks & Steaks event. Eager guests had the chance to get up close and personal with the Islanders and see what they are like off the ice, with all proceeds raised during the night’s events benefiting the Islanders Children’s Foundation (ICF).

The night kicked off with guests, players and coaches arriving simultaneously, greeted by a cocktail hour to break the ice. Players mingled throughout the room with the Orange & Blue, answering questions and swapping stories. Fans got a chance at the “step and repeat” with family and players, posing like celebrities in front of an Islanders backdrop before being formally welcomed to the event by Islanders play-by-play announcer Howie Rose, who MC’d the night’s events. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano took center stage following Rose, thanking the attendees and sponsors for their support of the team, as well as being a part of the charitable event.

Rose, no rookie to events benefiting the ICF, expressed the hockey club’s dedication to the game and the local community.

“I’m so proud to be a part of the Islanders organization,” Rose said. “It’s an honor to be associated with the team and know that the event is not only a way for the players to interact with the fans, but just as heartwarming know that it’s all to benefit the kids. Events like these humanize the players in a way that we can’t on television. It’s the most important thing a team can do – to be one with the community and give back. You can’t put a price on that.”

Sixteen-year-old Matthew Rothman has been an Islanders fan as far back as he can remember, with a lifelong dream of meeting the players to lace up the skates for his favorite team. Rothman’s night was fulfilled getting an Islanders jersey signed by the entire roster, and getting to pose with the Islanders defensive tandem of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald.

“I’ve had the chance to meet some of the players at the Coliseum after games, but this is different,” Rothman said. “This is my first chance to see them all and I can’t even describe it.”

Rothman spent the rest of the evening dining with Hamonic, who chatted one-on-one with the young fan between signing autographs and stopping for photos.

“Events like this are pretty important for us,” Hamonic said. “You have a chance to give back to the fans and the community. They can see us on TV, but when they get the opportunity to interact with us, that’s what puts a smile on their faces. It’s even better that we are doing this to support ICF. When the two causes get together and work towards something, it makes a big difference.”

The evening’s events brought together almost 200 loyal members of the Orange & Blue. Guests were able to bid on gift baskets put together by Isles wives and girlfriends for a silent auction – the baskets included everything from autographed Isles gear, to signed bottles of wine to players’ favorite movies and video games. The hottest commodity on the table was the Moulson and Okposo basket, which included a round of golf with the two Islanders forwards.

“Everyone had a great time tonight,” Islanders Community Relations Manager Ann Rina said. “The Sticks and Steaks Dinner gives fans an opportunity to get up close with the team and actually get a chance to meet the person behind the player. We look forward to hosting more events next season that will continue to help the children of Long Island.”

This year’s Sticks & Steaks dinner raised a substantial amount of money which will go directly to the ICF. The Foundation, created ten years ago, is dedicated to supporting Long Island-based not-for-profit organizations that provide opportunities for children. The ICF aims to work with those child-based charities focusing on health, education and youth hockey development. All proceeds go toward bettering the youth of Long Island and beyond.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

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
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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