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Youngsters Skate At Coliseum For Annual Islanders Jamboree

Sunday, 03.24.2013 / 10:25 AM / Community
By Greg Picker
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Youngsters Skate At Coliseum For Annual Islanders Jamboree
Youth hockey players age 4-9 skated on Coliseum Ice Saturday

Following New York Islanders practice Saturday, future Islanders of a different sort found themselves on Nassau Coliseum ice. Young hockey players aged 4-9 participated in the sixth annual Islanders Youth Hockey Jamboree.

Twelve teams from across Long Island and Brooklyn partook in the afternoon of fun, which also included a rinkside view of Islanders practice prior to the youth games. Following practice, members of the Islanders signed autographs for their young fans.

The Coliseum ice surface was separated into three smaller rinks so six teams could play at once. Although the speed of Michael Grabner, the shot of John Tavares or the physical presence of Matt Martin may not have been on display it was still a terrific occasion for all the kids involved along with their families.

Vinny Messina, the coach of the Islanders Iceworks team, was excited to see his young stars participate on the Coliseum ice.

“A lot of the boys that are here, they play in Islanders jerseys at every clinic and they’re Islanders fans,” Messina said. “They all feel like they’re the home team.”

Nine-year old John from the Iceworks team loved skating on the same ice as his favorite NHL squad.

“It’s pretty awesome and fun. Getting to meet the players was very cool too.”

One of the Islanders that the young athletes had the chance to meet was Joe Finley. The Minnesota native fondly remembers his days growing up attending Minnesota Wild practices and knows just how special of an occasion it is for the young admirers to participate in a day like this.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Finley said. “You get to see a lot of kids with big smiles on their faces. I remember being that age and thinking how cool it was. Just having a little interaction goes a long way with them.”

The 6’8, 249-lb defenseman may have been more than twice the size of most of the jamboree participants, but he fit right in during the jamboree sessions, sitting on the bench and trading some hockey stories with those waiting for their next shift.

Islanders Manager of Amateur Hockey Development, Jocelyne Cummings was thrilled seeing the youth players grinning from ear to ear on the ice.

“All pro hockey players start at this level, so it’s fun to see the development from when the kids start here to where they eventually end up playing,” Cummings said. “The kids faces are the priceless. Getting on the ice and saying to their friends ‘the Islanders play here!’ is exactly why we have this event.”

Maybe when these youngsters are draft eligible in a decade, they’ll be able to once again play on the same as ice their favorite team, but this time as a member of the Islanders.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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