Following three days of competition on the ice during the Lighthouse International Tournament, presented by Modell's Sporting Goods, KyLinTV and Long Island Marriott, the tournament’s participants were able to spend some quality time with each other. The five teams hailing from China, Japan and Finland took to the ice at Wollman Rink located in Manhattan's Central Park.
With their own skates in hand, the more than 50 pee wee hockey players jumped onto the ice—not to compete—but to have a day of pure fun. The kids laughed and chased each other, weaving through other skaters on the ice. While some Chinese kids practiced their hip checks, some Finns tried showing off their figure skating moves with difficulty on their ice hockey skates.
Wollman Rink turned into a true melting pot with players from each of the teams mingling with one another. In just a few short days, their English was noticeably improving. The Japanese and Finnish kids, in particular, had an easier time conversing, helped by the fact that a few of the Japanese kids have lived in or participated in hockey camps in North America. Kaiji Takaoka, the goaltender for the Japanese is fluent in English, helped by his visits to Hawaii and having gone to hockey camp in Vancouver.
After their trip to Wollman Rink, the kids were taken on a bus tour of the City, passing by such notable landmarks as Times Square, Macy's, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. On the Japanese bus, coaches of the team acted as tour guides, pointing out major sights in the City. When shown Madison Square Garden and indicated it was the home of the New York Rangers, a cry of boos came from the young Japanese hockey players.
As the morning turned into afternoon, the kids returned to Long Island for some more fun and games. The first stop was at Dave & Buster's at the Source Mall in Westbury. Each kid received a Power Card that lasted a couple of hours at the arcade. Playing racing games and competing in air hockey, the kids had nothing but fun and excitement.
From there, it was onto Modell's Sporting Goods—one of the presenting sponsors of the Lighthouse International Tournament. Located on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, Modell's Sporting Goods provided a $50 gift card to each international participant. Items such as hockey equipment, jackets and sweatshirts were the hot items on the list for the kids who traveled thousands of miles to participate in the tournament of a lifetime.
Tomorrow, the teams will break up and form new international teams for some Friendship Games at Islanders Iceworks.Click here
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