A new Islanders tradition is quickly becoming a fan favorite at the Nassau Coliseum. Monday afternoon marked the Third Annual Kids' Day, as families from all across Long Island spent the afternoon by taking in some Islanders action and special festivities.
Highlighting Kids' Day were performances by Long Island's own Push Play, which played on a stage suspended above the ice. The band followed in Seven Mary Three's footsteps by performing pre-game and during the first intermission to screaming fans. The four band members––C.J. Baran, Steve Scarola, Nick DeTurris and Derek Ries are longtime Islanders fans. Following the game, Baran and the band jammed some of their hits without vocals. Sparky got in the act, dancing on stage with the guys.
"I remember going to my first Islanders game when I was 11-years old and that's what first got me into them," said Baran, the band's lead singer. "Other than performing in front of thousands of Islanders fans, the most exciting thing was playing while suspended up in mid-air."
The band was also surprised before the concert by receiving a personalized "Push Play 08" jersey from Islanders Captain Bill Guerin.
Starting at noon, the I.C.E. Tour's Family Fan Fest entertained families on the Coliseum Plaza with a variety of inflatables and games. Islanders radio station 94.3 WMJC was also on hand, giving out prizes, including DVDs and CDs.
But it was the arrival of Sparky the Dragon and his fellow mascots that excited the kids the most. All-in-all, more than a dozen mascots made an appearance at Kids' Day.
"I'm a season ticket holder and my son really enjoys Kids' Day," said Mark Cooper from Huntington, with son Tyler. "He loves interacting with mascots. Besides Sparky, he really likes Blade from the Bruins."
In preparation for the MSG PLUS broadcast, reporter CJ Papa taped his pre-game segment outside with dozens of kids.
"We had to say 'Howie and Billy' in front of the camera," said Cole, who was celebrating his birthday with sisters Sloane and Dylan. "It was really cool."
The excitement continued during the second intermission. The mascots helped out as Mites On Ice took shots on net and also took part in shooting T-shirts into the crowd.
Following the game, as Push Play performed, all children were invited on to the ice to take shots on goal.
All fans 14-and-under received a Bill Guerin jersey, courtesy of RexCorp. Click here
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