Andy Hilbert kept the I.C.E. Tour in high gear during his week on Long Island. The Islanders forward participated in one of the more exciting weeks the Tour has seen yet. With stops at camps, rinks and a special ceremony to honor the first African-American hockey player in history, Hilbert did it all.
|Hilbert and I.C.E. Tour at North Shore Summer Camp / Photo Gallery |
On Tuesday, August 12th, Hilbert traveled directly from the airport to Glen Cove for an exciting day at North Shore Summer Camp. The highlight of the day was Hilbert's showdown against Sparky in a game of street hockey, in which kids from the camp participated.
"It was a great way to start off the week," said Hilbert. "It's always great to meet so many of our fans."
From one camp to the next, Hilbert visited Carnival Day at Camp Apollo in Plainview on Wednesday. Despite playing forward in the NHL, Hilbert suited up as a netminder, strapping on goalie pads during the game of street hockey. Hilbert also passed out free street hockey sticks to a number of the campers.
"Camp Apollo once again would like to thank the New York Islanders for their continued support in making our carnival day an enormous success," said Camp Director George Rosenbaum. "The campers were thrilled to take pictures with Sparky, hang out and play hockey with Andy Hilbert, and play on the inflatable games."
Added 7-year old Brian: "It was a lot of fun playing hockey with the player and getting cool sticks!"
Later on Wednesday, Hilbert toned things down by signing autographs at the Islanders Team Store at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville.
The week concluded with a couple of special events. First, Hilbert took part in "A Day at the Rinx." And on Friday was a guest for Willie O'Ree Day, celebrating the first African-American NHL player.
Traveling to City Hall in Long Beach, town officials honored the first O'Ree for his service to hockey. Hilbert took part in the ceremony, meeting O'Ree for the first time.
"Today was very exciting," said Hilbert. "Meeting someone as important to the game as Willie O’Ree and being a part of all of the festivities today was a real honor. It was a great community event and the Islanders were definitely out in full force to support it, so I was more than happy to be here."
|Hilbert and I.C.E. Tour Celebrate Willie O'Ree Day / Photo Gallery |
Continued Hilbert: "I had a great time visiting Long Island this past week. Anytime you can visit with your fans and create new fans it’s exciting. Our goal this summer has been to get out into the public and let our fans know that hockey is always here on Long Island no matter what time of year it is. Training camp opens up next month and I hope to see a lot of the fans that we visited this summer at the games."