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Kids Spring Into Action

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders


Participants in the Islanders Spring Hockey League hit the ice for the first time on Saturday at Islanders Iceworks and Newbridge Arena.

More than 40 of the 130 children who are enrolled in the league were in action for their first hour of instruction. For many, it was their very first time on the ice and served as an introduction to the game.

“The first day was not only exciting, but entertaining for the kids and coaches,” said Dan Bedard, the Islanders Director of Amateur Hockey Development. “The coaches had a great time initiating the skating and puck handling drills to some of our first-timers and also some of our cross-over roller hockey kids.”

For some, the excitement started even before stepping out of the locker room. When asked what he liked best about his day, 9-year-old Ryan O’Hagen of College Point responded: “Putting on all of the equipment, especially the jersey.”

The Islanders Spring Hockey League provides entry-level hockey players ages 6-14 with an opportunity to play ice hockey at no cost—equipment included! The Islanders know that it’s a big commitment, both in time and money, for a child to learn to play hockey and want to make it as easy as possible. All that is asked in return is that each child who participates sells 20 tickets to any combination of select games as a fundraiser.

“It was thrilling for the kids to finally try out their new hockey gear,” Bedard said. “The parents were pressed up against the glass with video cameras capturing their children’s first experience playing organized hockey. We know it will be the first of many memories started by the New York Islanders.”

The first day of action seemed to be as enjoyable to many of the parents as it was for their children.

“The program is great,” said Al Barrow of Massapequa, who has two sons in the league—Austin, 12 and Evan, 7. “All of a sudden, after watching their older brother play, my two younger sons wanted to try the game. This program is a great way to go at it. They were very excited this morning.”

Schedule for April-June, 2009

Saturday April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9 Islanders Iceworks 5-6 pm
Saturday April 4, 18, 25; May 2, 19, 16 Newbridge Arena 2:15-3:15 pm
Sunday May 3, 10, 17, 31; June 4, 14 The Rinx 9:50-10:50 am
Monday April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11 Newbridge Arena 6:15-7:15 pm
Monday April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11 Islanders Iceworks 6-7 pm
Monday May 4, 11, 18; June 1, 8,15 The Rinx 6:40-7:40 pm

Although the Spring League is now full and closed to registration, a Fall Hockey Academy will soon be open for more children to begin to learn the great sport of hockey. If you are interested, please fill out the form below so that an Islanders representative can contact you about registering your child for the free hockey league.
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