The fourth Annual "Ace's Got Skills" program, supported by the National Hockey League (NHL) and operated by RDW Marketing & Media, LLC (RDW), will hold its National Championships at the Walter A. Brown Arena Memorial Skating Pavilion in Boston from June 27-29, 2008. The event, featuring 130 boys and girls from across the country, including 18 players representing the New York Islanders, was launched in memory of Garnet "Ace" Bailey.
Modeled after the NHL's popular All-Star SuperSkills Competition, the "Ace's Got Skills" program gives players ages 9-12 the opportunity to test their skills in skating, puck handling, shooting, and goaltending categories. Regional winners from ten NHL markets will compete in the National Championships. Additionally, regional winners of the Sports Illustrated Kids Top Skills Award, given to the Squirt and Pee Wee players with the highest collective score from each of the individual challenges, will face off for the national title.
The following players will be representing the New York Islanders in their given events: Robert Alicea (Fastest Skater), John Krause (Accuracy), Riley Cox (Hardest Shot), Kyle Zangle (Shootout), Ryan Coffey (Goalie), Ryan Turner (Hardest Shot), Jon Harty (Fastest Skater), Michael Brzozowski (Accuracy, Shootout, Top Skills), Brian Kelly (Hardest Shot, Shootout, Top Skills), Christopher Marsman (Accuracy), Christopher Stangarone (Goalie), Joseph Connolly (Fastest Skater), Peter Goldsmith (Accuracy, Hardest Shot), Matthew Modelewski (Shootout), Ian Wallace (Goalie), Andrew Green (Fastest Skater, Shootout), Cody Calcagno (Accuracy, Hardest Shot, Top Skills), and Al Rogers (Goalie).
A portion of the "Ace's Got Skills" registration fee goes to the Ace Bailey Children's Foundation, which focuses on the well-being of hospitalized children undergoing medical treatment with the establishment of programs, environments, and professional services that ease the stress inherent in a hospital stay for children and their families.
Ace was an 11-year veteran of the NHL and a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972. On September 11, 2001, Ace was performing his duties as director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings when his plane struck one of the World Trade Center Towers.