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New York Islanders Jamboree

by Dana Fjermestad / New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are once again opening the Coliseum ice to host the Fourth Annual Islanders Jamboree. The event is scheduled for Jan. 16 and Feb. 5, 2011 and is open to all Long Island youth hockey house leagues.  It’s a great opportunity for young players to use the same ice as their favorite Islanders and share the experience with their families.


“The purpose of this event is to give back to the hockey community,” said Michelle Winter, Manager of Amateur Hockey Development & Events for the New York Islanders.  “It’s our responsibility as a member of the community and as the only professional sports organization on the island to work with our youth hockey partners.” 

Participating teams play in brackets on their assigned day based on the age of the players.  Mini-Mites (age 6 and under), Mites (ages 7 and 8), and Squirts (ages 9 and 10) play on Jan. 16 beginning at 7 a.m.  Pee Wees (ages 11 and 12) play on Feb. 5 beginning at 10 a.m.

The cross-ice event allows teams to play several games against local competition and gives the young players a rare opportunity to play in an NHL arena.

“The kids are just ecstatic about this whole opportunity to play on the Coliseum ice,” said Fred Nielsen, owner of The Edge ice rink.

Depending on the age of the players, the ice will be divided into two or three playing surfaces, in order to accommodate as many games as possible.  The length of the games will also be adjusted based on age, ranging from 10 to 15 minutes. 

 “Most rinks have single sheets so there is not a lot of quality ice time available for the kids,” said Nielsen.  “The Jamboree allows you to form age-appropriate teams within your house that will play other teams of the same age.  Your six-year-olds, can play other six-year-olds and not in a group that is expanded with 5 to 10-year-olds.

In addition to playing at the Coliseum, players will receive a Jamboree t-shirt, a ticket to a future Islanders game*, admission to that day’s practice and an opportunity to meet and greet the Islanders, Ice Girls and Sparky.

“The kids love it,” said Winter.  “The parents love it as well.  It’s catching on as one of the most exciting things we do for house league kids.”
 
For more information, or to register your team, visit newyorkislanders.com/jamboree or email amateurhockey@newyorkislanders.com.  Mini-Mites, Mites and Squirts must register on or before Jan. 10, 2011.  The deadline for Pee-Wee registration is Jan. 24, 2011.

*Those players participating in the event on Jan. 16 will receive a ticket to see the Islanders faceoff against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 17. All Pee Wees participating in the event on Feb. 5 will receive a ticket to that night's game to watch the Islanders take on the Ottawa Senators.
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