As the 2013 calendar year closes, it also marks the one-year anniversary of the partnership between P.A.L [Pride in Athletics for Life] and the Junior Islanders. The organizations have worked together at the Tier I level to promote development of youth hockey on Long Island.
The results have been proven throughout the course of the year by national rankings for several teams at the Tier I Youth levels. The Midget (15-18) and Junior (16+) teams have become contenders in the newly formed United States Premier Hockey League. After it’s first year, the P.A.L. Premiere Junior team has placed players at several Division 1 hockey programs, such as Providence College, Mercyhurst University and West Point.
The New York Islanders have been instrumental in providing coaching, player and organizational support. The team’s Skills Development Coach, Bernie Cassell is one of the associate coaches for the Jr. Islanders Pee Wee team that competes at the national tournament in Quebec. Assistant Coaches, Doug Weight, Brent Thompson and Matt Bertani all volunteer their extra time to help at practices and games for the various youth levels.
"We are thrilled with the progress the program has had over the year,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “All of that credit goes to the kids and parents participating in our elite youth hockey organization. Our goal is to develop these players while providing them with a competitive edge. We look forward to continuing the growth and development of the P.A.L. Junior Islanders organization into next season.”
The P.A.L. Junior Islanders skate out of Islanders Iceworks in Syosset and The Rinx in Hauppauge.