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Short Shifts

Ledecky brings playoff tickets for Islanders fan who recently lost dad

Owner trekked Long Island delivering passes for Game 1 against Penguins

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Jon Ledecky was giving the gift of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey Monday.

The New York Islanders owner was handing out playoff tickets to deserving fans, including 11-year-old Peyton Wilson of Ronkonkoma, New York whose dad recently passed away.

Tweet from @NYIslanders: A special moment shared with 11 year old, Peyton! 😊He recently lost his dad and we wanted to help bring some brightness to his day. Just one of the many surprise #StanleyCup Playoffs ticket deliveries that Jon Ledecky and Sparky are making today to deserving families. #Isles

Wilson wasn't the only lucky Islanders fan to get tickets. Ledecky, and Islanders mascot Sparky the Dragon trekked across Long Island delivering passes for New York's first home playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum.

Robert Bancheri, 17 who was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma received tickets. Derek Zacchino, 17 of Bethpage, New York, also welcomed Ledecky and Sparky to his home. Dale Lillibridge, 18, is battling Ewing's sarcoma for the second time but will be at Game 1. 

"It really means a lot," Lillibridge told the Islanders website. "I didn't think I'd be able to make the playoffs, so for the Islanders to do this for me is really special and really means a lot to me."

The tickets were meaningful for each recipient, but giving also moved Ledecky.

"To be able to take playoff tickets and give them to people who truly need them, can't afford them or have been through personal hardship is a wonderful thing for the team to do," Ledecky told the Islanders website. "Sparky and I had a wonderful day meeting all these terrific people, and we're so excited to host everyone for the first game of the playoffs."  

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