For the fifth consecutive year, pee-wee hockey players from across the globe descended upon Long Island to compete in the New York Islanders annual Lighthouse International Youth Hockey Tournament. Charles B. Wang’s Project Hope charity and the Islanders Children’s Foundation funded this unique international tournament with the goal of creating opportunities for cultural exchange through youth hockey events.
After three days full of games, Finland’s Ilves Islanders skated away with the gold and silver medals in a thrilling back and forth final. They showcased a group of talented young players with the ability and hockey sense of much older teams.
Japan, which traveled the furthest to attend the tournament, showed their European friends and North American hosts that the under-represented hockey nation is growing a crop of young, smooth skaters.
“Home ice advantage” is a common expression used throughout the National Hockey League, and one usually utilized for good reason: as of Jan. 16, only two out of the 30 NHL teams had a winning percentage below .500 on home ice.
For New York Islanders’ forwards Matt Martin and Matt Moulson, playing at the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum represents more than just a statistical advantage as the two athletes host a different member of the armed forces and his or her family for each of the team’s 41 home games. Win or lose, regulation, overtime or shootout, Martin and Moulson meet with their guests after games near the Islanders’ locker room – where, uncharacteristically, hockey isn’t the only topic of conversation.
Over two dozen athletes and teams from Syosset High School’s fall sports season were honored by the Syosset Board of Education on Jan. 23 in the South Woods Middle School auditorium.
Among the many honorees of the evening was the Syosset Braves boys varsity soccer team, which battled through adversity early in the season to capture its first conference championship in over a decade.
“Within the first two weeks of the season, we lost four players to season-ending knee injuries and also lost our first three games,” Braves coach Brett Waxer said. “After our third loss, we played another 11 games and didn’t lose a single one of them. Our last game of the season was against Massapequa, which is always a big game for the boys. I’m proud to say that the result of that game went in our favor. We won 1-0, which earned us our first conference championship in 15 years.”
On Sunday, Dec. 11, the Syosset High School Varsity Cheerleading Team competed at a Regional Level Competition in Pennsylvania and successfully qualified for the UCA High School Nationals Cheerleading Competition being held in Orlando, Florida. This is the first time the Varsity Cheerleaders have achieved this accomplishment, setting a new standard for the team.
The High School Nationals will take place from Feb. 11 – Feb. 12 in Walt Disney World. The team is honored to have made it this far and has been practicing intensely for the past few months.
The 2012 spring intramural baseball/softball seasons are just around the corner for the Jericho Athletic Association. Registration is now open and will close on Jan. 29. The baseball and softball programs are open to all Jericho School District residents with children from kindergarten through seventh grade (baseball 12u). Please support the children by registering to coach a team. The baseball program will now register players by grade and no longer by age.
Boys will register by grade kindergarten through seventh. Current seventh graders must have a date of birth between 5/1/99 - 4/30/00. Girl’s softball also registers by grade kindergarten through seventh.
The Town of Oyster Bay will host National Hockey League (NHL) pioneer Willie O’Ree on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the state-of-the-art Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage, said Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. O’Ree was known for his speed and checking abilities throughout his career and was a threat every time he touched the ice. His accomplishments on the ice, however, tell only part of his proud history. He also made an immeasurable social impact as the first black player to compete in a National Hockey League game.
“Willie O’Ree is often referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” due to the similarities of both as trailblazers in their respective sports.” Supervisor Venditto said. “The Town of Oyster Bay is fortunate to have Mr. O’Ree as a special guest at the rink. His historical significance in the sports world can’t be understated. He is an icon to the game of hockey.”
The late winter and early spring sun will most definitely be shining on the inaugural “Run Nassau” series of four great races that is aimed at getting local runners of all ages and levels of ability tuned up for the Long Island Marathon Festival of Races May 5-6.
The series, conducted by the Greater Long Island Running Club under the auspices of Nassau County and the Friends of Nassau Recreation, will consist of races at Old Bethpage Restoration Village (5 Kilometers on Saturday, Feb. 11), Nickerson Beach (4 Miles on Sunday, March 11), Cedar Creek Park (5 Miles on Saturday, April 7), Eisenhower Park (4 Miles, Saturday, April 28).
Registration Nights for SYAC Girls’ Softball 2012 spring season begin this coming week. SYAC Registration Nights are held at H.B. Thompson Middle School, all Thursday evenings from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The following dates are announced:
Pony League (grades 2-3): Jan. 12
Junior League (grades 4-5): Jan. 19
Senior League (grades 6-9): Jan. 26
The 2012 spring intramural baseball/softball seasons are just around the corner. Registration is now open and will close on Jan. 29. Jericho Athletic Association (JAA) baseball and softball programs are open to all Jericho School District residents with children from kindergarten through seventh-grade (baseball 12-and-under). Please support the children by registering to coach a team. Note: players in the JAA baseball program will now register by grade and no longer by age.
Jericho native Amanda Epstein prepared her entire life for the opportunity to play in this particular soccer game, so when she stepped onto the field at Boston College with her Marist College teammates for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the significance of the moment did not escape her.
“When I was little, I read books about players like Mia Hamm playing in the NCAA Tournament. To have the opportunity to experience that as a freshman is a dream come true. I never thought it would happen to me, but it became a reality this year,” said Epstein.
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