Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00
On Thursday, Feb. 3, AMF Garden City Lanes transformed from a bowling alley into an Islanders playground, as eight players laced up their clown-like, ruby-red bowling shoes and hit the hardwood with some of their biggest fans. The Lady Islanders Girls Ice Hockey Program of Long Island held their second annual Bowl-A-Thon in conjunction with the Islanders to fundraise for their Under-19, Under-14, Under-12 and Under-10 teams. The four female squads, solicited sponsors for this year’s event, collecting over $6,000 to help pay for ice time, jerseys, equipment, tournament registrations, league fees and more. In addition to raising money, the girls were rewarded with the opportunity to bowl with some of their hockey heroes. They also had the chance to take numerous photos with the boys in blue and brought home bags full of autographed yearbooks and player cards. Veterans Matt Moulson, Bruno Gervais and Josh Bailey led the way and brought rookie teammates Nathan Lawson, Ty Wishart, Jeremy Colliton and Travis Hamonic along for the evening’s festivities.
Hamonic might have been the U-10 team’s favorite player, as they huddled around him for what seemed like hours. He couldn’t even get a second game started because he was too busy signing autographs and discussing the girls’ favorite sport: hockey. “This is a great event and a great cause we’re here for,” Hamonic said. “Women’s hockey is huge in Canada and obviously growing in the US, so it’s nice to see that it’s growing here on Long Island, too. It’s good to see that we can help out our fellow Islanders with some fun times like bowling here.” Hamonic’s bowling game has room to grow, but Moulson showed he could be a sniper in more than one sport. He opened the night with back-to-back strikes and closed with three straight. “It’s a fun game and a fun way to get your mind off things for a little while,” Moulson said. “The girls all have a great time and that’s what counts. We’re just happy to come have fun with all of them and support their team.” Siobhan O’Donnell, a Lady Islander from Massapequa, was one of those girls that had a great time. She had a hard time containing her excitement, but told everyone what a blast she was having. “This is a lot of fun,” O’Donnell said. “I don’t know much about bowling, but it’s fun to play with all your friends and teammates. And having the Islanders here is really cool. It’s great that they want to help us.” And help they did. Looking around the alley, seeing 50 wide-eyed girls with smiles that wouldn’t go away, everyone knew it was a special evening for the Lady Islanders and their families.
The Lady Isles’ home ice is Ice Works in Syosset, the practice facility of the New York Islanders. They also play at The Rinx in Happaugue, Freeport Recreation Center in Freeport and Flushing Meadow Ice Rink in Queens. Their players are members of the JWHL, MAWHA, GAL league, Atlantic league, Long Island Hockey League and USA Hockey. The association welcomes girls from New York City, Long Island and the surrounding area. They support New York State tournament-bound travel and developmental girls ice hockey programs.