Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Long Island

Long Island

With another mapquest clutched tightly in our hands, it was off to Long Island. Up and down and around the one way streets in Manhattan, and we made our way across to Long Island via the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The directions were easy to follow (much better than the GPS) and we were at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before we knew it. It was a 12:00 noon game and there were a large number of kids in attendance. It was Martin Luther King Day which is a National Holiday and the children had a school holiday. The upper bowl was jammed full and there were only a few empty seats left in the lower bowl. The Nassau Coliseum is the second oldest facility in the NHL and although it is showing its age, it has lots of character and I really liked the "feel" of it. The concourse level is at ground level with the parking lot and you can look outside through tall windows as you walk around. The seats have seen better days, but were made of material (in most sections) and were very comfortable. There weren't the number of luxury boxes that you see in the newer facilities, it was a blue collar crowd in a blue collar facility. The crowd was loud, boisterous, and enjoying every minute of the game. It was also the first arena that we have been to that didn't have a large stand alone team gear store. There were kiosks all around the concourse and each one had a little different offering of team merchandise. And lottery tickets. It was also the first time I saw lottery tickets for sale at the team gear locations. The Islanders didn't come out on top of this one and Tampa Bay left with the two points. Graham did a few media interviews during the intermissions and after the game we went downstairs to meet a couple of the players. While waiting, we met the owner Mr. Wang, the GM Garth Snow, and the coach Ted Nolan. All very nice men. They all chatted and visited with us for a bit. Jason Blake came out and signed our poster for the Islander's team player and Alexi Yashin then came out and signed the captain's poster. They both were still in their underwear but took the time to chat and offered their assistance for anything we needed. They both were very nice. I'm always amazed how gracious and kind a hockey player can be standing in his underwear out in the hallway after a hockey game, talking to complete strangers, and sweating like crazy. They are truly one of a kind. I think their mother's taught them all good manners! We also had the pleasure to visit with Chris Campoli after the game. Chris was the first recipient of the Dan Snyder Humanitarian Award for the OHL (the Ontario Hockey League). The OHL Board of Governors renamed the award in Dan's honour and we were present to award it for the first time to Chris. A player's name is submitted from each team in the league and then there is a vote to decide who will receive the award at the annual awards presentation at the Hockey Hall of Fame in June. As many people know, Dan worked hard in every community he called home for a number of different causes. It was very important to him and our family was very touched and honoured when the OHL renamed the humanitarian award in his name
This is stop number 21 and our win record now stands at 13 and 8. We are also whittling down the list. We have nine more stops to make. It's another quick trip in the morning over to New Jersey to see the Devils in the evening.

Graham's Game Report

Jan 15, 2007
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders



These two teams went into today's game tied for the last playoff spot in the conference and the contest reflected that closeness. Both teams had their opportunities but the Lightning came out on top 4-3 despite being outshot by a 36-24 margin. The Isles struck first when captain Alexi Yashin batted home a rebound on the powerplay. The Bolts bounced back with the next three goals to take a 3-1 margin into the third period. The Isles pushed hard in the third but couldn't get the equalizer despite outshooting the opposition 16-5. The well traveled veteran Mike Sillinger had a pair of assists in the third on goals by Victor Kozlov and Trent Hunter and the Isles pressed valiantly for the equalizer with the goalie out but couldn't send the game to extra time.
It was interesting to see the championship banners from those powerful Islander teams of the past and hopefully they will be able to recapture some of that pride after some tough years. They look like they could be turning the corner this season with some good young players and a solid work ethic.

1 comment:

Michele L. Morck said...

Hello,

Mr. and Mrs. Snyder:
I just wanted to say that I was sorry for the loss of your son. I think its wonderful for what you are doing.
I wanted to ask if you had any plans to go to any high schools?
I realize this might be a bit much. I was just wondering.
Once again, sorry for your loss.
God Bless.
Michele