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PAL Junior Islands Now Have an App!

Monday, July 28, 2014, 2:08PM
 

USPHLProspects/JuniorHockey 11 in 11 Series: PAL Junior Islanders Premier

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:40PM
Credit: USPHL.com

The 11 in 11 series features an in-depth look at all 11 2014-15 Premier teams including interviews with head coaches as they provide an outlook and break down their rosters for the upcoming season along with recaps of the previous season. The series will give fans an insiders look into their favorite team's locker room and what plans the head coach has in store for next season.

Location: Hauppauge, New York

Arena: The Rinx

Head Coach: Ed Galiani

2013-14 Record: 22-21-5 (49 points)

2014 Playoffs: Lost in first-round to South Shore 2-1

NCAA Commitments: 13

It was P.A.L.'s first season with a top-level junior team, but you wouldn't have guessed it by the look of their roster and the record they managed. The rebranded P.A.L. Junior Islanders previously were members of the Empire Junior Hockey League and Eastern States Hockey League until 2013 when they were then known as Suffolk Juniors. Hauppauge has a long history of junior hockey and in 2009 the Suffolk Juniors were crowned USA Hockey Junior B National Champions.

Ed Galiani and the rest of the Junior Islanders staff hoped to build off the success of the Suffolk Juniors program, and after proving they can compete in the USPHL, P.A.L. is undoubtedly on the right track.

The Junior Islanders had a rough start and posted a 4-9 record in the first two months of the season. It wasn't ideal, but a 9-5-2 record to end the 2013 calendar year moved P.A.L. a few spots higher in the standings, however, still far from a first-place-contending position.

P.A.L. finished the 2014 regular-season with a 9-7-3 record while securing the sixth-overall seed in the standings. To advance to the second-round, the Junior Islanders would need to defeat the South Shore Kings in a best-of-three series.

The Junior Islanders made a huge statement in the first game by beating South Shore 1-0 in Foxboro. The lone goal was scored by Liam Pues as goalie, Kollyn Jones, recorded 32 saves in the shutout win. P.A.L. only needed one more win to advance with two games remaining in the series. However, the Kings prevailed by winning games two and three 4-2 and 6-2 respectively. Ultimately, the better team won the series.

Obviously Junior Islanders staff won't need to put together a brand new team in the 2014 off-season like last year, but there are still many missing pieces coach Galiani is eager to replace, especially since P.A.L. is losing three of their four leading scorers from a year ago. Chris Makowski returns upfront for the Junior Islanders, but Dan Broderick, Matthew McMorrow and Cameron Heath, who will play for the New Jersey Hitmen, will all no longer wear the Junior Isles jersey. Ed Galiani expects returners to fill those voids, "We hope to have our new recruits add some offense to replace Matt McMorrow and hope to get our defense to contribute to the offense," he continued. "We feel Joe Duszak and Jim Mazza can fill the void."

Because the P.A.L. Junior Islanders are one of many organizations to field USPHL midget teams along with a Premier team, Galiani uses this to his advantage by letting midget players practice and even play with the big team. "We want to use these levels as a feeder to our Premier team. We like to have players move up and practice with us during the season," Galiani said. When asked about recruiting strategies the head coach and general manager stated, "Sometimes you need to recruit and go outside the organization each off-season, but we feel it is more rewarding to develop players and bring them along," he added. "Too many players jump around chasing something better, which many times is not there. We like to have guys that trust that they are getting good coaching. We work hard for their development and not everyone develops at the same pace."

P.A.L. is just one of many organizations that are linked to professional franchises in the USPHL. With the Junior Islanders special connection to the NHL club, it allowed select players to participate in New York's annual prospect camp held at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Galiani said that the affiliation was positive and that the New York Islanders treated the entire organization with lots of respect.

The Junior Islanders had 13 future NCAA players on their roster last season and Ed Galiani shares the secret to helping players land a college commitment. "Our coaching staff has worked together prior to the first year in the USPHL. We feel we have gained respect from college coaches that the players we send are ready to play. Many of our guys that move into the college ranks will become captains, All-American and Hobey Baker nominees. We have many years of coaching experience with a proven track record."

James Mazza and Cameron Heath both committed to Canisius College this past season as Tomasso Bucci, Chris Makowski and James Anderson all agreed to attend Mercyhurst University. Other Division I commitments included Brendan Leahy to Providence and Brandon Fusaro to Army. Matt McMorrow, Joe DePietto, Shane Joyce, Kollyn Jones, Dan Broderick and Ty Walls all committed Division III.

P.A.L. advanced a lot of players this past season, but the Junior Islanders are still hungry to win their first USPHL Championship. Returning to P.A.L. next season is '94 uncommitted forward Sam Vincent. A native of Slingerlands, NY, Vincent collected 3 goals and 4 assists last season including 14 penalty-minutes. Also back for the Junior Islanders is forward Michael Sweeney. The Upper St. Clair, PA-native recorded 5 goals last season. Nicholas Mangone will move up to the Premier team for 2014-15 after scoring 14 points for the Junior Islanders U18 team last year.

P.A.L. will have two somewhat-new faces in goal this upcoming season as it will be Curtis Frye and Tanner Creel fighting for the number one spot. Frye, of Northwood, New Hampshire, played only 5 games with the Junior Islanders last season before finishing the year with New Jersey's Elite team. Creel, who hails from Kildeer, Illinois, played last season with Army and will spend his final year of junior-eligibility in the USPHL hoping to land another NCAA commitment. Creel had a 5.18 goals-against-average last season at the U.S. Military Academy. In the 2012-13 season, Creel played 11 games with New Jersey in the EJHL.

Making the trip west across the Atlantic will be forward Alexander Wetterstrand. The left-handed Swedish winger played for the Vxj Lakers J20 in SuperElit last season where he scored 4 goals and collected 11 assists in 44 games. A '95, Wetterstrand stand at 6'0" and weighs 195 pounds.

One area of the game this P.A.L. team needs to be better at is scoring. "We hope our strength [next season] is speed and defense, but we have to have an offense that can compete with the top teams."

The P.A.L. Junior Islanders overall goal next season is, "To win the USPHL Championship as well as continued success in moving players into the NCAA."

Next up in the 11 in 11 series: Philadelphia Flyers

Read more at USPHLProspects.com and JuniorHockey.com
 

Chowder Cup - The PAL Jr. Islanders U16AAA team save best for last CANTON

Sunday, July 27, 2014, 2:39PM

After struggling on Thursday and Friday, if the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders had any intentions of taking home a win at the 2014 Junior Chowder Cup, they waited until nearly the last possible minute to do so. The Isles capitalized on a second half rally to earn a 5-2 win over the 495 Stars in their ’98 Division finale on Friday at the Canton Sports Plex. Things started out well on Friday for the Stars, who also entered the contest in search of their first win, Garrett Lehan giving his side the early 1-0 lead with a goal just 1:48 into the game. Yet, as would happen on a pair of occasions, the Islanders battled back to tie the game, the first time on an Everett Wardle goal at 5:57. It was the centerman’s third goal of the tournament. Lehan gave the Stars the lead a second time with another unassisted goal, this one coming at 12:46 of the first half. The Islanders came back to tie it again, but not until late in the half, Michael Sacco putting one away at 22:12 for a 2-2 score that held until halftime. When the teams returned to the ice, it was all Islanders as they ran for three in the period to end the game with a comfortable margin. Chris Guido, Sacco and Thomas McGuire all scored in the second to bring the score to its 5-2 final. The five goals in the contest matching the combined total the Islanders had scored in their previous two contests in the tournament.

 

Recap: PAL Junior Islanders at USPHL Summer Showcase

Monday, July 21, 2014, 9:07PM

Over the weekend, the PAL Junior Islanders participated in the 2014 USPHL Summer Showcase at New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Fielding three teams, the Junior Islanders Futures and teams Blue and Orange, each group played three competitive games that helped build some chemistry for the upcoming season.

The Blue and Orange squads were made up of players from last season's Premier and Empire teams, plus a few new faces from other organizations and call-ups from younger teams. A lot of players were called on to play multiple games for both teams, giving guys an eventful weekend of hockey. Joey Duszak, last year's breakout defensive star who started the season with the 18U and played 34 games with the Premier team seemed to be on the ice for both Blue and Orange on every shift. Endurance was no factor for Duszak, who was one of the best players at the showcase.

Also impressive was a new signing, 96-birth year Darren Capobianco of Branford, CT, who is playing in his first games with the Islanders. Capobianco spent last season with Bay State's 18U club, where he established himself as a hard-nosed defenseman who could add some offense when called upon. Darren fit right in with his new teammates, and added a showcase goal to his steady defensive showing.

Goaltending was another area of strength for the team, as returnees Curtis Frye and Steven Mundinger anchored the Orange team and newcomers Tanner Creel and Joona Krigsman got their work in with Blue. Creel is an Illinois native committed to Army who signed on with PAL to play out his last year of Junior eligibility before he goes back to school. Joona Krigsman played for his local club Peliitat in Heinola, Finland and is now bringing his talents to Long Island.

Of the two, only the Blue team won their bracket and faced the Jersey Hitmen Premier club in the first round of the playoffs. A breakdown off the opening faceoff led to a Hitmen goal just 11 seconds into the game, and that was all Jersey needed as they clamped down defensively. The Hitmen added an empty-net goal to take the game 2-0.

The Futures group was led by forwards Evan Schwartz and Tony Abruzzo, two returnees who are sure to add some high-level offense for the 18U club this season. Though the Futures were knocked off by the bracket-winning Jersey Hitmen Empire team, every game they played was close and competitive.

We're excited for the upcoming USPHL season, and if these showcases are any indication of what's to come there is a ton of confidence in our Islanders teams!

 

PAL Alumni Tage Thompson Selected to U.S. Under-18 National Team

Sunday, July 20, 2014, 4:59PM

The PAL Junior Islanders would like to congratulate our very own Tage Thompson on being named to the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program!

Last season, Tage played 16 games for the PAL Junior Islanders U16 club where he dominated the competition with 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 total points. Thompson finished second on the team in scoring, playing at least eight less games than any other player in the top ten.

Despite being a new player in the organization, the players and coaching staff named Tage Thompson a captain at the beginning of the year.

“Tage carries himself like a well-seasoned professional,” his U16 coach Will Bodine said, “He's always early to any team function, which is noticed by all and shows his determination and drive to succeed in hockey.”

Thompson's path to the National Team wasn't easy, and over the last few months he faced rejection numerous times before finally landing his roster spot. Thompson wasn't selected as one of the New York-region players to attend the camp, but was eventually invited to come as a tryout.

“I was pretty upset and shocked, and I took that attitude into the national camp when I found out I was going.”

Then, after having what he felt was an excellent camp, the roster for the prestigious Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament was announced, and his name was left off the list. Just after the announcement though, Head Coach Don Granato and Director of Player Personnel Peter Ward were waiting for Thompson to let him know he had been selected for the USNTDP.

“I went there with the mentality to just have a good showing and prove some people wrong, and show that I belonged” Tage told me, “I would have never thought that I'd be selected to play for the program.”

Tage Thompson, a 97-birth year, stands in at an imposing 6'1 and 170 pounds. Though many scouts believe his size at his age is one of his strongest assets, Tage sees room for improvement. “I need to put on some weight and get stronger, but that's something that the program will definitely help me with. They have a great reputation of developing players and turning them into men and great athletes.”

When asked to describe what makes him a great player, the first quality he used to describe himself was “hard-working.” “I would say my biggest assets would be my hands and my vision. Faceoffs are a pretty big part of my game as well.”

Coach Bodine had nothing negative to say about the standout.

“Tage has incredible vision, size, and tenacity on the ice, and when you pair all that with his composure and nose for the net he's an absolute force to try and contain.”

Thompson reciprocated the feelings, speaking highly of the PAL Junior Islanders organization and coaching staff.

"They played me a lot, which helped me develop as a player and to learn how to play in all situations. They taught me how to act like a pro on and off the ice."

On this past season's Under-18 team, 11 players were drafted into the NHL and all but one have committed to Division I NCAA programs.

The PAL Junior Islanders organization is proud of Tage, and we're excited to see the player he'll grow into! 

 

Bucci Shines at Isles Mini-Camp

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 5:11PM
Photo Courtesy of MSG Varsity.com

Islanders mini-camp provided Jr. Islander standouts Tomasso Bucci, Jimmy Mazza and Chris Makowski a chance to reflect on playing hockey here on Long Island and in front of hometown fans. MSG Varsity's Dylan Butler caught up with the trio at the Nassau Coliseum last week.

Read the coverage here:

 

Recap: Three Premier Players Impress at New York Islanders Rookie Camp

Monday, July 14, 2014, 4:01PM
Photo Credit: Brandon Titus

This past week, three players from the PAL Junior Islanders Premier team took part in New York Islanders Rookie Camp. Tommaso Bucci and Chris Makowski, two forwards committed to Mercyhurst University, shined in a group that included some of the NHL club's biggest defensive prospects. Defenseman Jimmy Mazza, back on the ice for his second camp with the Islanders, made his presence felt every day.


"Obviously the first time I came here last year I had jitter bugs" Mazza said, "I was wondering where I had to go and what I had to do every day. This year I just felt much calmer and was excited to go out there and have fun. I just looked to learn and get better." The 6'2, 174 pound Kings Park native is finishing his junior eligibility this year with the PAL Junior Islanders before moving onto Division I Canisius College.


I asked Mazza to describe the experience and how it would help his development. "I took a lot from the coaching staff about what I can do to help benefit my game on and off the ice...I just felt very fortunate to be out there learning what it takes to be a pro from an NHL staff."


Working against a group with the star-power of top NHL draft picks Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, plus other Major Junior and NCAA defensemen, the line of Bucci, Makowski and the Japanese star Yuri Terao held their own during every drill. Both Bucci and Makowski impressed coaches and media in attendance with their speed and talent, and showed why they deserved the invite to camp.


"Here, practice is way more intense and high tempo" Bucci told me after Sunday's final day of Rookie Camp. "It really opens up your eyes and shows you how much you need to work harder and get better."


Tommaso Bucci, the Franklin Square native, scored a goal in Thursday night's Blue and White Scrimmage in front of a few thousand fans at the Nassau Memorial Veterans Coliseum. "It was crazy. I saw Chris [Makowski] and was like, 'is this even happening right now?' It didn't feel real."


With eighteen skaters our Premier players weren't going to be working alongside this upcoming season, I asked Mazza and Bucci which players outside of the PAL organization they enjoyed playing with the most.


Bucci thought about it for a second before turning and giving a nod to Yuri Terao, the Japanese player invited after impressing a number of NHL scouts with the Japanese U18 National Team. Terao was awarded the primary assist on Bucci's goal in the Blue and White Scrimmage, and it was obvious all week that those two wingers flanking Makowski had great chemistry.


"I was pumped to play with one of my good buddies again, Austin Cangelosi, who was my captain two years ago," Mazza said of the Estero, Florida native now playing for Boston College. The two had previously played together for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League, where Cangelosi led the team in scoring and Mazza made a name for himself as a tough, workhorse defenseman who logged 106 penalty minutes in 58 games. "The hockey world is a tight-knit community, and it always makes it more fun when you're able to reunite with your former teammates again. That's one of the many things that makes this sport so great."

Mazza with the Blue Team defense

Photo Credit: Brandon Titus

 

Premier's Mazza Interviewed by Newsday

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 2:17PM

While covering New York Islanders Rookie Camp this week, Newsday sat down with 2014 1st round draft pick Joshua Ho-Sang and PAL Junior Islanders Premier defenseman James Mazza.

"You really get to see where you're at and what you need to work on," said Mazza, excited by the tremendous opportunity to work with and against some of the top prospects in the New York Islanders system.

This year was Mazza's second camp with the Islanders, and the improvements are very noticable!

For the full interview and story, follow the link: http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/islanders-prospects-work-out-at-day-2-of-mini-camp-1.8749366

 

2014 Walk-a-Thon

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 2:16PM

This year’s PAL Hockey/Junior Islanders Walk-A-Thon will be held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 to sponsor the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Stony Brook Hospital.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital serves as an extension of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. The Family Room provides families of children undergoing medical treatment with a place to rest and relax right at the hospital,

Besides providing the opportunity for medical services to the smallest of hockey fans, we are also raising money to ensure that PRIDE in Athletics for Life can continue to instill the core values of Passion, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Enthusiasm in the children of our community.  These core values not only support our mission of improving their experience as athletes but help instill values that make these young men and women better people in life.

Please direct all questions regarding registration and sponsorship opportunities of the Walk-A-Thon to your team’s Special Events Coordinator – see the list below.

TEAM NAME CELL # E-MAIL
Mite Gold  George Alvarado 347-612-6837 galvarado66@gmail.com
Mite Gold ST Tony Gagliano 917-617-3729 tgags17@gmail.com
Mite Silver South Nicole Alamia 631-786-7266 nikkibene@aol.com
Mite Silver North  Veronica Castellano 631-332-0627 veruca1604@optonline.net
Mite ST Silver Matt Carkner 571-488-5134 carknermatt@me.com
Mite ST Bronze Corinne Masterson 516-312-0596 cmast2718@gmail.com
Mite Bronze William Wandling 516-903-3737 billwandling@gmail.com
Squirt Minor Tier I Tricia Renkowski 631-766-5790 tricialynn71@gmail.com
Squirt Major TI Debbie McCarthy 631-806-8291 Debbie.McCarthy721@gmail.com
SQUIRT Tier II  Melissa Borsuk 516-316-4777 melissaborsuk@verizon.net
SQUIRT Tier III ST Jessica Dubner   jj1angel@aol.com
SQUIRT Tier III Nicole Alamia 631-786-7266 nikkibene@aol.com
PW Minor Tier I Hope Marra 631-525-9500 hmarra@aol.com 
PW Major Tier I Loretta Burridge 516-650-1512 burridge1@verizon.net
PeeWee Tier II Karen Schiavone 631-813-6803 tfs199@optonline.net
Peewee TIII Karyn Kendrick 631-848-8837 KENDRICK44@VERIZON.NET
Bantam Minor Tier I Beth Alvarado  347-612-6831 bvlahavas@gmail.com
Bantam Major T I Kathy Connely 917-807-6166 kath24@optonline.net
Bantam Tier II Leslie Boritz 631-484-6237 lhboritz@optonline.net
Bantam Tier III Kristin Campisi 646-662-9131 kristincampisi@yahoo.com
Midget Tier II Kevin Sparacio 631-525-7997 raidr32@optonline.net
 

Annual Golf Outing

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 2:14PM

The 10th Annual P.A.L. Ice Hockey/Junior Islanders golf outing is being held August 25, 2014 to help raise funds for the continued effort in keeping costs of playing ice hockey as reasonable as possible. While enjoying a day of golf, you will assist in providing an opportunity for kids to play the great game of hockey.

We are very pleased to be playing at the beautiful Baiting Hollow Club home of the USA Open Qualifier. Arrival will be at the Baiting Hollow Club, 100 Club Hill Drive in Baiting Hollow, NY. Dinner and prizes will be at Giorgio’s Catering which is connected to the Baiting Hollow Golf Course. You will eat like a king!

Come join us for a great day of golf, fun, and sharing the great memories with our Hall of Fame inductees. See below for all the details. You can reserve your spot or arrange for a sponsorship through the Golf Reps for each team (see below)

GOLF BROCHURE

TEAM REP CELL # E-MAIL
Mite Gold  Jeff Conroy 516-721-0281 JDConroy@optonline.net
Mite Gold ST David Disque 917-886-6094  
Mite Silver South Steve Grimes 631-745-4458 roadwork@optonline.net
Mite Silver North  Mike Landrigan 516-924-0023 inthemooddj@aol.com
Mite ST Silver Matt Carkner 571-488-5134 carknermatt@me.com
Mite ST Bronze Mike Espinal 917-597-0344 mespinal@onestoprecovery.net
Mite Bronze Mike Landrigan 516-924-0023 inthemooddj@aol.com
Squirt Minor Tier I Steve Colavecchio 631-366-2616 scolavec@aol.com
Squirt Major TI James Alfieri 516-429-4904 jalfieri@estee.com
Squirt Tier II  James Flynn 917-217-1309 Jflynn@itcservices.com
Squirt Tier III ST Matt Carkner 571-488-5134 carknermatt@me.com
Squirt Tier III George Alamia 631-987-7866 galamia@smithtown.k12.ny
PW Minor Tier I John Stewart  516-236-4755 johnfstewartiii@msn.com 
PW Major Tier I Mike Burridge 516-650-1513 Bagelmike1@gmail.com
PeeWee Tier II Rich Noll 516-840-3343 ernoll@lawnoll.com
Peewee TIII Vinny Marchese 631-678-2277 VincentAndLaura@GMAIL.com
Bantam Minor Tier I Eddie Chlanda 631-872-9637 coacheddiec@gmail.com 
Bantam Major T I Bryan Hulser 516-236-3637 bhulser@kenroindustries.com
Bantam Tier II Anthony Labadie 631-433-9784 all2002@optonline.net
Bantam Tier III Michael Dougherty 516-429-3489 mndoc@optonline.net
Midget Tier II Frank Raffone 718-314-0190 f.raffone@yahoo.com
 
 
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