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Premier Fall to Hitmen, Bounce Back Against Rochester

Monday, September 15, 2014, 7:50PM

The PAL Junior Islanders Premier team got off a disappointing start over the weekend, but came back with a convincing 5-1 win on Monday afternoon.

After two straight 6-1 losses at the hands of the Jersey Hitmen, the Islanders welcomed the Rochester Junior Americans to The Rinx today. This was the first time these two teams met at the Premier level, as Rochester did not field a Premier team last season. 

On Sunday Jersey's James Martello was assessed a 5-minute major penalty in the first for elbowing on a hit to Joey Duszak away from the play, and Alex Wetterstrand received his own 5-minute major on a checking from behind call midway through the game. The physical play escalated from there.

Each of the two games between the Hitmen and Islanders were marred by penalties and undisciplined play, as the rivalry that's started over the last year hit possibly an all-time high on Sunday. As the game got out of hand, ejections were handed out.

The 0-2 start was the driving force behind how hard the team battled in their 5-1 victory this afternoon.

Three of the five goals were scored by players who hadn't dressed for the team's opening weekend: Kyle Menges, Nick Mangone, and Luciano Bucci. Not to be outdone by his little brother, Tommaso Bucci added a goal of his own in the second period to make the score 4-0. Conlan Keenan, Rochester's leading scorer last year, cut the lead to 4-1, but Mike Sweeney's first of the year put the game out of reach for good late in the third.

Coach Galiani made drastic changes to the lineup this afternoon, bringing in five skaters who didn't play against the Hitmen in favor of some of the veterans. Joey Duszak spent some time playing forward this afternoon, and TJ Roche was shifted back and forth between forward and defense against the Hitmen. Curtis Frye was solid in net today, making his debut.

Despite dropping the first two games of the weekend, the Junior Islanders will take some positives out of this three-game set and two hard-earned points as they look forward to the Boston Junior Bruins showcase in Marlborough, MA next weekend!

 

Premier Kicks off Season Tonight Against the Jersey Hitmen

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 4:31PM

After a long, long summer away, the PAL Junior Islanders will take the ice tonight for their first Premier matchup of the season against the Jersey Hitmen!

Just last weekend the two teams met for an exhibition game in New Jersey, where the Junior Islanders fell 2-1, but the players came back feeling confident and looking forward to tonight's game where they could avenge that loss.

Last season the Junior Islanders were 1-5 against the Jersey Hitmen, although their lone win came as a dominant 5-1 victory at the end of the season, when the Islanders were starting to hit their stride. Three of the five losses at the hands of the Hitmen were decided by just one goal.

Tonight and tomorrow afternoon will be the Islanders' only chances to defeat the Jersey Hitmen at home. All three of their future meetings this season will take place at the Ice Vault Arena in New Jersey.

The Jersey Hitmen are coming off a season where they were defeated in the USPHL Premier Championship by the eventual Tier III Junior National Champion Junior Bruins. They're a perennial powerhouse in junior hockey on the East Coast, having won the Dineen Cup three times including most recently in 2013.

After the two-game set with the Jersey Hitmen, the Premier team will host the Rochester Junior Americans on Monday afternoon. This will be Rochester's first season in the Premier, after finishing second in the USPHL's Elite Division last season. Rochester's first Premier game will take place Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Elsewhere in the organization, the 18U and 16U squads will be playing non-league games on Long Island tonight. 18U will face the Long Island Edge at Iceworks and 16U will take on the Nassau Lions at Cantiague Park.

Faceoff tonight is set for 8:40PM, and we look forward to seeing the stands at The Rinx packed out!

#RollPAL #RoadToTheDineen

 

Tage Thompson Commits to University of Connecticut

Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:46PM

Tage Thompson, the late-97 who starred for the PAL Junior Islanders 16U club last season, has committed to the University of Connecticut.

Though injuries cut his season down to just 16 games, Thompson scored 17 goals and added 14 assists for 31 total points, good for second on the team. Tage was also named an alternate captain for the team, a decision that his coach Will Bodine made after seeing early on that he was a natural leader.

“From day one his teammates looked to him on and off the ice for advice and direction”, Bodine told me, “when you talk about the 'total package', Tage would be the poster boy.”

Thompson is a 6'2 center who plays a well-rounded offensive game. Though he's a bit lanky at 170 pounds, there's a lot of room to add size. “I need to put on some weight and get stronger” he admitted. Thompson's elite scoring touch, ability to win faceoffs, and hard-working attitude are what made him one of the most sought-after prospects this summer.

Thompson, who will play this season with the United States National Team Development Program, toured Boston College, New Hampshire, Providence, Northeastern, Brown, and Yale before ultimately deciding on Connecticut.

When asked why he chose UConn over a number of prestigious schools, Tage told me “the biggest thing was the feel for the coaching staff and the desire they have to win.”

“UConn is known for being a powerhouse in every sport, and eventually they'll become one in hockey as well.” Tage said, “I want to be a big piece in helping them win a National Championship.”

 

Premier Beats Caledonia and Pelham, 18u Shut Down by Penetang

Sunday, August 24, 2014, 4:12AM

After a late game against Ft Erie, the Premier squad took to the ice at 8am yesterday morning to compete against the Caledonia Corvairs and Pelham Pirates.

Caledonia, who finished 45-3-1 in the GOJHL last season and won the Sutherland Cup Championship, proved to be challenging early against the Islanders, but once the Premier squad got their legs under them there was no looking back. Premier won two scrappy games against GOJHL opponents 9-0 each, giving them 18 goals on the day and providing the goaltending trifecta of Frye, Creel, and Krigsman with a combined shutout for the day.

Across Ontario, the 18u team took on the Penetang Kings, the nearby rivals of yesterday's opponent and training camp hosts the Midland Flyers. After a close battle with Midland yesterday, Penetang proved to be too much to handle for the 18u club, as they fell 4-1.

We'd like to once again thank the town of Midland and everybody involved in putting together this past week's training camp! The Premier club arrived home safe and sound early this morning, and the 18u will be following. With training camp now officially over, the start of the season is right around the corner.

 

Premier Tops Ft. Erie 11-1, 18U Falls to Midland 6-5

Saturday, August 23, 2014, 7:19AM

With the 18U club playing games against Midland and Penetang at the arena in Midland, the Premier squad drove out to Ft. Erie to prepare for their own exhibitions.

Last night 18U fell 6-5 to Midland in a spirited game. Eric Linell and Tony Abruzzo carried the Junior Islanders with two goals each, Linell's both coming short handed. 

Mike Bazzi scored a hat trick for the Premier team against the Ft. Erie Meteors, while Tommaso Bucci, Chris Makowski, and Michal Linda scored two each. Jimmy Mazza and Michael Sweeney put in the last two goals in a route. 

Today Premier is playing the GOJHL's Caledonia Corvairs and Pelham Pirates to finish off the week in Canada. 18U is looking to bounce back and get a win against a tough Penetang Kings squad.

 

Second Day of PAL Junior Islanders Training Camp

Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 7:10PM

This morning the 18U Junior Islanders were able to get on the ice for the first time, and the Premier got a second chance to skate in Midland.

After a spirited 18U scrimmage, the Premier honed their skills and looked like a team determined to make an impact in the USPHL this season. It was obvious that every player's mentality on the ice today was to treat this training camp as they would an important game.

At the conclusion of the morning sessions, Chicago Blackhawks legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Pierre Pilote came to speak with both teams during a team lunch. Pilote told his story of not playing organized hockey until he was 17, but persevering and becoming a legend of the game because of his determination and work-ethic. He also took questions from the teams and coaches and met with the everyone.

The afternoon sessions went well with both teams working on breakouts and the Premier making the most out of their opportunity to play an up-tempo scrimmage.

For both groups, the night wrapped up with an intense Crossfit training session at a local gym.

 

Training Camp Underway in Midland, Ontario

Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 8:21AM

Training Camp for the PAL Junior Islanders Premier and 18U teams is officially underway!

After a long drive up to Midland, Ontario, the Premier team took to the ice last night for their first official skate of the season. Today, the 18U and Premier will split four ice sessions and time in the gym to work on conditioning.

Some Midland hockey fans were in the building last night to get a glimpse of the Premier team, and there's a definite buzz in the building after seeing how well the team performed in their first skate.

The PAL Junior Islanders would like to once again thank the North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre and the town of Midland for their hospitality!

 

Premier Player Spotlight Part 1

Monday, August 11, 2014, 7:59PM

This summer, the PAL Junior Islanders are looking to bring the fans closer than ever to our team. Over the next few weeks, we'll be focusing on some of the players who have already signed on with the team to help everybody get to know the Islanders.

After starting off the season with a less-than-stellar 4-9-0 record through their first 15 games, the Premier team righted the ship and turned things around quickly. The team was able to go 18-12-5 for the rest of the season, eventually finishing 6th in the league and gearing up for a playoff matchup against the South Shore Kings. After traveling to Foxboro and shutting out South Shore 1-0 in the first game, they dropped the next two, ending their season. Though a few key players have moved on to college or other junior teams, there's a strong core returning that should help the Islanders return in even stronger form this season. Today we'll focus on six returning players who will be expected to make a huge impact with the Premier team.

 

James Anderson (96), Forward
Kings Park, NY
5'11, 165 lbs

As one of the younger players on last year's Premier team, Anderson managed to showcase his offensive talents and become one of the top forwards on the squad. Anderson is a strong skater whose best asset is his vision and playmaking ability. He's a smart enough player to constantly position himself in the right place at the right time, and he uses that intelligence to distribute and control the offense. Anderson has a good wristshot, and with another summer of development it has the potential to be a huge weapon for him going forward. Coach Galiani expects James to take another step this year, and improve on his stats from last year (47 games, 10-23-33). Anderson is committed to Mercyhurst University.

 

Tommaso Bucci (95), Forward
Franklin Square, NY
6'0, 185 lbs

Bucci is a two-way forward whose offensive strength is as a playmaker. His passing and decision-making are towards the top of the league. Tommaso is an important defensive player as well, always contributing in his own zone and killing penalties. Bucci came up with the a few different youth programs before splitting his first year of junior hockey between the EHL's New York Bobcats and the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL. Last year in his first season with the Junior Islanders he scored 13 goals and added 16 assists over 46 games for 29 total points, establishing himself as an important top-six forward. Bucci is committed to Mercyhurst University.

 

Joey Duszak (97), Defense
Franklin Square, NY
5'7, 141 lbs

After starting the season with the 18U team and registering 14 points in his first 13 games, Joey was called up to Premier where he continued to contribute at a high pace offensively. Playing in 34 games as one of the young guys on the team, Duszak added a goal and 16 assists over 34 games with the Premier team. Last season Joey also starred for Portledge School, where he was named All League First Team in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League. He's a puck-moving defenseman with a strong outlet pass and offensive talent that gives opposing players fits. Joey isn't the biggest player on the ice, but he's able to use his skating talents to elude defenders when carrying the puck, and his positioning defensively is so good that he's an tough to beat in his own zone.

 

Chris Makowski (95), Forward
Melville, NY
6'3, 190 lbs

Makowski is an imposing figure at 6'3, with great size and elite offensive talent. After playing his last season of Midget hockey primarily with the Russell Stover U18 team of the T1EHL, he came to the Junior Islanders and starred in his first year of junior hockey. In 48 games, Makowski netted 17 goals and added 23 assists for 40 total points, while developing as a big-bodied power forward. Makowski is at his best when he's playing a north-south game, using his physicality and getting to the front of the net. He's another player with a knack for being in the right place at the right time, usually right in front of the net to bury rebounds. Makowski is a strong skater who gets to the dirty areas and uses his size and strength to his advantage. The coaching staff sees Makowski as a key forward this season, and believe he'll continue to develop at a high rate. Makowski is also committed to Mercyhurst University.

 

Jimmy Mazza (94), Defense
Kings Park, NY
6'2, 185 lbs

Before joining the Junior Islanders in 2013-14, Mazza was a workhorse defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He's a defensive defenseman in every sense of the word, using his size, strength, and positioning to smother opposing forwards. Mazza is a tough player who plays to the whistles and can swing momentum with his physical play. Though the USPHL doesn't allow fighting, he was known across the USHL as a young guy who wasn't afraid to stand up for his teammates and drop the gloves with the best. Mazza is a leader in the locker room, and a guy that the younger players go to for guidance. He leads by example on the ice as well, always playing smart and keeping the mistakes to a minimum. Jimmy has taken huge strides in his development over the last few years, and the coaching staff sees him as the leader of this team. Mazza is committed to Canisius College.

 

T.J. Roche (94), Defense
Northport, NY
6'2, 205 lbs

After two years of high school hockey, Roche split last season with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL and the Junior Islanders Premier. Like Mazza, Roche is a stay-at-home defenseman that plays a smart physical game in his own zone. Though he didn't produce much offensively with Chilliwack or PAL, watching him play it was obvious that there were some offensive capabilities to his game that just need more time developing. He has a hard, accurate wrist shot and makes smart passes, but because of his defensive prowess he's rarely used in an offensive role. Roche and Mazza are going to be the defensive anchors on a Junior Islanders team with a lot of talent on the back end, and Roche will be called upon to eat up big minutes on the blue line.

 

PAL Junior Islanders USPHL 18U Training Camp Aug. 18-24

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 7:56PM

The PAL Jr. Islanders USPHL U18 Training Camp will be held in Midland, Ontario, Canada. The departure date is August 18th and we return on August 24th.

To All,
You have been invited to the PAL Jr. Islanders USPHL U18 Training Camp. Here is the travel itinerary for the USPHL U18 team for Training Camp at Midland, Ontario, Canada. The departure date is August 18th and we return on August 24th.

The cost for Training Camp is $750.00, please make checks payable to Pride in Athletics for Life, please hand deliver this check prior to departing the bus to Midland to Mr. Kinnear. Your yearly tuition payment must be up to date prior to boarding the bus.

Monday 8/18
Bus departs at 5:15am from Iceworks-175 Underhill Blvd, Syosset, NY 11791, 2nd stop at Little Neck Parkway exit at 6:00am
Arrival between 4:00pm & 5:00pm
Check in at hotel
6:00 – Dinner on own
7:40-9:00 – On Ice Practice
10:00 Coaches Talk @ hotel
11:30 lights out

Tuesday 8/19
7:00- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
9:00- 10:30 On Ice Practice
11:15 - 12:15 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
12:30 – 1:15 Team stretching
1:50 – 3:20 On Ice Practice
4:00 - Open
5:00 – Dinner on own
6:30 – 8:00 Off Ice Session with Fitness Instructor-Becky Graham
9:00 - Open
11:00 in rooms
11:30 lights out

Wednesday 8/20
7:00- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
9:00- 10:30 On Ice Practice
11:15 - 12:15 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
12:30 – 1:15 Team stretching
1:50 – 3:20 On Ice Practice
4:00 - Open
5:00 – Dinner on own
6:30 – 8:00 Off Ice Session with Fitness Instructor-Becky Graham
9:00 - Open
11:00 in rooms
11:30 lights out


Thursday 8/21
7:00- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
9:00- 10:30 On Ice Practice
11:15 - 12:15 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
12:30 – 1:15 Team stretching hosted by Becky Graham at the rink
2:00 – 3:30 On Ice Practice
4:30 - Open
6:30-11:00 Team Event, will include dinner (provided by team)
11:30 lights out

Friday 8/22
7:00- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
9:00- 10:30 On Ice Practice
11:15 - 12:15 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
1:00- 4:00pm break
4:00 pre-game Team Dinner on own
5;30 pre-game team stretch
6:30 game vs. Midland Flyers
9:00 back to Hotel for Pizza (provided by team)
11:30 lights out

Saturday 8/23
8:00- 9:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
11:00- 12:30 On Ice Practice
1:00 - 2:00 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
2:00- 4:00pm break/pre game nap
4:00 pre-game Team Dinner on own
5;30 pre-game team stretch
6:30 game vs. Penetang Kings
9:00 back to Hotel for Pizza (provided by team)
11:30 lights out

Sunday 8/24
8:30-9:30 Breakfast @ hotel
10:00 Depart for home

 Players will need extra cash for snacks and for dinners when they are on own (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday nights), the $750 fee includes all lunches at rink and team dinner on Thursday night and pizza after the games on Friday and Saturday nights. The Organization will pay for the event on Wednesday night. The Organization will also pay for the off-ice training sessions with Becky Graham. We are expecting a few former NHL/Jr. Islanders players to attend our camp and will be speaking to the players.

The team hotel is:
Best Western Plus Highland Inn & Conference Center, 924 King Street, Midland, Ontario
705-526-9307

$98.99 per night, includes breakfast

The team will handle the hotel rooms for the players, the team will be traveling by bus

All of our on ice sessions are being played at the North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Center, 527 Len Self Blvd, Midland, Ontario.

 

PAL Junior Islanders USPHL Premier Training Camp Aug. 18-24

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 7:44PM

 

The PAL Jr. Islanders USPHL Premier Training Camp will be held in Midland, Ontario, Canada. The departure date is August 18th and we return on August 24th.

To All,
You have been invited to the PAL Jr. Islanders USPHL Premier Training Camp. Here is the travel itinerary for the USPHL Premier team for Training Camp at Midland, Ontario, Canada. The departure date is August 18th and we return on August 24th.
The cost for Training Camp is $750.00, please make checks payable to Pride in Athletics for Life, please hand deliver this check prior to departing the bus to Midland to Mr. Kinnear. Your yearly tuition payment must be up to date prior to boarding the bus.
Monday 8/18
Bus departs at 5:00am from The Rinx, 2nd stop at Little Neck Parkway exit at 6:00am
Arrival between 4:00pm & 5:00pm
Check in at hotel
5:30 – Dinner on own
7:00-7:30 – Coaches Talk @ Ice Center
7:45 – team stretching
9:10-10:40 – On Ice Practice
11:30 lights out

Tuesday 8/19
7:30- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
8:00- depart to rink
8:45 - 9:45 Off Ice conditioning @ Ice Center (Stretching/ Plyo's/ & Wind Sprints-Frank Gilroy testing)
10:40- 12:10 On Ice Practice
12:30 - 1:30 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
1:30 - 3:30 Open
3:30 - 5:00 On Ice Practice
6:30 – Dinner on own
8:00 – 9:30 Off Ice Session with Fitness Instructor-Becky Graham
11:00 in rooms
11:30 lights out

Wednesday 8/20
7:30- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
8:00- depart to track
8:15 - 9:15 Off Ice Testing (2 mile run, sit ups & pull ups-Frank Gilroy testing)
10:40- 12:10 On Ice Practice
12:30 - 1:30 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
1:30 - 3:30 Open
3:30 - 5:00 On Ice Practice
6:30 – Dinner on own
8:00 – 9:30 Off Ice Session with Fitness Instructor-Becky Graham
11:00 in rooms
11:30 lights out

 

Thursday 8/21

7:30- 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
8:00- depart to rink
8:45 - 9:45 Off Ice Session with Fitness Instructor-Becky Graham
10:40- 12:10 On Ice Practice
12:30 - 1:30 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team)
1:30 - 3:30 Open
3:30 - 5:00 On Ice Practice
6:30-11:00 Team Event, will include dinner (provided by team)
11:30 lights out

Friday 8/22
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel) 9:00 – 10:30 On Ice Practice 11:15 – 12:00 Team Lunch @ rink (provided by team) 12:15 Depart to Ft Erie to play Ft Erie Meteors for exhibition game 4:00 Check in at Hotel/Meal on own 6;00 pre-game team stretch 8:00 game vs. Ft Erie Meteors 10:30-11:00 Pizza (provided by team) 11:30 lights out

Saturday 8/23
8:30-9:30 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
9:30 depart to Buffalo-go to Northtown Ice Center, 615 Amherst Manor Dr, Williamsville, NY 14221
(716) 631-7555 (lunch on bus on way to Buffalo)
12:30 arrival
1:30 pre-game team stretch
3:00 game vs. Buffalo Jr Sabers
After game, the bus will travel to Elmira, NY to stay overnight, still working on hotel reservations

Sunday 8/24
8:30-9:30 Breakfast @ hotel (provided by hotel)
10:00 Depart for home

 

 

 

Players will need extra cash for snacks and for dinners when they are on own (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday nights), the $750 fee includes all lunches at rink, team dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and pizza after the games on Friday and Saturday nights. The Organization will pay for the team event on Thursday night. The Organization will also pay for the off-ice training sessions with Becky Graham. We are expecting a few former NHL/Jr. Islanders players to attend our camp and will be speaking to the players.

The team hotel is:
Best Western Plus Highland Inn & Conference Center, 924 King Street, Midland, Ontario
705-526-9307

$98.99 per night, includes breakfast

The team will only handle the hotel room reservations for the players, coaches and bus drive. The team will be traveling by bus

All of our on ice sessions are being played at the North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Center, 527 Len Self Blvd, Midland, Ontario.

 

The team hotel for August 23rd is Holiday Inn, 760 East Water Street, Elmira, NY
The game against Buffalo Jr Sabres will be played at Northtown Ice Center, Amherst, NY
$129.00 per night, includes breakfast

 
 
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