POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 8:00 AM ET

  1. His youth hockey idols growing up were Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic.
  2. His favorite pre-game meal is pasta.
  3. Click to find out what made Mats first want to play hockey…

  4. Click to find out what Mats would be if he was not a professional hockey player…

  5. Click to find out what skill he has had to work the hardest at to perfect…

|
|
|
POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 8:00 AM ET


The New York Rangers and Garden of Dreams provided kids who participate in the Power Players introductory street hockey program with the chance to learn to play ice hockey at the Madison Square Garden Training Center. The Garden of Dreams Foundation provides the Power Players street hockey program to four charity partners each season. Children from the Children’s Aid Society, Harlem Dowling, Police Athletic League NYC, and WHEDco are provided with weekly scheduled clinics from November to January that aim to educate and inspire 100 new players and 100 returning players, known as Selects, each year.

On March 30, as a final component of this season’s program, the Selects had the opportunity to try ice hockey for the first time at the MSG Training Center. Rangers alumni Dan Blackburn and Darren Turcotte were on hand to offer instruction, sign autographs and take photos with the children. In addition, representatives from Ice Hockey in Harlem were on hand to talk to the kids who have expressed interest in continuing to develop their hockey skills beyond the Power Players Program. Rangers alum, Darren Turcotte, stated,“Hopefully they continue playing in the future, and this helps grow the game.”

|
|
|
POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 8:00 AM ET

The New York Rangers in partnership with Coca-Cola “Get The Ball Rolling” celebrated the conclusion of the 5th season of the Rangers Street Hockey program on Saturday, April 4th. Over the course of the season, partner organizations, NYC Parks, Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Police Athletic League NYC host on- going street hockey clinics for over 3000 local youth. The season culminates with a tournament and celebration held at the Intrepid Museum.

Over 300 participant joined NY Rangers alumni Brian Mullen, Tom Laidlaw, and Ed Hospodar for a day of street hockey, skills challenges, and other interactive activities. Despite the wind, the kids were in high spirits throughout the entire event. Josh Gold, the Director of Communications for Coca-Cola Co. stated, “The program is a great opportunity to introduce kids to street hockey, get them active, and have fun!” At the end of the day, each participant was awarded with a medal to recognize their hard work throughout the season.

Click here for more information on the NY Rangers street hockey clinic.

|
|
|
POSTED ON Monday, 03.9.2015 / 8:00 AM ET


1) The first hockey team he played for was the NorWest Stars (Ontario)

2) His superstition is that he must eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on game days.

3) Click Here to find out what Marc’s first time on the ice was like.


4) Click Here to find out what hockey skill Marc has had to work the hardest at to perfect.


5) Click Here to find out why Marc first wanted to learn to play hockey.


|
|
|
POSTED ON Monday, 03.9.2015 / 8:00 AM ET

The New York Rangers hosted their annual Casino Night fundraiser on Thursday, March 5th and proceeds from the event go to the Garden of Dreams Foundation. A new benefit this year is that those who were unable to attend have the option to bid on exclusive experiences and prizes. The silent auction is now available online and Blueshirts fans can place their bids until Thursday, March 12th at 5:00pm for the chance to win.

Prizes this year range from autographed items to exclusive experiences such as a goaltending lesson with NY Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire for players ages 8 to 16. Also available are a team skating clinic with coaches Scott Arniel, Ulf Samuelsson, and Darryl Williams at the MSG training center for players ages 8 to 16. Also available are stick kid experiences and zamboni rides for kids ages 6 to 13 years old. Click here to place your bid and see a full list of available prizes.

|
|
|
POSTED ON Monday, 03.9.2015 / 8:00 AM ET


The New York Rangers have officially launched registration for their youth hockey summer camp. The camp will host four separate sessions, each one week long through the month of July. The session dates are, July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, and July 28- August 1. The camp is held at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, NY and features both on and off ice elements and training. In addition, each session will feature an appearance from a Rangers alumni. Click here For more information about the New York Rangers Youth Hockey Summer Camp or to register your child to attend.

|
|
|
POSTED ON Monday, 03.9.2015 / 8:00 AM ET

The New York Rangers hosted the 4th annual Hockey Weekend in NY from February 19th – 22nd and featured alumni appearances and events across the tri-state area. The weekend kicked off on Thursday the 19th with a cross-ice jamboree at Madison Square Garden for youth hockey players. Over 100 kids ages 10 and under took to The Garden ice for two hours before the game that evening. Joining them on the ice were alumni Brian Mullen, Glenn Anderson, and Adam Graves. Rangers alum Glenn Anderson stated, “It is just great to see this especially at Madison Square Garden, the kids are just having a blast.”
 
On Saturday, over 3,000 fans took the ice at 11 rinks across the tri-state area for free public skating sessions. Each rink featured a NY Rangers alumni who participated in the public skate and signed autographs for participants. Wollman Rink in Central Park was the marquee event and hosted 4 Try Hockey For Free sessions in addition to offering 4 hours of public skating throughout the afternoon. As the snow started to fall, fans did not shy away from joining Rangers greats, Adam Graves, Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Eddie Johnstone, and Ron Duguay on the ice.
 
Hockey Weekend in NY finished the celebration with Youth Hockey Night at Madison Square Garden when the NY Rangers played the Columbus Blue Jackets. The night was a celebration of all things youth hockey and featured in game elements such as 6 youth hockey players lining up on the blueline with the NY Rangers starters for the national anthem, a Little Rangers game during the 1st intermission, the Emile Francis Award ceremony, and concourse activations such as face painting and a “Make Your Own Hockey Card” station. Adam Graves said, “Hockey Weekend in New York is something we look forward to every year. Everyone is out here having a great time, and this is in essence what the game is all about.”

|
|
|
POSTED ON Friday, 02.20.2015 / 12:12 PM ET


They say that hockey is not for the faint of heart, and if you ever needed a game to prove that, tonight’s contest between the New York Pee Wee Rangers and Gatineau Olympiques would be the one. Simply put, it was a thriller and every bit as demanding as the Rangers coaching staff had told the team to expect. The Olympiques, a highly regarded team from just outside the Canadian capital of Ottawa, had a reputation as fast and relentless, and they were all that.

For each team, a win would mean the right to continue in the tournament. A loss would mean a ticket home.

The Arpidrome in the Quebec City suburb of Charlesbourg seats about a thousand, and it was filled with family, friends, and fans of both teams. Once again, cheers of “Let’s Go Rangers!” echoed across the arena. However, those cheers were momentarily stilled when Gatineau took a 1-0 lead just three minutes in to the first period. But less than two minutes later Pee Wee Rangers captain Christian Jiminez stormed up the ice, cut in on goal, and banged home his own rebound to tie the game at one. Two minutes later the captain made a beautiful cross ice pass, Jack Gorton swept it over to David Chen, and, all of a sudden, it’s 2-1 Pee Wee Rangers. Then, less than two minutes after that, another score – Zack Tonelli to Anthony Cipollone in the slot; Cipollone controlled the puck and fired on net. The Gatineau goalie makes the save but Hunter Rossi is all over the rebound, and just like that it’s 3-1 New York just 8:30 into the game.

The Olympiques scored early in the second period to make the score 3-2. Gatineau soon had a chance to add more on a powerplay, but Hunter Rossi displayed the kind of effort the Pee Wee Rangers were making this night when he sprawled in front of a slapshot from the point to help kill the penalty. The second period finished with the score 3-2 in favor of the Pee Wee Rangers.

Just four minutes into the third period, the Rangers extended their lead when Aidan Cobb took a beautiful pass in the neutral zone from defenseman Bayard Hall, skated right up the middle with two defenders draped all over him, and put a beautiful move on the Olympiques goaltender to score. 4-2 Pee Wee Rangers.

A penalty put Gatineau on a powerplay, and they cashed in at the midway point of the third period to cut the Rangers lead to one. Less than two minutes later, another Gatineau goal, and just like that it’s 4-4, and the Olympiques are charging.

At that point, but co-coaches Paul Messier and Jeff Devenney wouldn’t let the boys get down, and, to be sure, the boys showed the kind of character and poise that coaches dream of.

With two minutes remaining, the Olympiques won a draw in their own end, but there was confusion between the Gatineau goalie and defenseman. New York winger Hunter Rossi stepped right in, jumped on the puck, and made no mistake. 5-4 New York Pee Wee Rangers.

One minute and fifty-one seconds were remaining in the game when Hunter Rossi scored. The final 111 seconds seemed to been the longest almost 2 minutes in Pee Wee Rangers history as the Olympiques pulled their goaltender and pulled out all the stops. There were three gut-wrenching face-offs in the New York zone, but each one was answered with firm defense and outstanding goaltending from Gus Bylin. Finally, it really was game over.

The Pee Wee Rangers skated off the ice 5-4 winners in the first elimination game. Hunter Rossi deservedly was awarded the Broadway hat. But there was little time to rest. Friday brings a game against the Bay State Breakers at 10:00 am.

|
|
|
POSTED ON Friday, 02.20.2015 / 12:09 PM ET


The rink at Les Galeries de la Capitale, the mall in Quebec, the opposition this morning was formidable – The Russian Selects from Moscow, a team, that hadn’t lost a game all year. The Russians have certainly been the talk of the tournament in Quebec with their bold red uniforms, precise skills, and 7-0 victory in their first qualifying match.

The Pee Wee Rangers were very mindful that they were representing not only the red, white, and blue of the New York Rangers but the red, white, and blue of their flag and country, and so the New York squad started the game at the highest level they have shown all tournament, skating, passing, and checking with abandon, buzzing the Russians in all three zones.

The fast pace of the Rangers paid dividends in the first period as Christian Jiminez found Victor Czerneckianair on an outlet pass along the right sidewall. Czerneckianair flew up the right side, cut towards the Russian goal, and slid the puck past the sprawling goalie to give the Pee Wee Rangers a 1-0 lead at 10:15. Those first goals are so important as they reinforce positive momentum. Sure enough, less than two minutes later, Anthony Cipollone went hard to the net and banged home a goal, with hard-working assists from Zach Tonelli and Ben Presley. The scoreboard read 2-0 in favor of the Pee Wee Rangers.

Every hockey game has its twists and turns, and this one did not lack them. In the second period the Russians raised their level and took it to the New York net with a few breakaways and two-on-ones. Every time they did, Rangers goaltender Gus Bylin was there with a glove, stick, blocker, or pads to make some huge saves.

As the third period began the Pee Wee Rangers still held a 2-0 lead thanks to Bylin’s timely goaltending, but the Russians were coming hard. A New York powerplay turned into a Russian short-handed goal at 6:40 of the third. Less than three minutes later the team from Moscow scored again. That comfortable two goal lead for New York had vanished.

Less than three minutes later, pressing the attack in the Russian zone, Captain Christian Jiminez found PJ Neal who slid the puck over to center Aidan Cobb, and Cobb found the back of the Russian net – 3-2 New York Pee Wee Rangers with 3:12 left to play. The red, white, and blue contingent of parents and fans were on their feet cheering.

Those final three-plus minutes were long, but the roller-coaster ride left the Rangers at a high point with their most impressive victory of the tournament thus far. Final score 3-2 New York. Aidan Cobb, who scored the game winner, was the proud recipient of the Pee Wee Rangers Broadway Hat.

The victory and the quality of the performance couldn’t have come at a better time. The International Pee Wee Tournament now moves to elimination games. Survive and advance, lose and go home. The Rangers are rising at the right time as they look forward to facing the Gatineau (Quebec) Olympiques in a crucial showdown. After the game, Rangers co-coach Paul Messier looked forward tomorrow evening’s game at the Arpidrome, “I think our boys know that they have to play a high tempo, concerted effort for every minute of all three periods. Everyone will need to bring their A game, for sure, and, if we do, I really like our chances.”

|
|
|
POSTED ON Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 2:43 PM ET

Last night the New York Pee Wee Rangers held a team dinner with all the players, coaches, and billets. The dinner was held at a popular Quebec City sports-themed restaurant with TV screens throughout. The biggest screen in the house featured the New York Rangers game and throughout the game, our boys couldn’t contain themselves and broke out into a series of cheers of “Let’s Go Rangers!” The win left the Pee Wee Rangers happy and ready to take on their next challenge.

Tuesday morning the team was back at the rink and ready to tune-up their game and take their competition skills up a notch. The final score was two-one in favor of the Czechs but the Pee Wee Rangers performance was something to be proud of.

The exhibition tilt with the Knights began on a challenging note as the Czechs scored just twenty seconds into the first period. Following that score, the Pee Wee Rangers took over. Three quarters of the game was played in the Czech end, and, although there were no official shot on goal stats, the Rangers visibly outshot the Knights by at least twenty over the course of the game.

Late in the second period, Captain Christian Jiminez made a rush from the point and went hard to the goal. One rebound here, another rebound there, and Jiminez jammed the puck past the sprawling Czech goalie. David Chen got an assist, and the game was tied at one. With more than a minute left in the period the Pee Wee Rangers pressed the attack and appeared to have scored again, but goal was waved off by the referees.

That momentum carried into the third period, but bad luck and good Czech goaltending continued to keep the puck out of the Knights net. Halfway through the third, the Czechs capitalized on an opportunity and put a rebound home to take the lead, 2-1, and that’s how the contest finished.

Goaltender Kyle Saul gave it his all, backstopping a Pee Wee Rangers team that is learning step-by-step that there are no easy ones at the 56th edition of the International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament of Quebec.

After some time to eat lunch and to reflect on the mission still ahead, the boys were looking forward to a fun skate on a lake outside of town. Tomorrow brings another exhibition at the big mall against a talented Russian team, and another opportunity for the Pee Wee Rangers to hit their stride.

|
|
|