KATONAH, N.Y. – Local kids aged 5 to 9 skated onto Harvey School’s Evarts Rink, on Monday, Nov. 11, knowing very little about playing the sport of hockey.
That all changed thanked to a crash course led by Brian Mullen, a former NHL All-Star whose career included a five-year stint with the New York Rangers.
The free Veterans Day event was organized by Greg Janos, head coach of the Harvey School’s varsity hockey team, specifically for novices. More than 100 kids suited up and skated with Mullen at the private school in Katonah.
“It was truly something special to see so many first-timers arrive at Evarts Rink eager to meet some of the New York Rangers alumni and get on the ice for the first time ever,” Janos said. “What really brought it all together was the support from our current Harvey hockey players who gave up their day off to make a connection with the next generation of hockey players and spend the day tying skates and playing with the kids on the ice.”
Spencer Hellinger, a Katonah resident and Harvey School junior, said there is knowledge to be gained by teaching.
“It was really cool to give back to the kids,” Hellinger said. “Not only was it a teaching moment for the kids, but it was a moment for me, too.”
Ashley Dineen, an English teacher and multi-sport coach, was excited by the number of girls who signed up to try hockey.
“As a former collegiate ice hockey player, I hope we can continue to raise the involvement of girls in this amazing sport,” Dineen said. “My hope is that they left Monday’s event with a desire to get back out on the ice and play.”
Every child who participated went home with an autographed New York Rangers hockey stick.
Another event will be held at the school at 10 a.m. on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 20).
For more information or to register, Google search “Junior Rangers Rookie Series.”