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Rangers fans converge on skating center in Port Washington

Four-year-old Dante Vinti arrived at the Port Washington

Four-year-old Dante Vinti arrived at the Port Washington Skating Center on Saturday dressed in his New York Rangers jersey cheering “Go Rangers!” (Feb. 11, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Four-year-old Dante Vinti arrived at the Port Washington Skating Center on Saturday dressed in his New York Rangers jersey cheering “Go Rangers!”

He was ready to play.

And with his hockey stick tightly in his hands, Vinti hit the ball into the slap shot booth at the skating center which was transformed into a Rangers Fan Festival.

Vinti enjoyed every minute of it.

“We are big Rangers fans. This is a lot of fun for him,” said his father Baldo Vinti.

Those that came dressed in their Rangers jersey got in free.

Port Washington Skating Center Owner Fred Nielsen is a longtime hockey fan and decided he wanted to use his ice skating space for individuals to have fun while wearing their NY Rangers jerseys.

“I am a huge hockey fan of the Rangers and Islanders,” Nielsen said. “New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron was in here a couple of weeks ago with his son.”

Gilbert Sudaley, 2, of Roslyn, quickly glided across the ice much to the delight of his mother Manon Bibeau, a professional figure skating coach based in Port Washington.

“He loves to ice skate. I bring him here five times a week,” Bibeau said. “He knows how to skate on one blade.”

The skating center which opened in 1994 offers public skating, hockey, a skating school and a venue for parties.

Nielsen admitted that he is always thrilled to see so many smiling faces especially ones wearing Rangers jerseys.

“This is about having fun and giving kids good memories,” he said.

The next event at Port Washington Skating Center is Skate with the Stars and Stripes, an event to benefit servicemen and their families from 5:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. on March 24.

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