Boomer Esiason put on a New York Islanders jersey at Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park on Sunday, Clark Gillies was bumped to the ice and Bill Guerin scored a goal from behind the net that stunned the crowd - and the goalie.
All in all, the Kings Park/Commack Alumni Hockey Game - a benefit for two Long Island charities - couldn’t have gone better, said organizer Kevin Barattini.
That is, of course, except for the alumni team’s 16-6 loss to its first-rate competition, which included former New York Islanders Gillies, Bobby Nystrom and Pat LaFontaine; Long Island native Esiason, former National Football League quarterback (and a Rangers fan); and Guerin, who won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 before retiring.
More than 1,200 people attended the sold-out game, which raised $11,370 to be split between The Sarah Grace Foundation for Children with Cancer and the Frank J. Rizzo V Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The Sarah Grace Foundation was established in honor of Sarah Weippert, of Hicksville, who died of leukemia in 2002 at the age of 12. The Frank Rizzo scholarship fund was set up to honor the Commack man and former Kings Park/Commack hockey player who died in a car accident in September.
Barattini said the event got a great response and garnered a lot of attention. He said the New York Islanders even offered to hold next year’s event at Nassau Coliseum, but Barattini said he plans to respectfully decline.
“We want to do it again at Superior Ice Rink,” he said, and next year the team plans to retire Rizzo’s jersey, No. 68.
He is also upping the fundraising goal to $25,000.
“If we can do this and it was planned just a few months ahead,” he said. “We can do it.”