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Olympic-bound Islanders

Scott Gordon and Mark Streit didn’t have much time to wallow in the Islanders 4-3 loss to Ottawa last night.

The Islanders’ two Olympians had to hustle to make a 9:45 Vancouver-bound flight out of JFK Airport after the game.

“No overtime,” Streit joked before the game. “Got to get a win in 60 [minutes].”

Gordon, who will be behind the bench as one of Team USA’s assistant coaches and Streit, who will serve as captain for the Swiss team, both expressed their excitement for the upcoming tournament.

“The experience itself is second to none. It’s not just the actual competition, but it’s the passion around it,” said Gordon, who played goaltender for the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey team in Albertville, France.

“From the painted faces, the flags waiving and the USA chants, it’s a different level of enthusiasm from the crowd that, unless you experience it, you don’t know any better.”

Gordon, who backed up Ray LeBlanc, played 17 minutes and gave up two goals in USA’s 6-1 loss to Czechoslovakia 18 years ago.

This also won’t be Streit’s first go-around at the Olympics. Streit was captain of the Swiss team in 2002 in Salt Lake City and again in 2006 in Turin, Italy, when the team advanced to the quarterfinals in a performance Streit said, “put Swiss hockey on the map.”

“It’s going to be really sudden. We play, then I fly and six hours later, I’m at the Olympics. It’s kind of a drastic change,” Streit said. “Obviously I’m really, really excited. It’s going to happen fast, so I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

Neither Gordon and Streit have had much time to become wrapped up with all the excitement given the importance of the team’s push before the two-week break.

The Islanders only snapped a seven-game losing streak Tuesday and after splitting two games out of four leading up to the recess, Gordon said he hoped the respite will be helpful to his team when they return.

“Mentally with what the guys had to go through this year with the travel and amount of games in short period of time without a lot of practice time has made it hard and I think everyone will benefit from it.” 

New York Sports