Bryant Park

Junior Hockey Players Face Their NHL Heroes at Bryant Park

January 22, 2014
Gustavo Solis, DNAinfo

Bryant Park Hockey Game

MIDTOWN — Heavy snowfall and low temperatures were not enough to keep a bunch of junior hockey players from facing off against their NHL heroes.

The exhibition game, held at Bryant Park Tuesday, included Brian Leetch and Mike Richter of the Rangers and was a precursor to the first-ever hockey games at Yankee Stadium.

"Can we take slap shots?" asked one of the junior players, all of whom were 9 or 10 years old and members of the North Jersey Avalanche.

Despite the bad weather, a group of spectators large enough to surround the skating rink cheered on retired players from the Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

"I'm here to watch [Ken] Daneyko," said Doug Hamilton, 33, who attended the game during his lunch break.

"I've been a season ticket holder since I was 6 and now I take my son to the games."

The Devils' team played with a man down but still managed to beat the Rangers and Islanders.

"It's always great to see the Devils win, no matter what it is," Hamilton said.

Once the junior skaters from North Jersey entered the rink, the retired NHL stars complained of sticks hitting their ankles.

After the game, kids took pictures and asked for autographs of their favorite players.

"How much is that worth?" asked a young player named C.J., pointing at Daneyko's championship ring.

The Rangers play the Devils on Jan. 26, and the Islanders on Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium.