Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and county legislators Rose Walker and Laura Schaefer were on hand April 27, to mark the completion of an improvement project at the Cantiague Park Ice Skating Facility in Hicksville.
Built in 1966 and celebrating its 50th anniversary, the facility’s improvements are highlighted by the expansion of the rink to NHL regulation size and the installation of new boards, player benches and penalty box that were used by the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Other improvements include new flooring, a new lobby and community room, new bathrooms, and new seating areas.
“My administration is committed to improving the quality of life of our residents” said Mangano. “Together, we are improving local parks, improving and providing additional opportunities for our residents to stay healthy, recreate and develop skills that will assist in becoming a professional or collegiate athlete.”
“It is always great to see the smiles on the faces of our residents who utilize this wonderful facility,” remarked Walker. “We have created a wonderful skating facility for our residents to enjoy. With more than 500 players in our Nassau County program the best is yet to come.”
Schaefer added, “It is imperative that we continue to improve the quality of life for all our residents. I am happy to work with County Executive Mangano and Legislator Walker to better our community.”
The ice rink has played host to Olympic gold medalists such as Nancy Kerrigan, who performed there in 2004, and was the New York Islanders’ practice facility from 1979 to 1992.
In addition, Cantiague is home to the Nassau County Peewee Minor and Squirt Minor teams who won the Long Island Amateur Hockey League (LIAHL). The Peewee Major team finished second in the LIAHL and represented Nassau County in the NYSAHA State Tournament held in Amherst in March 2016. There are more than 500 children who play hockey in Nassau County programs at Cantiague Ice Rink and more than 75 volunteers who coach within the hockey program.
Past alumni who have gone on to play in the NHL include: Eric Nystrom (son of Bob Nystrom), who is currently playing for the Nashville Predators, and Matt Gilroy, who played for the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers. Gilroy is currently playing in Russia for the Atlant Moscow Oblast. Players go on to play Division 1 College Hockey and Minor Hockey.
The rink is also home to the following high school hockey clubs: St. Mary’s, Massapequa and Levittown. The Cantiague Figure Skating Club has used the facility since 1968. The rink hosts two of the largest adult hockey leagues on Long Island: Island Ice Hockey and Hockey Long Island.
—Submitted by the Nassau County Executive’s Office