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Teaming Up: USA and Israeli Hockey Teams Compete for the Love of the Game

Representatives from two very distant nations will collaborate on Saturday, March 7 with a common cause in mind; a love of ice hockey and the desire to spread the joy of the sport. At 7:30 p.m., Ferraro Brothers Team USA, led by journeymen hockey brothers (and former New York Rangers) Chris and Peter Ferraro will face the Israeli National Team at Twin Rinks in East Meadow, NY.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Ice Hockey Federation of Israel, which seeks to support the growth and development of ice hockey throughout the nation.

“The purpose of the game is, from the Isreali Ice Hockey Federation’s perspective to raise both awareness, which is why we’re here, and also raise some money to help the grassroots of the sport itself,” said Marc Brunengraber, goaltender for the Israeli team and avid promoter of the sport, especially in Israel.

Brunengraber, who is a native New Yorker and Jewish by faith, explained that since Israel only has one regulation size rink, it must be shared among the national team and various youth leagues, as well as figure skating and other instructional hockey activities.

Over the past decade it has been Brunengraber’s quest to promote Israeli hockey, during which he developed a relationship with the Ferraro brothers. So it was, through a shared passion for the sport, that Brunengraber pitched the idea, and the brothers went about constructing a team to compete in the exhibition, which takes place in an area in which they too have sought to foster their favorite game.

“Anytime we have an opportunity to grow the sport and grow awareness on an international level for such a good cause, it certainly hits home for us because hockey is our life, hockey’s been our history,” said Chris Ferraro. “This is something that we are truly, truly looking forward to.”

The match between the Israeli and USA teams is able to take place largely because of the vision of Chris and Peter – natives of nearby Port Jefferson, NY – since the culmination of their professional careers, and one that finally came to fruition with the opening of Twin Rinks in 2014. The brothers partnered to open the two-story facility with hopes of changing the landscape of Long Island hockey as well as facilitating a place for this to occur. Among other initiatives, Chris and Peter have also created the Ferraro Brothers Hockey Foundation, which is geared toward underprivileged children who cannot afford to play hockey.

The worlds of these men, along with many others will unite in Long Island on Saturday, and regardless of the immediate impact, it is certain that they will continue with their pursuit to share the game of hockey with as many people as possible.

“The dream was to have the ability to come back to Long Island … and make an impact and a footprint, to help youth hockey at each level,” explained Peter Ferraro. “The fact that we were able to build a facility of this level and share it with the community and give back has been a tremendous honor and it’s been great for us to develop these great players and share our experience.

For more information on Twin Rinks or tickets for the event, please visit: www.twinrinkseisenhower.com

More information on Ice Hockey Federation of Israel can be found here: http://www.israhockey.co.il

Gabe Katz

A journalism enthusiast – sports media in particular – Gabe has interviewed Super Bowl champions Raheem Brock and Chris Canty, and rising star Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey. He’s covered organizations and events affiliated with the NY Rangers, NY Knicks, and NBA Cares. He has also written articles featuring NY Yankees’ Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia, Tina Charles (WNBA), Deron William’s Point of Hope Foundation (NBA), and the foundations of Torrey Smith and Ryan Kerrigan (NFL). After graduating from Temple University where he received a degree in communications, he had two subsequent positions in news, first as an online editor and contributor for a Philadelphia sports web site start-up and later as a multimedia content provider at a newspaper in the Philadelphia suburbs. He now lives in New York as a freelance journalist and remains an avid sports fan.

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