It was a hockey charity hat trick.
New York Rangers players dropped by the Abe Stark Arena in Coney Island to give a free hockey lesson to Brooklyn kids on Feb. 25 — the third time the squad has teamed up with the Greater New York City Ice Hockey League for such an event. Parents lauded the Rangers and the league for their assist to local kids.
“It’s nice they can have people like the Rangers come in and teach the kids,” said Laurie Kwiatkowski, who brought her son Joseph from Dyker Heights for the event.
Rangers defensemen John Moore and Kevin Klein took to the ice to teach shooting and puck-handling drills to seasoned skaters. Newcomers got a lesson in hockey basics, said league coach John O’Brien.
“They learned how to skate, fall, and get back up,” he said.
Kwiatkowski said her son learned some skills just by getting a chance to see the pros in person.
“Watching how some of the players play the game, he picked up a lot of new routines,” she said.
More than 100 kids got the chance to participate, O’Brien said.
“It keeps them off the streets; gives them something to do,” he said.
In addition, the Rangers donated 100 sets of equipment, including sticks — helmets and pads — as well as a puck feeder to help kids practice shooting, O’Brien said.
Joseph Kwiatkowski plays on the League’s pee wee team and was particularly excited about the training machines.
“He told me the equipment that they brought in is awesome for learning new skills,” Kwiatkowski said.