MASSAPEQUE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – On Long Island, a super-passionate hockey fan is making sure his family and neighbors can learn to appreciate the sport…by building his own backyard hockey rink.
You can tell Peter Galanoudis is a New York Islanders fan from his hockey shirt and that he's a hockey coach by the way he instructs his own children on the ice. But his neighbors know it from the hockey rink he's squeezed into his backyard.
"The funny think with that is I'm not handy at all. People say 'How did you build this?' I guess where there's a will and a passion, you get it done," he told TV 10/55's Richard Rose.
Galanoudis' wife Karey says the rink outside their door grew out of her husband's obsession with all things Islanders.
"Everybody plays hockey in my house. Everybody's an Islanders fan so I pretty much have no choice but to be a hockey mom, but I love it too," she said.
Galanoudis' friends and neighbors even help scrape the ice off his beloved rink so that his young players can fine-tune their evolving skills.
"You try to score goals when you're on offense and when the other team has the puck, you try to go back and backcheck," his 10-year-old daughter Zoe said.
"I get really excited because usually it would put my team ahead," 9-year-old Evan Ortolani said of scoting.
Ranger fans are tolerated in the Galanoudis household, but barely.
"(Is it required to be an Islanders fan?) It's strongly suggested," family friend Larry Ortolani said.
Galanoudis said in truth, everyone is welcome at his humble backyard rink.
"When I hear friends come over and say they'll a memory of a lifetime, that's what's rewarding for me," he said.
Galanoudis said the only thing that might be better would be another championship trophy being raised by his Islanders.
Galanoudis said as long as the ice holds up, he'll try to keep the rink up and running until St. Patrick's day.
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