Rabid sports fans throw parties during big games all the time, and now the Rangers — New York City’s other hockey team — are returning the favor.
The team tailgated a diehard at Abe Stark Skating Rink in Coney Island on Oct. 16. It was a homecoming for the Queens resident — the self-proclaimed “rink rat” chose the rink to host the party because she spent much of her youth cheering on her brothers’ games there, she said.
“That’s where I grew up watching hockey — when I wasn’t watching the Rangers anyway,” said Alyson Carney. “I worked there for seven years and volunteered on the weekends. It was my hockey home.”
Carney entered an online contest the Rangers launched in January. The team asked people to share stories about their fandom, and Carney wrote that, when she and her siblings were infants, their parents taught them to give a thumbs-up when their father cheered “Rangers” and a thumbs-down when he uttered “Islanders,” she said.
Carney and the Rangers travelled deep into enemy territory to get to Coney Island — Brooklyn is squarely Islanders country now that the team moved to Barclays Center from Long Island.
More than 200 of Carney’s friends and family joined Rangers Jesper Fast, Emerson Etem, Oscar Lindberg, and Dylan McIlrath, and alumni Adam Graves, Ron Duguay, Glenn Anderson, and Brian Mullen for the celebration.