Acting Like a True Prince

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: Shane Prince #11 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Rangers on March 6, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 6-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

When the New York Islanders traded their 2016 third round pick to the Ottawa Senators for forward Shane Prince, they knew they were getting a special player. The former 61st overall pick in the 2011 draft, is a young, skilled competitor with an offensive upside.

Yet there is something that goes unnoticed by hockey fans in regards to Prince — his character.

The Rochester, N.Y. native runs a program back home, Prince Elite Hockey. Founded two years ago with his Dad, Dan Prince, the program “focuses on dynamic and innovative skill development.” Prince told Islanders Insight the idea of the hockey school was to “stay around the rink and be involved in the community.”

While this camp was created to build youth hockey in the area, the new flagship the group is the “Puck Cancer Hockey Beach Classic.” The first event took place in the summer of he 2015 and now is a primary focus for Prince and his organization.

“It’s like street hockey, but on the sand,” said Prince.

11-year old Patrick Carr was one of the many young hockey players involved in Prince’s camp. When he was just four-years-old, he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a very rare form of childhood cancer. Per American Cancer Society, it his commonly found in the adrenal glands with fewer than 700 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Carr’s lifelong battle donned him the nickname “Lil’ Fighter.”

“[He] just really inspired me and all of our coaches,” said the New York Islanders’ newest forward. “So we decided we wanted to do something for him the following summer.”

Patrick lost his battle to cancer shortly before the first ever “Beach Hockey Classic.” It became a celebration of his courageous life.

“I loved the kid,” a visibly emotional Prince stated. “I wanted to do something for him and a day he could enjoy. Unfortunately, he passed away right before. But how the event turned out, it blew up 100 times bigger than we thought it would.”

The tournament consisted of four divisions, from youth to adult. Taking place on the sands of Ontario Beach in Rochester, the competitive players battled for a chance to hoist and have their name engraved on the “Patrick Carr Memorial Sandley Cup.” Live music, food, drinks, and raffles brought almost 2,000 people to the beach throughout the day. Companies such as CCM, Gongshow, and Lululemon all helped sponsored the venue.

The proceeds from the 2015 event went to Carr’s family to help with the medical expenses. Prince wants the money raised in future tournaments to help put a smile on the face of other children who are dealing with their own fight.

“We’re trying to get a room at the Golisano Children’s Hospital. We’ll put a Xbox in there, paint the room, get bubble hockey, so it will be the ‘hockey room.’ That’s what we’re looking at going forward. Trying to get it bigger every year.”

The second annual “Puck Cancer Beach Hockey Classic” will take place July 9, 2016. Participants can sign up at

With the success of the first tournament, Prince is hoping to expand in the future. “Now we’re trying have it be something where we can bring people in from out of town, have their kids put teams in it and make it even better and raise a lot of money for kids and the children’s hospital.”

There is an idea of moving it to a different city every year, but for now, an event that is close to the heart of Shane Prince’s will stay in in the hometown of the “Lil’ Fighter,” Rochester, N.Y.

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