All my life I have loved to travel. Usually it’s an annual summer road trip up to see family in Buffalo, all the way from my hometown in South Florida. The Florida Panthers’ BB&T Center is my home arena and the next closest, the Lightning’s Tampa Bay Times Forum, is over 3 hours away. Like many NHL fans, I dream of seeing a game in every arena one day, but during summer road trips like this I like to visit as many rinks as I can.

This year, while staying in Long Island, my boyfriend and I headed over to the home of the New York Islanders: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. By sheer dumb luck the team store was open (it wasn’t the last time we visited over 2 years ago), so we got to wander and pick up souvenirs.

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If you’ve never been, this is the view on the way in to the shop. Towering figures of anonymous skaters clad in Islanders gear greet you from behind panels of game used plexiglass. It is an impressive sight and I can picture posing with these guys during intermissions for a great photo op.

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They had a huge sale on playoff merchandise that, unfortunately for me, did not extend to hockey pucks. But I got one anyway! It’s my traditional souvenir of choice so I couldn’t resist.

Visiting Nassau Coliseum was awesome! Sadly we couldn’t convince anyone to give us a tour (puppy-dog eyes and our 1,000+ mile drive weren’t enough), but it was a fun experience and a great way to spend a summer afternoon.

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Next stop: NHL Store, NYC

Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.

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