Isles fans cheer their Ice Girls

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- One of the biggest ovations here last night wasn't for the playoff-challenged Islanders, but for their plucky Ice Girls.

The skimpy-costumed cheerleaders, who clear up ice shavings during TV timeouts, were front-page news here yesterday when members of the rival New York Rangers were accused of spitting and swearing at them during Tuesday's shootout loss.

It was reported Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist even hacked one young lady.

Unlike goalies who move aside during timeouts, such as the Maple Leafs' Andrew Raycroft, the intense Lundqvist prefers to stay rigid in the crease. Another alleged incident took place near the Rangers bench when a cheerleader felt something wet on her exposed back.

Lundqvist and super pest Sean Avery were also accused of swearing at the girls.

Isles coach Ted Nolan said the Rangers showed a "lack of respect," while Raycroft said he has never had trouble with cleaners in the crease.

"I've learned to get out of the way, whether it's (a young woman) or one of those big union guys," Raycroft said with a grin.

The NHL said it will not betaking action against the Rangers.


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