It's over at Verizon Center. The Lobbyists won a late goal by defenseman Christian Gullet, who executed a tight rush on Lawmaker goalie Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). The Lobbyists added an empty-netter to make the final 5-3 in the third annual Congressional Hockey Challenge.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was named the game's No. 2 star and said he enjoyed his night so much that he is encouraged enough to maybe start playing in adult league more regularly. "There's just something about the game," he said at center ice at game end. "It gets the blood going."
Washington owner Ted Leonsis, who welcomed the crowd of more than 2,500 before Caps stalwart Mike Knuble dropped the ceremonial puck, said he sees Kerry regularly when the Senator's hometown Bruins are in town. Kerry told NHL.com he also likes to see Penguins games--his wife being a Pittsburgher--and that he has to admit the Capitals look like a Cup contender this season. He stills likes Boston's prospects because "they play like a team" every shift.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), who leads the Congressional Hockey Caucus, looked fresh on his final shifts and helped with forechecking pressure that led to the Lawmakers' tying goal. He was asked about any disappoint with the loss, which featured 30 shots on goal for both teams.
"Well, the Commissioner (Bettman) was on the bench for a disputed goal (the Lobbyists scored with one second left in the second period)," said Quigley, curling into a bit of a smile. "I don't see why he couldn't throw it up to Toronto for review."
The biggest smiles of the night came when Kerry announced post-game that this friendly game raised more than $100,000 for the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club and the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, helping to provide more access to hockey among all kids in the D.C. area. That issue of attracting boys and girls to youth hockey--and upping the access--is how the day started on Capitol Hill.