WASHINGTON - Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin surprised more than 50 children and adolescents from the American Special Hockey Association on Sept. 22 at Capital One Arena for a street hockey game. Ovechkin played in two games, signed autographs and posed for pictures with ASHA players.
Video: Ovechkin Hosts Surprise Street Hockey Game with ASHA
2017 marks the fourth-consecutive year that Ovechkin has hosted ASHA for a hockey event. Created in 2000 for players with development disabilities, ASHA gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. There are currently over 50 ASHA programs in more than 30 cities throughout the United States.
"With American Special Hockey Association, we say all the kids are stars," said ASHA executive director Jen O'Brien. "But really having a hero and having somebody to champion for them really makes a difference. These kids want to be normal, they want to be typical, they want to do the same things that every other kid does, and they can. They just do it in their own way, and having a champion like Alex, the Capitals and Monumental Sports and Entertainment really inspires them."
Ovechkin's surprise street hockey game is one of many community initiatives that he has supported throughout his career, including Ovi's Crazy 8s, Most Valuable Kids and ASHA.
See Photo Gallery
Following the event, the National Hockey League made a $5,000 donation to ASHA in conjunction with the NHL Centennial Fan Arena and the league's Hockey Is For Everyone™ campaign.