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Capitals Alumni Craig Laughlin, Paul Mulvey and Slapshot Host Capitals Hockey School for Mayfield Intermediate School

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals alumni Craig Laughlin and Paul Mulvey along with Slapshot hosted Capitals Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank on Tuesday, April 13, for 125 fifth-graders from Mayfield Intermediate School in Manassas, Va. The one-hour, interactive hockey clinic was held at the Carteret Mortgage Boys and Girls Club of Manassas because the students and staff of Mayfield Intermediate School were displaced after the February snowstorm. The roof of their school building was deemed unstable, and they have not been allowed back in for materials or classes since that time.

The Hockey School clinic began with introductions by Laughlin and Mulvey along with explanations about the size of a puck, the duration of a hockey game, the length of player shifts, the size of an NHL rink and the positions on a hockey team. Students were encouraged to ask questions about the Capitals and the game of hockey.

Then, Laughlin and Mulvey described to the students the composition of a hockey stick, how to hold it and about the curve of the blade. Next, they instructed the students about proper puck-handling, passing and shooting techniques. Several groups of students were selected to come up and try out what they learned after each skill was demonstrated.

During the shooting portion of the clinic, a boy and a girl were voted on by their peers to participate in a boys versus girls competition against each other. They shot on Slapshot at varying distances from the goal until one outscored the other.

The students also scrimmaged against themselves and then played against their teachers and chaperones. At the conclusion of the program, the Capitals donated a set of floor hockey equipment to Mayfield Intermediate School to use during future physical education classes.

This was the 14th Capitals Hockey School clinic this season. The Capitals plan two Capitals Hockey School visits a month reaching more than 250 students through the clinics as well as donating the hockey equipment to the school so that the students can practice what they learn.

This is the third consecutive year the Capitals have conducted the program. The Caps hosted 20 clinics and reached 2,500 local students the past two years. During the 2009-10 season, thousands of elementary and middle school students will graduate from Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank. Students will benefit from question-and-answer sessions with Caps representatives, including Caps players, coaches and alumni, where they will share information about their hockey backgrounds and fun facts about hockey and the team. The Caps will teach skills through verbal instruction and demonstrations and allow students to sharpen their technique during the interactive portions of the clinics. At the end of each visit, students will receive Hockey 101 booklets, squishy pucks and autographed player cards to signify that they graduated from Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank.
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