Washington Capitals alumnus Nelson Burton and Capitals mascot Slapshot visited Cloverly Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday, May 9, to host a Capitals Hockey School assembly.
The former Caps player, who was drafted by the team in 1977, began the session by fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with nearly 200 third- through fifth-grade students. Burton taught the students basic hockey skills such as stick-handling, passing and shooting. The students were then given the opportunity to try out the skills in front of their peers. Two students even volunteered to be dressed as goalies, learning the proper way to put on the equipment and how to handle the goalie stick.
Burton, who runs his own local youth hockey program, was eager to share his love for hockey and teach the students the fundamentals of the game.
“The fact that the Capitals are out in the community,” said Burton, “it’s an opportunity for them to see what we do and how great hockey is.”
The students then played alongside Burton in a friendly scrimmage that resulted in a 1-0 victory for the boys team. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
All students who participated in the session received a Burton alumni card, Caps squishy pucks and Hockey 101 booklets. The school also received a Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school year-round.
The visit marked the seventeenth Capitals Hockey School assembly of the 2012-13 academic year, while the 2012-13 season marks the sixth consecutive year the Capitals have conducted their Hockey School program. The Capitals have hosted more than 80 clinics and reached more than 10,000 students through Caps Hockey School.