ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals center David Steckel, assistant coach Dean Evason and Slapshot visited Adelphi Elementary School in Adelphi, Md., this afternoon, Thursday, Sept. 3, to host the first installment of the Capitals Hockey School, presented by Chevy Chase Bank, this season. The trio began the session fielding questions from students in the elementary school’s gym, before directing a floor hockey session on the fundamentals of hockey with 130 excited fourth, fifth and sixth-graders.
Slapshot kicked off the festivities with a comical entrance while dressed in appropriate school attire. Evason followed, describing his background and stressing to the students that fact that every member of the team is important.
The clinic continued as Steckel engaged in a question-and-answer session. The students were curious about what other sports Steckel plays, whether he has been in a fight, what it is like to play next to one of the world’s greatest players in Alex Ovechkin
and which team is the Capitals’ biggest rival.
Next, Evason and Steckel demonstrated the basic skills needed to be a successful hockey player. Steckel showed how to stick handle and then both Evason and Steckel emphasized the techniques involved in passing and shooting. After each skill was demonstrated, 20 students were picked to perform the techniques and prove what they had learned.
Slapshot challenged Steckel to a one-on-one shooting competition in which Slapshot was in goal. Half of the students cheered on Slapshot and the other half backed Steckel. Steckel emerged on top, scoring four out of five of his shots on the Capitals mascot. Following the shootout, Slapshot and Steckel shook hands, a true sign of sportsmanship.
Hockey School, presented by Chevy Chase Bank, concluded with a girls versus boys scrimmage in which the girls won on a shootout goal.
All students received a player card autographed by Steckel, a squishy puck, and a hockey 101 booklet to certify that them as graduates of Hockey School. The Capitals also donated the set of the street hockey equipment used to put on the clinic.
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.