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David Steckel, Quintin Laing and Dean Evason visit Thomas Jefferson Middle School

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
David Steckel, Quintin Laing and Dean Evason Visit Thomas Jefferson Middle School

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David Steckel and Quintin Laing of the Washington Capitals visit Thomas Jefferson Middle School
Washington Capitals center David Steckel, left wing Quintin Laing and assistant coach Dean Evason visited Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday, Dec. 18, for the first in a series of visits by Capitals players and coaches through the team’s Hockey School initiative. Launched this season, Hockey School brings instructional floor hockey sessions to area students.

One hundred and fifty sixth-grade students gathered in the school gymnasium for the Hockey School assembly. It kicked off with introductions and Evason leading a question-and-answer session where students learned more about the practice habits and hockey backgrounds of both Steckel and Laing.

Next, Evason led a floor hockey skills demonstration focused on proper stick handling, passing and shooting techniques. Steckel and Laing illustrated Evason’s teaching points for the group. After each drill, student volunteers were called up to the front to try out what they had learned. Following the shooting drill, Evason urged Steckel and Laing to engage each other in a shooting competition where the primary objective was to aim for the upper and lower corners of the goal.

One final activity was a scrimmage, where students and teachers rotated in to play alongside Steckel and Laing and to test out their floor hockey abilities.

“In grade school, my favorite part of the year was playing hockey in gym class,” said Steckel. “It was great to revisit those memories. I’m hoping that what we did here today with the kids will help make hockey one of their favorite sports in gym class too.”

David Steckel and Quintin Laing of the Washington Capitals visit Thomas Jefferson Middle School
Before leaving, the Capitals announced that the equipment used during the Hockey School session would be donated to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. This equipment  donated equipment will allow the students to practice what they learned included hockey sticks, goalie sticks, goalie pads, goalie masks, balls and goals. The about floor hockey during future physical education classes.

All students who participated in the session received autographs from Steckel and Laing as well as squishy pucks to designate them as graduates of Hockey School.

This season, Hockey School is targeted for middle schools in the Arlington County School District. With the success of the initiative, Hockey School is intended to expand into additional Washington, DC, metropolitan area middle schools in seasons to come. Hockey School is designed to be both instructional and interactive, with the goal of exposing students to floor hockey and teaching proper technique.

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