ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner, Mike Green, assistant coach Jim Johnson and mascot SlapShot visited Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday, Jan. 12, to host the Capitals Hockey School.
The players began the session fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with 175 third- through sixth-grade students. Alzner and Green instructed the students on basic hockey skills such as stick-handling, passing and shooting. The students were then called on to try out the skills in front of their peers. Two students volunteered to be dressed as goaltenders, learning how to put on the equipment and how to handle the goalie stick. Before the kids started the scrimmage, the girls and boys competed in a shootout competition. Alzner worked with the boys’ team and defeated Green and the girls’ team 1-0.
Following the shootout competition, the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Alzner played with the boys and Green played with the girls’ team, which resulted in a 0-0 tie. Then, three members of the school’s staff scrimmaged against Alzner, Green and Johnson and won with a score of 2-1.The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
This was the eighth Capitals Hockey School visit this season, but assistant coach Jim Johnson’s first one with the team. “I thought today was great. I love getting involved with the community and it’s important to get the kids behind what we’re doing,” Johnson said.
“There was a lot of energy out here today and a lot of smiling which makes it fun,” said Green. “It’s always fun to be able to come out and do this for the kids. I would have loved something like this when I was growing up,” Alzner said. “I think we have some future goalies out here, too. They were pretty strong in the scrimmage today.”
All students who participated in the session received autographs from Alzner and Green, Caps squishy pucks and Hockey 101 booklets. The school also received an official Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school year-round.
The Capitals host two Hockey School visits each month between September and May and donate street hockey equipment to each participating school.
This is the fifth-consecutive year the Capitals have conducted their Hockey School program. The Caps have hosted more than 50 clinics and reached more than 7,500 students in the past four years. Hockey School is a free program, designed to be both instructional and interactive, with the goal of exposing students to floor hockey while teaching proper hockey technique. Each school will receive an official Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school year-round.