– Washington Capitals forward Mathieu Perreault
, defenseman Jeff Schultz
, assistant coach Jim Johnson and Capitals mascot Slapshot visited Kemp Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., on Monday, March 5, 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 165 fourth- and fifth-grade students. Perreault and Schultz 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. One student even volunteered to be dressed as a goaltender, learning how to put on the equipment and how to handle the goalie stick. Before the kids started the scrimmage, the girls and boys participated in a shootout drill with Perreault helping the girls and Schultz helping the boys.
Following the shootout drill, the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Shultz played with the boys and defeated Perreault and the girls’ team 1-0. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
“I’m sure a lot of these kids watch hockey, but don’t always know the skills involved,” said Schultz. “It’s nice to be able to come here and give them a chance to shoot a puck and hold a stick.”
“Today went really well,” said Perreault. “I always enjoy coming out to Hockey School.”
All students who participated in the session received autographs from Perreault and Schultz, Caps squishy pucks and Hockey 101 booklets. The school also received an official Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school year-round.
This was the 13th Capitals Hockey School visit this season. 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.