– Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom
, defenseman John Carlson
, assistant coach Jim Johnson and mascot Slapshot visited Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School in Glenn Dale, Md., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 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 230 fifth- through eighth-grade students. Backstrom and Carlson 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 Backstrom helping the girls and Carlson helping the boys.
Following the shootout drill, the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Backstrom played with the girls and Carlson played with the boys’ team, which resulted in a 0-0 tie. Then, three members of the school’s staff scrimmaged against Backstrom, Carlson and Johnson. The Capitals team won 1-0 off of a Backstrom game-winning goal. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
“It was great today. I haven’t played street hockey in awhile so it was fun,” said Carlson. “It was nice to get a goal today,” said Backstrom. “Everyone had smiles on their face and they were asking some really good questions.”
All students who participated in the session received autographs from Backstrom and Carlson, 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 11th 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.Watch VideoPhoto Gallery