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Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble and Assistant Coaches Dean Evason and Bob Woods HostCapitals Hockey School at Mark Twain Middle School

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, right wing Mike Knuble and assistant coaches Dean Evason and Bob Woods visited Mark Twain Middle School in Alexandria, Va., Monday, Jan. 4, to host the Capitals Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank. The four began the session fielding questions from students in the middle school’s gym before directing a floor hockey clinic with the 163 excited seventh- and eighth-grade students.

Led by Evason and Woods, Backstrom and Knuble instructed the students about puck-handling, passing and shooting, before hosting a skills competition. Following the competition, the students scrimmaged with the pair of players. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of floor hockey equipment to the school.
“It was good to teach the kids different hockey skills,” Backstrom said. “You can see the kids are having a really good time. I think this is important in the growth of hockey in the area,” Knuble said. All students who participated in the session received autographed player cards and Caps Hockey 101 booklets from Backstrom and Knuble.
Also in attendance was Racqel Self, the marketing director at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Kettler Capitals Iceplex is a platinum rink partner of the Washington Capitals and houses the Caps practice facility. It is located in Arlington, Va.
This was the eighth Capitals Hockey School visit this season. The Capitals do two Capitals Hockey School visits a month reaching more than 250 students through the clinics as well as donating the hockey equipment to the school so the kids can have a chance to practice what they learn.
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. Students will benefit from question-and-answer sessions with Caps representatives, including Caps players and coaches, where they will share information about their hockey backgrounds and fun facts about hockey and the team. The Caps will teach skills through verbal instruction and demonstrations and allow students to sharpen their technique during the interactive clinics. At the end of each visit, students will receive Hockey 101 booklets, squishy pucks and autographed player cards to signify that they graduated from Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank.
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