– Washington Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik
, forward Joel Ward
, assistant coach Dean Evason and Air-SlapShot visited Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 15, to host the Capitals Hockey School. The Capitals adopted Thurgood Marshall Elementary School for the 2011-12 school year.
The players began the session fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with 50 first- through fifth-grade students. Hamrlik and Ward 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. Ward and Hamrlik then competed in a shootout on behalf of the students. Ward worked with the girls’ team and defeated Hamrlik and the boys’ team 3-2.
Following the shootout competition the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Hamrlik played with the boys and Ward played with the girls’ team, which resulted in another win for the girls, 1-0. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
This marked the 10th 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.
“It was good to see the kids have fun today and be able to teach them some new skills,” said Hamrlik. “I think everyone had a good time. The kids really seemed to love it,” Ward said. “I was proud of the girls’ team today. We came away with some big wins.”
All students who participated in the session received autographs from Hamrlik and Ward, 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 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.
To watch a video recap from the event, click here