ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals alumni Sylvain Cote and Errol Rausse and mascot Slapshot visited Matthew Henson Middle School in Indian Head, Md., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, for the second Capitals Hockey School assembly of the 2012-13 school year.
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 technique.
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Cote and Rausse began the session by responding to questions from an audience of 150 sixth- through eighth-grade students prior to instructing the group on basic hockey skills, including stick-handling, passing and shooting. Students were then invited to practice the skills in front of their peers.
The clinic concluded with several students participating in a friendly scrimmage joined by Cote and Rausse as their teammates. The scrimmage ended in a 1-1 tie, with Cote representing the boys team and Rausse representing the girls team.
“We had a good time,” said Cote. “The kids were eager to play and practice all the pointers we gave them.”
Added Rausse, “It was a lot of fun – you can see that this is a great program to get kids interested in playing the game.”
Following the clinic the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to the school. All students received an autographed alumni card, a hockey 101 booklet and a Capitals squishy puck. Matthew Henson Middle School also received a Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school gymnasium.
The Capitals host two Hockey School visits each month between September and May and donate street hockey equipment to each participating school.
The 2012-13 season marks the sixth consecutive year the Capitals have conducted their Hockey School program. The Capitals have hosted more than 70 clinics and reached more than 10,000 students in the past four years.