– Washington Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun
, forward Jay Beagle
, assistant coach Dean Evason and Air-Slapshot visited North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Va., on Thursday, March 1, to host the Capitals Hockey School.
Click here to view photo gallery
.Click here to watch the recap video
The players began the session fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with 180 fourth- and fifth-grade students. Beagle and Vokoun 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, and received some personal advice from Vokoun, who showed them how to put on the pads and how to handle the goalie stick. Before the kids started the scrimmage, the girls and boys competed in a shootout competition. Beagle represented the boys’ team and defeated Vokoun and the girls’ team 5-2.
Following the shootout competition, the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Beagle played with the boys and Vokoun played with the girls, resulting in a 0-0 tie. To end the day the Capitals staff scrimmaged the North Springfield Elementary staff. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.
“The kids ran us pretty hard today,” said Beagle. “They had so much enthusiasm throughout the entire day; it’d be great for them to bring that to our games.”
“They really went all out today,” said Vokoun. “You could see how much preparation and effort went into all of the decorations.”
All students who participated in the session received autographs from Beagle and Vokoun, 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 12th 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.