ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals forward Mike Ribeiro, alumnus and Comcast SportsNet color commentator Craig Laughlin and mascot Slapshot visited the Rita Bright Family and Youth Center, part of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), in northwest Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to host Capitals Hockey School.
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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The trio directed a floor hockey session with 175 students from Meridian Public Charter School which serves a primarily low-income student population in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 1.
During the assembly Ribeiro and Laughlin participated in a question-and-answer session and led a skills demonstration for the students. They guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned.
The clinic concluded with several students participating in a brief scrimmage joined by Ribeiro and Laughlin as their teammates.
Ribeiro, who currently leads Washington in points and assists, represented the boys team. Laughlin, who played with the Capitals from the 1981-82 season though the 1988-89 season, represented the girls team. Following a 1-1 tie, the scrimmage ended with the girls defeating the boys in a shootout.
Following the clinic, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to LAYC. The Capitals also provided each student with a hockey 101 booklet, a squishy puck and an autograph from Ribeiro and Laughlin. Meridian Public Charter School also received a Capitals Hockey School banner.
“It was great to see the kids have a good time and have the chance to learn about hockey,” said Ribeiro, who was acquired by the Capitals in June 2012 and has appeared in 15 games with the team. “I enjoyed teaching them and playing in the scrimmage with them and hope they have fun with the equipment.”
The assembly marked the twelfth Capitals Hockey School of the 2012-13 academic year. 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.