August 14, 2022

Capitals Host Sold-Out Hockey ‘N Heels 2011

More than 200 female Caps fans gathered at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday night for the Scarlet Caps’ annual Hockey ‘N Heels event. Tickets to Hockey & Heels are always a hot commodity and this year was no exception – tickets sold out in a mere 20 minutes!

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - Photo Session with Nicklas Backstrom (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The enthusiastic attendees represented a diverse range of ages and interests but all were there to learn more about hockey from an insider perspective and to forge new friendships with fellow female hockey fans. Mix 107.3’s Chilli Amar kicked off the festivities by previewing the different activities that would take place during the evening: interactive on-ice demonstrations with current players Troy Brouwer, Karl Alzner and Mathieu Perreault, Capitals alum Paul Mulvey and Assistant Coach Bob Woods, a photo session with Nicklas Backstrom, a strength and conditioning demo with Mark Nemish, Chalk Talk with John Walton and Alan May, and, of course, the always colorful film session with Head Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - On-Ice: Shooting with Troy Brouwer (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The ladies broke up into groups and then hit the ice to learn the finer points of passing and slap shots, as well as the art of successfully winning a face off as instructed by Assistant Coach Bob Woods. I personally tried a few slap shots under the tutelage of a very patient Mathieu Perreault and whiffed on the puck more than a few times. All those years of yelling “put your stick down” to her boys during their hockey games came back to haunt me – karma is a b&%*h! The players all had a great time with the women during the on-ice sessions and expressed their appreciation for the large and unique fan base that the ladies represent!

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - On-Ice: Face-offs with Asst. Coach Bob Woods (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

After sharing their skills (along with plenty of laughs) on the ice, the women headed upstairs for refreshments and to take in the Conditioning Session with Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Nemish, Film Session with Coach Boudreau or Chalk Talk with CSN’s Alan May and the voice of the Capitals, John Walton.

Mark Nemish put the ladies through some of the paces NHL players typically perform to warm up before games and answered lots of questions about maintaining the exceptional conditioning required for pro players to  excel throughout the long and grueling season. Team Mascot Slap Shot was there as well but seemed to fall down quite a bit during the drills – we think Coach Nemish may need to increase his cardio training!

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - Strength & Conditioning Session (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Next came Coach Boudreau’s popular film session, in which he illustrated how the coaching staff and players view game film from their own games and those of upcoming opponents to develop a solid game strategy. He used the film from the previous nights’ loss to Dallas and pointed out what players did both right and wrong according to the game plan. When pointing out a defensive lapse that led to a Stars goal, Gabby drew plenty of chuckles when he quipped, “See right there – you know I sometimes get a little animated behind the bench.” The jovial coach also exhibited his signature sense of humor when answering questions from the audience on everything to the NHL’s new position on handling concussions to how he decides to shake up the Cap’s lines.

“I loved going over film with Coach [Boudreau] and getting a sense of what he does to prep and what he looks at in film,” one attendee mentioned.

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - Film Session with Coach Bruce Boudreau (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The final session was a very entertaining Chalk Talk with Alan May and John Walton, who described the intense preparation required for on-air game broadcasts. Researching stats and information on the opposing teams in addition to pre- and post-broadcast work means long days starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending hours after the ice resurfacer makes the final run on the ice. Alan May talked about his transition from former NHLer to the broadcast booth (along with his recent Alumni Game scrap with Kevin “Killer” Kaminski) while Walton provided his personal story which includes covering several Calder-Cup winning seasons with the Hershey Bears.

Hockey 'N Heels 2011 - Chalk Talk with Alan May and John Walton (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The women and players were smiling all night and had a great time. A majority of this group of women were first timers to Hockey ‘N Heels. One girl was convinced to go by two other Caps fans and said it was much more fun that she expected and will definitely go to the next one.

A common reaction was that hockey is harder than it looks and now have a new appreciation for the game and the talent of the players. One woman commented, “I know hockey isn’t easy, but actually going out on the ice and trying to shoot the puck, doing the passing drills, and even giving a half effort in to the conditioning drills, you get a deeper appreciation of how hard they work to get where they are.”

A mother-daughter duo enjoy Caps hockey together and its a great bonding experience for them. Linda and Lauren Crumpecker were featured in the Caps365 video (embedded below).

All in all, Hockey ‘N Heels was another tremendous success and Scarlet Caps plans to hold another one this season due to the ever-increasing number of female Caps and the event’s popularity.

Additional reporting by Cheryl Nichols.

More photos from Hockey ‘N Heels 2011. Click on the image to make larger.


Check out the great video from Caps365:


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