July 29, 2014

CAPS: Green and Alzner Host Capitals Hockey School at Randolph Elementary

Washington Capitals Mike Green, Jim Johnson and Karl Alzner at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, with teachers as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals defensemen Mike Green, Karl Alzner, assistant coach Jim Johnson and mascot Slapshot visited Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, Jan. 12, to host the Capitals Hockey School. “It was great. A lot of energy,” said Mike Green at the end of the day.

Washington Capitals Mike Green at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Karl Alzner at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Karl Alzner is very active in the Capitals’ community service programs. He really enjoys the hockey schools. “I think about when I was their age and how awesome it would have been if I could have had some of the players from the Canucks come by and play at my school. So that is a neat thing for me to be able to give them the opportunity that I wish I could have had.”

Washington Capitals Assistant Coach Jim Johnson at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

This was the first Capitals hockey school for Jim Johnson, however, he has been involved with similar programs with other teams. Johnson recently joined the Capitals coaching staff and jumped right into community service. He explained, “It is great to get out into the community and see the excitement of the kids when they see the players. It’s real important for us to get involved in the community and get them behind what these guys are doing and behind the organization and what we do. It’s also good for these guys to get out and for the kids to see that they are normal guys. That’s what great about it.”

Washington Capitals Mascot Slapshot and Amateur Hockey & Fan Development Coordinator Peter Robinson at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The players began the session fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with 180 third through fifth grade students. Green, Alzner and Johnson instructed the students on basic hockey skills such as stick-handling, passing and shooting.

Washington Capitals Mascot Slapshot and Community Relations Manager Nadia Wajid at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, introducing Capitals as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Mike Green, Karl Alzner and Jim Johnson at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, answering students' questions as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Students from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, asked Green and Alzner questions as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Assistant Coach Jim Johnson at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, helping student with stick handling as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Karl Alzner at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, teaching students passing skills as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Mike Green at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, helping students shoot as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Assistant Coach Jim Johnson and Mascot Slapshot at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, demonstrating the "sauce pass" as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The students were able to try out the skills in front of their peers with help from the Caps. Two students volunteered to be dressed as goaltenders, learning how to put on the equipment and how to handle the goalie stick. Before the kids started the scrimmage, the girls and boys competed in a shootout competition. Green represented the girls’ team and Alzner and the boys’ team. The boys won.

Student from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, volunteers to be a goaltender as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Student from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, practicing passing as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Students at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA loved Washington Capitals Mascot Slapshot at the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Following the shootout competition, the students played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Then things got really competitive when a few of the teachers faced the team of Green, Alzner and Johnson. The Capitals team prevailed, however, the student in goal for the Caps made some great saves and impressed Green and Alzner. Alzner even mentions him at the end of the video (see end of post).

Washington Capitals take on the teachers from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Student from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, impressed Green and Alzner with his goalie skills as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Mike Green made this student from Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, smile as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the school. All students who participated in the session received autographs from Green and Alzner, Caps squishy pucks and Hockey 101 booklets. The school also received an official Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school year-round.

Washington Capitals Karl Alzner, Jim Johnson and Mike Green present students and teachers at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, VA, with an Official Capitals Hockey School banner. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

This was the ninth 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.

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Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

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