December 22, 2014

CAPS: Vokoun and Beagle Host Hockey School at North Springfield Elementary

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun, Jay Beagle and Asst. Coach Dean Evason answering questions at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, forward Jay Beagle, assistant coach Dean Evason and Air Slapshot visited North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia on Thursday, Mar. 1, to host the Capitals Hockey School.

North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA welcome the Washington Capitals as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

A huge kudos to the students and teachers from North Springfield Elementary School for the amazing signs and decorations to welcome the Capitals. Everyone noticed and were impressed. Assistant Coach Dean Evason commented, “By far, it’s the best school for the signage that we’ve seen in a long time.”

Fourth and Fifth Graders from North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

“They even coming in we had our own parking spots and had made signs made for us,” said Jay Beagle. “They went all out for us and it was pretty special.” “They put so much effort for us coming here,” said Tomas Vokoun.

Parking spots reserved for Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun and Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The players began the session fielding questions from the 180 fourth and fifth grade students in the schools’s gymnasium. One of the humorous questions asked by a student was, “Is it hard to understand Ovi?” Without hesitation, Beagle responded while giggling, “Yes.”

Washington Capitals Dean Evason, Tomas Vokoun and Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun and Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Evason, Vokoun and Beagle then instructed the students on basic hockey skills such as stick-handling, passing and shooting. After the skills demonstration, the Caps helped guide the student volunteers through the drills. To close the clinic, there was a brief scrimmage between Vokoun and the girls on one team and Beagle and the boys on the other.

Washington Capitals Jay Beagle demonstrating passing with students at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun helping goalie at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Competition really heated up when the North Springfield Elementary School teachers and staff faced the Capitals players and staff.  The Capitals won with the self-imposed number one star of the game going to Assistant Coach Dean Evason with two goals and two assists.

Teachers v. Capitals game at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

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 Backstrom and Calson, 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 Dean Evason, Tomas Vokoun and Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

This was the twelfth 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.

Additional Photos (click to enlarge):

Washington Capitals Asst. Coach Dean Evason introducing Jay Beagle and Tomas Vokoun at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Jay Beagle introducing himself at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun introducing himself to kids at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Classmates point out the "Penguins fan" at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

"Penguins fan" turned into a Capitals fan. North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Air Slapshot entertained the kids at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Teachers v. Capitals game got competitive at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Jay Beagle and Tomas Vokoun working up a sweat at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun, Asst. Coach Dean Evason and Jay Beagle at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Hallway decorated for Caps at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Parking lot decorated at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Air Slapshot doing handstands at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Students loved Air Slapshot at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun with the two goalies at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

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.

About Cheryl Nichols

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 since 2006. Cheryl 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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