June 21, 2018

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels 2013 (Photos)

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Hockey ‘N Heels, November 2013

The Washington Capitals hosted the sold-out Hockey ‘n Heels on Nov. 13, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The event was held exclusively for Club Scarlet members in partnership with 97.1 Wash FM and featured instructional sessions and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals female audience.

Attendees including Miss Washington DC (middle) - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Attendees including Miss Washington DC (middle) – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The first half of the night was divided into three sessions of on-ice demonstrations from current and former Capitals players and coaches. Defenseman Steve Oleksy, forward Tom Wilson and former Capital/current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed participants on shooting skills. Assistant coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on face-offs while defenseman Alexander Urbom and former Capital Paul Mulvey covered stick handling and passing skills. Attendees also had the opportunity to take a photo with defenseman Karl Alzner during the event.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy  high-fives attendee after she made a shot into the goal - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy high-fives attendee after she made a shot into the goal – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Capital and current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed women on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Capital and current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed women on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Alexander Urbom  instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing -  Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom  instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing -  Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom and Former Cap Paul Mulvey instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom and Former Cap Paul Mulvey instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Defenseman Karl Alzner posed for photographs with participants - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Defenseman Karl Alzner posed for photographs with participants – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Off-ice presentations included a Q & A with head goaltender coach Olie Kolzig, along with May.

Former Caps Players Olie Kolzig and Alan May answering fan questions - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Players Olie Kolzig and Alan May answering fan questions – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Goalie Olie Kolzig answering fan questions - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Goalie Olie Kolzig answering fan questions – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Video coach Brett Leonhardt conducted a video session to provide attendees a peek into how the team prepares for upcoming games by watching game footage.

The head equipment manager Brock Myles discussed equipment worn by the team during an equipment session in the Capitals locker room. Women were able to try on an official helmet and see equipment up close.

Fans checking out equipment in Caps practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans checking out equipment in Caps practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans trying on equipment in Caps practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans trying on equipment in Caps practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Head Equipment Manager Brock Myles instructing fan Miss Washington DC how to press numbers onto knit caps - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Head Equipment Manager Brock Myles instructing fan Miss Washington DC how to press numbers onto knit caps – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps gear ready to go in practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps gear ready to go in practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

“It was great to see such an interest in hockey from our female fan base,” said Wilson. “We had a lot of skilled participants out tonight, and we enjoyed sharing the game with them.”

Founded in 2009, Club Scarlet is a fan club for women designed to provide more information, events and networking opportunities for the team’s population of female fans.

To learn more about Club Scarlet visit http://www.scarletcaps.com/.


CAPS: Washington Capitals Alumni May and Sabourin Host Hockey School

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a St. Mary’s School student on stickhandling during a Hockey School assembly on Oct. 23. 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. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a St. Mary’s School student on stickhandling during a Hockey School assembly on Oct. 23. 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. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

HockeySchool2-1

Washington Capitals Alumni Alan May and Ken Sabourin Host Hockey School
at St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills, Md.

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals alumni Alan May and Ken Sabourin visited St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills, Md., on Oct. 23, to host a Capitals Hockey School assembly.

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.

May and Sabourin directed a floor hockey session in the school’s gymnasium with approximately 150 elementary school children.

During the assembly May and Sabourin guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned.

Students, who have been practicing hockey as part of their physical education curriculum, participated in a brief scrimmage joined by May and Sabourin as their teammates. With May representing the girls team and Sabourin representing the boys, the game ended in a tie.

“I thought it was a great turnout with the whole school here,” said Sabourin. “The kids brought a lot of energy. They were enthusiastic and really appreciated that we came by.”

Following the clinic, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills. The Capitals also provided each student with a hockey 101 booklet, a squishy puck and an autograph from May and Sabourin.

The assembly was the first Capitals Hockey School of the 2013-14 academic year. The Capitals host one Hockey School visit each month between October and May and donate street hockey equipment to each participating school.

The 2013-14 season marks the seventh 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 five years.

Congressional Hockey Challenge bridges the gap for a good cause

On April 27, while the rest of Verizon Center was preparing for Saturday evening’s Washington Capitals game, the hallway adjacent to the Capitals locker room was a frenzy of excitement. Intermittently, a figure, alternately in a red or white jersey,  lumbering on hockey skates, would make their way out to the hallway to get some air, or to speak to a reporter.

It was a bit unusual for 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, considering the main attraction wasn’t until 7:00 p.m. that night, when the Washington Capitals would play their final game of the regular season versus the Boston Bruins. The figures wearing red and white jerseys were not members of the Capitals or Bruins. They were there for something a little bit different – a hockey game for charity, the 5th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge.

Founded in 2009, the Congressional Hockey Challenge raises funding for college scholarships and hockey programming, and has raised more than $400, 000 for its causes. This year’s event was held at Verizon Center for the second year in a row. Former Boston Bruin and hockey icon Willie O’Ree performed the ceremonial puck drop and also attended the Capitals game against the Bruins that evening.

The game stars a team of lawmakers (members of Congress, Senators and staff from legislative and executive branches) pitted against a team of lobbyists. It seems apropos to blend the rough-and-tumble sport of hockey with the rough-and-tumble sport of politics in the nation’s capital.

One might be surprised to note that all of the participants on both teams are lifelong hockey players. Congressman Pat Meehan (PA), was an NHL referee for two years before going into politics, and said the CHC helped him rediscover his passion for the sport. “I hadn’t skated for some time before I came back to this game. I grew up playing hockey, and I truly stayed with it,” he said. “Hockey was a big part of my life for a long period of time, but when I came here, I had given it up and I hadn’t skated in five years.”

“When they knew that I had a hockey background, they asked me to get involved with the game, so I came out and then made a fool of myself. But I’ve actually had an awful lot of fun, and it’s been a reason for me to get back into it,” said Meehan, who admitted his status assisted him in making the Lawmakers team. “It’s easier for me to get on the team because if you’re in Congress and can lace your skates up, I think you get on,” he chuckled.

Erik Paulsen, a congressman from Minnesota, had a recruiting experience similar to Meehan’s. ”I got recruited last year cause I’m from Minnesota, so they just figure everyone from Minnesota plays hockey. I grew up playing on the lake but never played organized hockey,” he said. “It’s for a good cause, and now I’m playing once a week out here.”

If you’re not a member of Congress, however, the competition to make the team is tougher. “It’s probably one of the only big hockey games outside of the Caps that happens, at least in our level of play these days, so everyone wants to play. In the small group that does play hockey, there is a waiting list,” said Michelle McGann, of the National Republican Congressional Committee, a member of the Lawmakers team.

McGann’s involvement with the team came almost by accident – she merely wanted to play hockey but ended up on the waiting list for the annual game.

“I moved to DC about two years ago and I’ve been playing hockey my entire life, so when I came down here, I tried to find a competitive league and similar to Melissa, I heard of this man named Nick Lewis that we were supposed to talk to about getting involved,” she said. “I spoke to him, and Tim Regan who works on the Hill, and started coming to these Monday night skates, and a lot of the players in this game are pulled from the Monday night skate. So I got on a waiting list and just crossed my fingers that I would finally make the cut.”

Every Monday night, a mixed group of lawmakers and lobbyists skates at Mount Vernon Ice Arena in Alexandria, VA. Many of the players in the annual Challenge game are pulled from these skates, according to McGann.

“It’s basically an exclusive pickup league,” said McGann. “There’s a group of maybe 40 or 50 people in the email chain, and we hope to have about 30 people come every night, and you just wear dark or white and you just play for an hour and a half.”

Melissa Lavinson, a member of the Lobbyists team, said attendance at the Monday night skates is unpredictable, but everyone is glad to for the opportunity to play hockey, even with a short bench.

“I’ve been to some of the night skates where there’s maybe about 12 people and you wind up playing 6-on-5-on-5, one sub for an hour,” she said. “It’s just fun.”

McGann agreed.  “Everyone understands that you’re just out there to get a good workout and to be on the ice, so it’s great for girls, we’re obviously smaller than a lot of men, so they’re respectful and you don’t have to be too concerned about getting injured.”

Even though the weekly skates are primarily casual and low-key, the competitive nature of each player emerges when it comes to competing in the actual Congressional Challenge game.

“Everyone who plays a sport always has a competitive edge, and you realize that it’s been dormant for so long until you get in a situation where score matters,” said McGann. “You kind of put aside your friendships in some way and you want to win.”

John Goodwin, who represented the Lobbyists this year, said the Congressional game is kind of a big deal for the players, even though many do not have the chance to play as much as they’d like.

“For a bunch of amateurs and older folks, its intense competition, everyone takes it seriously, and we’re playing real hockey,” he said. “Everybody looks forward to it.”

Washington Capitals alumnus and CSN Washington analyst Alan May took some time out of his busy game-day duties and volunteered to coach the Lawmakers team this year. His coaching philosophy was all about moral support, making sure the players knew when to change lines – and scoring goals, of course.

“They all know how to play hockey, they’re all lifelong lovers of the game, they all played youth hockey, so it’s just a matter of just being there to support these guys,” said May.

May predicted it would be an “ugly game,” and an ugly game it was – for the Lawmakers. May’s pupils were shelled for double-digit goals, and fell to the Lobbyists, 11-3 in front of a modest cluster of rowdy spectators.

There is a trophy that the winning team gets to keep for the year, which is more for bragging rights than anything. As it stands, the Lobbyists lead the Challenge series record 3-2.

Photos from the event, courtesy of C&I Studios, can be found here.

 Katie Brown is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. She grew up in Virginia and Maryland, currently resides in Arlington, VA, and developed a love for the sport of hockey as a youngster while watching her brothers play. She combined her enthusiasm for the game with her love of writing after college. Katie has covered the Capitals as credentialed media for two seasons for several area blogs before joining the DSP staff. Katie works at a nonprofit organization by day but the rest of her time is devoted to watching, writing, and talking about hockey and perfecting her mean one-timer. You can follow Katie on Twitter@katie_brown47.

CAPS: Capitals Alumnus Alan May Hosts Hockey School at Manassas Park Elementary School

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a student on stickhandling during a Washington Capitals Hockey School at Manassas Park Elementary School on April 5. The visit marked the team’s fourteenth assembly of the academic year. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a student on stickhandling during a Washington Capitals Hockey School at Manassas Park Elementary School on April 5. The visit marked the team’s fourteenth assembly of the academic year. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals mascot Slapshot instructs a Manassas Park Elementary School student on goaltending during a Hockey School program on April 5. Hockey School is a free instructional and interactive program that aims to expose students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals mascot Slapshot instructs a Manassas Park Elementary School student on goaltending during a Hockey School program on April 5. Hockey School is a free instructional and interactive program that aims to expose students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May leads his team in a chant prior to playing in a scrimmage against Slapshot’s boys team. Hockey School is a free instructional and interactive program that aims to expose students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May leads his team in a chant prior to playing in a scrimmage against Slapshot’s boys team. Hockey School is a free instructional and interactive program that aims to expose students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Capitals Alumnus Alan May Hosts Hockey School at Manassas Park Elementary School
As a child in Alberta, Canada, opportunities for Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May to play hockey depended on one stipulation: good grades.

“School was really important to be able to play hockey because if I didn’t bring home good grades, my parents wouldn’t let me play,” May recently told a group of 215 Manassas Park Elementary School students. “In order for me to get out of the house for my parents to let me play hockey I had to have really good grades in school. It’s pretty important, especially for kids who want to go to college.”

May, who played with the Capitals from 1989-94 as a left wing, was at the Manassas Park, Va., school for a Washington Capitals Hockey School.

Hockey School is a free instructional and interactive program that aims to expose students to floor hockey while teaching proper technique.

During the program May introduced students to hockey by sharing anecdotes about his experience playing hockey, including memories from the first time he played hockey as a three-year-old to highlights of his first professional hockey game.

Following a question and answer session, May demonstrated skills and offered one-on-one instruction to students on stickhandling, passing and shooting.
Students then played in a scrimmage with May and Capitals mascot Slapshot as their teammates.

“It was a very good group of kids – enthusiastic as always,” said May, who currently serves as Comcast SportsNet’s Capitals Analyst. “They had a lot of fun and seemed like they really love the game of hockey.”

At the conclusion of the visit, which was the team’s fourteenth assembly of the academic year, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to the school.

“It was awesome to have the Capitals come into the school,” said Manassas Park physical education teacher Ryan Bogner. “Now that we’ve received all this equipment from the Capitals – we’ve got goals, we’ve got goalie equipment, we’ve got sticks, pucks – we’re definitely going to be able to incorporate hockey more into our education curriculum.”

CAPS: Washington Capitals Alumni May and Mulvey Host Hockey School

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a student on stickhandling during a Hockey School assembly at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The event was held in conjunction with the Capitals celebration of Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, a league wide initiative that offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Alan May instructs a student on stickhandling during a Hockey School assembly at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The event was held in conjunction with the Capitals celebration of Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, a league wide initiative that offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey advises a Thurgood Marshall Elementary School student on passing during a Hockey School program at the school on Feb. 11. During the assembly alumnus Alan May and Mulvey guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey advises a Thurgood Marshall Elementary School student on passing during a Hockey School program at the school on Feb. 11. During the assembly alumnus Alan May and Mulvey guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

 

Washington Capitals Alumni Host Hockey School
in Conjunction with Hockey is for Everyone Month

ARLINGTON, Va. – Around three years old, Washington Capitals alumni Alan May and Paul Mulvey each began playing hockey. During a Hockey School assembly at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in northeast Washington, D.C. on Feb. 11, both attributed their success in the National Hockey League to skills they began developing as children, encouraging area students to pick up the sport.

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.

Along with mascot Slapshot, May and Mulvey directed a floor hockey session in the school’s gymnasium with the entire student population at Thurgood Marshall. The Capitals adopted the school for both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

The event was held in conjunction with the Capitals celebration of Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, a league wide initiative that offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey and leverages the sport as a catalyst to teach essential life skills and the core values of hockey: commitment, perseverance and teamwork.

During the assembly May and Mulvey guided the students through several drills focusing on stickhandling, passing and shooting prior to inviting them to demonstrate what they learned.
Students, who have been practicing hockey as part of their physical education curriculum, participated in a brief scrimmage joined by May and Mulvey as their teammates. With May representing the girls team and Mulvey representing the boys, the game ended in a tie.

Following the clinic, the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to D.C. Public Schools. The Capitals also provided each student with a hockey 101 booklet, a squishy puck and an autograph from May and Mulvey.

“I think the biggest thing when we come out to these is that we leave all of the hockey equipment – the nets, the sticks, the goalie equipment,” said May. “The kids love it and it just adds to their physical education. Hockey is another great sport for them to play.”

The assembly was the eleventh 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.

The Capitals adopted Thurgood Marshall Elementary for the 2012-13 school year. In August Capitals center Mike Ribeiro and more than 150 Capitals fans participated in D.C. Public Schools’ annual Beautification Day, preparing the building for the first day of school.

Washington Capitals Charities purchased supplies for the beautification efforts as well as back-to-school items for each child. In addition to participating in the Hockey School program, Thurgood Marshall also is enrolled in the Caps@School program.

“The Capitals have done so many things and given so much to the school,” said principal Rembert Seaward following the assembly. “Today the kids were really jazzed about getting involved around the gym. Some are already saying, ‘I might want to be a hockey player.”

CAPS: Washington Capitals Alums May and Hangsleben Host Hockey School

Washington Capitals alum Alan May demonstrates how to pass a hockey puck at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church, Va., during Capitals Hockey School. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Washington Capitals alum Alan Hangsleben shows a student at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church, Va., how to receive a hockey pass during Capitals Hockey School. (Photo Courtesy of Washington Capitals)

Capitals Alumni Alan Hangsleben and Alan May
Host Capitals Hockey School at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals alumni Alan Hangsleben, Alan May and mascot Slapshot visited Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church, Va., on Tuesday, May 15, to host Capitals Hockey School.

The former Caps players began the session fielding questions from students in the school’s gymnasium before directing a floor hockey clinic with 200 fifth- through seventh-grade students. Hangsleben and May 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 even volunteered to dress as goalies, learning how to put on the equipment and how to handle the goalie stick.

The students then played alongside the pair of players in a friendly scrimmage. Hangsleben played with the boys and defeated May and the girls’ team 2-1. The players then challenged the Mary Ellen Henderson teachers and staff to a scrimmage, which ended in a 0-0 tie. The hour-long program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of hockey equipment to the elementary school.

“The level of excitement today was unbelievable,” said Hangsleben. “This is completely different from when I was in high school, it’s great. There was a lot of enthusiasm today with the kids and even with the teachers.”

“As far as I know the girls won the scrimmage; last goal wins,” said May. “Both teams were giving a lot of effort out here today. It was a lot of fun.”

All students who participated in the session received autographs from Hangsleben and May, 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 17th 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.

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels 2012

Hockey ‘N Heels returned to the Verizon Center for the first time since the inaugural event in 2007. Many fans that had previous attended the Hockey ‘N Heels events at Kettler were excited about the venue change, especially the opportunity to see the Caps’ locker room. Getting a chance to walk across the Verizon Center ice was a treat as well.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

This was the second Hockey ‘N Heels during the 2011-2012 season. The first one was in November at Kettler and featured Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Mathieu Perreault, former Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and former Assistant Coach Bob Woods. (Re-cap and photos). After talking with several attendees, an overwhelming majority preferred the Verizon Center venue.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Fans with players' sticks in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

On Monday night, Jan. 23, 2012, MIX 107.3 radio personality Chilli Amar kicked off the event with about 200 female hockey fans, close to half were first timers by a show of hands. The 6-9:15 p.m. event featured instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience. As always, this year’s event was only open to members of Club Scarlet, the Capitals’ female fan club.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Chilli Amar and Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The evening was divided into six sessions, including two on-ice demonstrations. The two on-ice sessions featured learning how to shoot the puck with defensemen Dmitri Orlov and Dennis Wideman and teaching the ladies how to stop the puck in the net with goalie Tomas Vokoun at the other end of the ice.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman providing shooting instruction (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Defensemen Dennis Wideman and Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The third session was a photo station, a new addition to Hockey ‘n Heels this season. Nicklas Backstrom posed for photos in November and this event featured forward Alexander Semin taking pictures with each Hockey ‘n Heels attendee. The photos will be emailed to the attendees after the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posing for photos with fans (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fourth session featured Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish explaining to the ladies what fitness routines the players go through. The ladies actually performed real drills that the players do before games.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Mark Nemish (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies running through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fifth session was a question and answer sit down with former Capital and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May (Caps assistant coach Jim Johnson was unable to attend as previously scheduled). May broke the news of Alex Ovechkin’s suspension to the ladies which prompted many questions about the suspension, hits, concussions and general play of the game.

Alan May can sure tell a story. One group was entertained by his animated tale of the scrap with Kevin “Killer” Kaminski during the Alumni Game in the fall. The one comment repeated throughout the tour (sixth session) was that there was not enough time with May. If you follow him on Twitter (and if you don’t you should), you already know that he is open, honest and funny.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Q&A with Alan May (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The sixth session was a tour of the event floor at Verizon Center including the media room, family room, players’ lounge, visitors’ locker room, Caps locker room and equipment room. During the tour, head equipment manager Brock Myles explained the different equipment the players wear, how he arranges the locker room in order to get ready for a game, which equipment was kept at Kettler and a lot of other fun tidbits. Mike Knuble prefers Big League Chew bubble gum. The team travels with 3,500 lbs of equipment for a game. He has the inside scoop. Many ladies expressed how much they enjoyed the tour and that it was their favorite part of the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Brock Myles (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Q&A with Brock Myles in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

There were also fantastic refreshments from Taylor Gourmet and attendees got to take home a souvenir Club Scarlet tumbler. Hockey ‘N Heels was another success and the women are looking forward to the next one.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Attendees received souvenir tumbers (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Tour Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Media Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Family Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan testing out couch in the Caps' family room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Game goals hanging on wall (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps hockey sticks (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Glove dryer in Caps equipment room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Blade sharpener in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Skate blades in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Containers in Caps Equipment Room including gum for Ovi and Knuble (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Additional Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman explaining how to hold a hockey stick (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan getting goalie tips from Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posed for photos with each attendee (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Nemish coaching ladies through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alan May at Q&A (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Last fans leaving Verizon Center (Photo by 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 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.

CAPS: Hockey ‘n Heels Update

As previously announced on DSP Beyond the Game, Hockey ‘n Heels is back for a second time this season. The November event was a success so it is no surprise that the Monday, Jan. 23 event is SOLDOUT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details have been released for the event.

MIX 107.3 radio personality Chilli Amar will kick off the event, which runs from 6-9:15 p.m. with check-in beginning at 5:30 p.m. The annual event features instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience. Once again this year’s event was only open to members of Club Scarlet, the Capitals’ female fan club.

The evening will be divided into six sessions, with the popular on-ice demonstrations featuring instructions from Dmitry Orlov, Tomas Vokoun and Dennis Wideman. The two on-ice sessions will include the ladies learning how to shoot the puck with defensemen Orlov and Wideman, with Vokoun on the other end of the ice teaching the ladies how to stop the puck in the net.

The third session will be the picture station, a new addition to Hockey ‘n Heels this season. This event will feature Alexander Semin taking pictures with each Hockey ‘n Heels attendee. The photos will be emailed to the attendees after the event.

The fourth session will be a question and answer sit down with Caps assistant coach Jim Johnson and former Capital and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May. The two will discuss the rules of hockey and take questions from the group. The fifth session features Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish explaining to the ladies what fitness routines the players go through.

The sixth session will give the ladies a tour of the Capitals locker room courtesy of head equipment manager Brock Myles. During the tour Myles will explain the different equipment the players wear and how he arranges the locker room in order to get ready for a game. Have you ever wondered what type of flavor gum Mike Knuble likes? Myles knows. He has the inside scoop for the ladies.

All sessions and players are subject to change.

WHO: Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov, Alexander Semin, Tomas Vokoun and Dennis Wideman along with assistant coach Jim Johnson, strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish and head equipment manager Brock Myles as well as former Capital Alan May

WHAT: The annual event features instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience.

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 6- 9:15 p.m.

WHERE: Verizon Center, 601 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

CAPS: Ovechkin, May and Elliot Shop for Toys for Tots

Washington Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin, with the help of Capitals alumnus and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May, Elliot Segal from DC101’s Elliot in the Morning, the GEICO Gecko and three U.S. Marines, shopped at Toys “R” Us for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation on Friday, Dec. 2.

U.S. Marines Cpl Arnold, LCpl Forsythe and LCpl Brown are all hockey fans and were excited to be part of the event as well as meet Alex Ovechkin and Alan May.

Toys for Tots Shopping: Elliot Segal, Alex Ovechkin, Alan May with U.S. Marines - Shopping was successful (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The groups filled up many shopping carts with all types of toys, mostly for the 3-12 age range, spending $10,000 donated by Washington Capitals Charities.

Toys for Tots Shopping: LCpl Brown with lots of goodies for kids (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: LCpl Forsythe and Ovechkin found the CSI section (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Cpl Arnold and Segal shopping for Matchbox cars (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

“It’s about getting as many toys as we can turn over for Toys for Tots and load up as many kids for the holidays as possible,” started Elliot Segal. “The Marine Corps does a great job, they come out with us every year. The Caps do an awesome job of giving us about $10-15,000. We’re just running around the store, grabbing as many toys as possible and making a day of it.”

Toys for Tots Shopping: LCpl Forsythe and Alan May shopping for Barbie toys (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Ovechkin picked up some Redskins footballs (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Alex Ovechkin said that he loved to shop for toys. “It’s too bad when I was a little kid we don’t have this kind of stuff [Toys for Tots] in Moscow, in Russia.  I think the kids will be happy to get the presents. I think what we get right now is pretty cool stuff. It’s going to be a good time for the kids.”

Toys for Tots Shopping: Marines as "Captain America" for John Carlson (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Ovechkin and Segal try out the razors (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

No worries, Ovi didn’t really ride the Razor. He thought he might hurt himself and George [McPhee] wouldn’t be very happy. I’m glad Ovechkin thought that through.

Toys for Tots Shopping: Alan May does not like Penguins and knocked all of these onto the floor (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Alan May made it very clear that he does not like Penguins. Even though “Happy Feet” is a cute penguin, he is still a penguin. May dropped kicked a few little Happy Feet and then knocked all of the big ones off the shelves. It was fantastic.

Toys for Tots Shopping: Ovechkin found some cool dinosaur stuff (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Marines battle with light sabers (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Marine Alan May loaded cart with hockey toys (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

“During the holiday season, there are children that never have a present under their tree so this is vitally important that the community get involved,” said Alan May. “I love the fact that the Capitals and Capitals Charities are involved in making sure that people go through the holidays and have something.”

Toys for Tots Shopping: Alan May handed Ovechkin a Justin Bieber T-shirt (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: It doesn't appear that Ovechkin is a Justin Bieber fan (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Elliot in the Morning ready to start shopping (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: LCpl Forsythe and Ovechkin (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Alan May found fun stuffed animals (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: No Capitals, Nationals or Redskins! We spoke to the store manager about ordering some. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: GEICO Gecko (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Alan May picked this one in honor of Mike Green's Vespa as seen on 24/7 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Ovechkin and Marine picking up some girly stuff (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Marines loading truck with toys (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Toys for Tots Shopping: Marines and JK Moving (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The shopping spree kicked off the Capitals’ Toy Drive presented by GEICO, which is taking place at the Dec. 9 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the F Street entrance of Verizon Center before the game. The first 2,000 fans to bring a toy or make a monetary donation will receive a free poster of Alex Ovechkin.

All of the toys bought during the shopping trip and collected at the Capitals’ Toy Drive on Dec. 9 will be distributed as holiday gifts to children in need in the Washington, D.C., area. JK Moving and Storage Inc. will provide a truck to transport the toys to the Toys for Tots warehouse.

This is the third-consecutive year that the Caps have shopped for toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation at Toys “R” Us. Last season Caps center Brooks Laich participated and the year before forward Mike Knuble shopped for the cause with his family.

Caps365 Video:

NBCWashington Video:

CAPS: Carlson, May and Fans at Capital Area Food Bank

Approximately sixty-five Caps fan volunteers joined Caps defenseman John Carlson at the Capital Area Food Bank on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to help make a difference in the community.

Caps fans prepared weekend bags (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

To raise awareness for the Capitals Canned Food Drive presented by Volkswagen, food drive spokesman and Caps defenseman John Carlson, fans, Caps mascot Slapshot, Comcast SportsNet’s Alan May (and former Capital) and Mix 107.3’s Chilli Amar helped pack and sort donated food at the Capital Area Food Bank’s D.C. warehouse.

Fans, Chilli Amar and Alan May packing boxes (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The first task was to fill 1200 “Weekend Bags” so volunteers created an assembly line to get the items into the bags and drop off at the table where Chilli Amar, her husband Don and other fans tied the bags and then Alan “workhorse” May and fans boxed and taped up the boxes.

Chilli Amar and Alan May stopped to pose (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

“We’re here helping families who otherwise wouldn’t have food to eat on a lot of days where children don’t eat until they get to school,” explained Alan May. “We filled 1200 boxes full of food, five bags of food per box to feed kids that otherwise wouldn’t eat.”

John Carlson filling bags in assembly line (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

John Carlson became the Caps food drive spokesman because, “People aren’t as fortunate as others and anytime you can do something so simple, like help in something like this, and you see all the support we have and it makes things easy and it helps a lot of people.”

Caps presenting check for $10,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The second task was to sort the donated food into bins.

Slapshot and Caps fans sorting food (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Slapshot helped out too (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The Capitals have home games the day before and after Thanksgiving, which means most Caps will not be with their families this week. Carlson is planning “to go over to one of my teammates.”

If you’re wondering about Carlson’s favorite Thanksgiving dish, “I really like cranberry sauce,” he said. Despite Carlson’s Italian family roots, he doesn’t do any of the cooking. “That [family tradition] ended here.”

John Carlson and Chilli Amar (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Carlson is thankful this Thanksgiving. “Thankful for such a great opportunity and never thought that I could ever be where I am today. I’m very happy to be where I am today.”

John Carlson sweeping up (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Final quotes from Alan May, “It was an amazing experience. The Caps are the number one team in DC, without a doubt, because of what they do in the community. I’m proud to be a former Cap. I’m proud to be working closely with them now. There’s not a team in the National Hockey League that does more in the community than the Washington Capitals.”

On a wall at the Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Caps volunteers at Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Reminder:
Food Drive on Wednesday, Nov. 23. First 2,000 to donate receive a John Carlson poster.

Check out the video from Caps365:

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