Washington Capitals alumni Peter Bondra and Nelson Burton and mascot Slapshot visited Alexandria Country Day School in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, Nov. 7, for the fifth Capitals Hockey School assembly of the 2012-13 school year.
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.
Bondra and Burton began the session by responding to questions from an audience of 150 third- through eighth-grade students prior to instructing the group on basic hockey skills, including stick-handling, passing and shooting. Students were then invited to practice the skills in front of their peers with special instruction from Bondra and Burton.
Bondra is a former Capitals right wing who played in 961 games with the Capitals from 1990-2004. Burton, a former Capitals left wing, played with the team from 1977-1979.
The clinic concluded with several students participating in a friendly scrimmage joined by Bondra and Burton as their teammates. Bondra represented the boys team and defeated Burton and the girls team 2-0.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Bondra. “I wasn’t sure what to expect but there was a lot of interest from the school and I was happy to explain drills.”
Following the clinic the Capitals donated a set of street hockey equipment to the school. All students received an autographed alumni card, a hockey 101 booklet and a Capitals squishy puck. Alexandria Country Day School also received a Capitals Hockey School banner to display in their school gymnasium.
Alexandria Country Day School, a K-8 independent school, also announced during the clinic that they will be participating in the Washington Capitals Canned Food Drive. The school is collecting nonperishable food through Nov. 21 to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, the largest public nonprofit food and nutrition education resource in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
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.