Local youth hockey players recently had the opportunity to share the ice with a couple Washington Capitals. 65 young players attended an organized practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and were joined by pro players Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana. Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex Program Director Chad Ziegler runs the Youth Rec League and helped facilitate the on-ice drills that day. “It’s exciting for the kids to see how NHL players practice,” Ziegler said. “They were able to interact with 2 NHL players who were fun and engaged the kids. Everyone involved had a great experience.”
The event was facilitated through the NHL’s Learn to Play initiative and the Rink Partnership between HISC and the Caps. Learn to Play is a program that helps NHL teams partner with ice rinks in its region, and the Caps recently provided hockey equipment to new players enrolled in HISC programs. Rink Board Member Pete Low and Matt Flynn of the Capitals had discussions about the benefits of being a Partner Rink with the Capitals, and helped to organize the event. After the practice, Low noted the success felt by both organizations. “Matt Flynn told me that he and the Caps' players were impressed with how organized the practice was, and that they had a really fun time with our players."
HISC is offering a new season of Learn to Play beginning February 4, 2017. Skaters ages 4-8 who are new to hockey are eligible to receive a free set of equipment, courtesy of the Capitals, NHL and NHLPA. By foregoing the cost of new equipment to "try out hockey," this program allows your child to try hockey without investing a lot of up front money. Rental equipment is available through the rink for older players as well. Registration is currently open. Click here to learn more and register.
Below are some pictures from the event. Click here to view all images from the event.