Fourth and fifth graders at Rolling Ridge Elementary were treated to an afternoon of hockey Nov. 28, thanks to former NHL players Paul Mulvey, Errol Rausse and the Washington Capitals.
Rolling Ridge was selected for the sixth Capitals Hockey School assembly of the 2012-2013 school year. Schools enter the contest online and two per month get the privilege of hosting the event.
Tracy Turner, a third-grade teacher at Rolling Ridge and an avid hockey fan, entered the contest on behalf of her school.
“I enter every contest I can,” Turner said. “They sent me an email back that we won and I just thought ‘Oh my gosh!’ It was so exciting.”
Turner and the Capitals organization coordinated a day to host the event and then invited 180 fourth and fifth graders to attend.
The assembly started out with a question and answer segment, with students asking Mulvey and Rausse questions about being a professional athlete. Mulvey played with the Capitals from 1978-1981 and Rausse was with the organization from 1979-1983.
Then, using the dozens of sticks, two hockey nets and goalie equipment the Capitals brought, the students participated in passing, shooting and stickhandling drills. The event concluded with two scrimmages - boys against girls with Mulvey joining the boys and Rausse joining the girls and a Rolling Ridge faculty versus the Capitals match.
Also participating in the scrimmages was Slapshot, the Capitals bald eagle mascot.
To conclude the event, the Capitals presented Rolling Ridge with an Official Partner School banner and donated all of the floor hockey equipment to the physical education department.
Rausse noted that he and Mulvey have just as much fun playing with the kids as they do with him.
“Anyone who’s played at this level enjoys giving back,” Rausse said. “We’re really trying to grow the sport. However we can get the kids excited, we will.”
-All photos by Alanna Dvorak
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