Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sold Out Hockey & Heels a Smashing Success

More than 250 women of all ages gathered together last night at Kettler Capitals IcePlex to bond and share their mutual passion for our Washington Capitals during the team's fifth annual Hockey & Heels event. The ladies were divided into groups and took turns practicing shooting, face offs and stonewalling pucks on the ice with lots of handy tips and demonstrations provided by current Caps Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, John Carlson and the mustachioed Karl Alzner. Popular Capitals alumni Peter Bondra and Paul Mulvey also helped the gals with the finer points of achieving the perfect wrister and beating out your opponent for a face off win.

John Carlson supervises stick work during Hockey & Heels.

Caps alum Peter Bondra.

John Carlson during on-ice demonstrations.

Marcus Johansson jokes with the ladies while sporting his Nats lid.

Karl Alzner looking a bit like one of the Three Musketeers with his Movember stache.

This year's event was bigger than ever, with a new session conducted by Caps strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. My boys have participated in his off-ice conditioning drills and several ladies attested to "feeling the burn" after he put them through their paces as he showed them the kinds of exercises the players must perform.

Of course one of the most popular sessions of the evening was Coach Bruce Boudreau's film session. Gabby used a laser pointer (which my cat - also named Gabby after the beloved Boudreau - would love to borrow) to point out scripted plays, player errors and lessons learned from different game films. The jovial coach told the women to stop him if he used a term they didn't understand and drew laughs when he talked about simplifying the game. He joked that most players from Canada (himself included) didn't complete their formal education before entering the world of pro hockey, thus the need to "simplify" film breakdown. Another memorable comment from Coach when asked about Alex Semin being left off the NHL All-Star ballot was that it was "a travesty", resulting in numerous shouts from the room to write the talented forward in on the ballot ourselves. (Sidenote: You can write in Sasha and vote as many times as your heart desires for other Caps on the ballot here. Let's make sure our Caps represent!)

The event ended with a locker room look at Alex Ovechkin's Winter Classic uniform, complete with unworn gloves (the only pair of hockey gloves HM has come into contact with that didn't yet smell like the Hudson River).  The women all left with some swag of course, including a Scarlet Caps water bottle and stylish logo tote bag. Hockey Mom scored with some retail therapy of her own and purchased an adorable Capitals Santa Claus from the Capitals Team Store at Kettler - they've got lots of great gifts for the Caps fan on your holiday list...

Jenn models the Winter Classic gloves - don't make her drop 'em!

Overall, a fabulous time was had by all and kudos to the Caps organization for putting together this great event dedicated to their ever-growing female fan base!

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