Each year, the Washington Capitals host a youth shoot out contest that pits a goalie/shooter duo from Maryland against two youth players from Virginia. Hockey Mom is pleased as punch to report that this year's winning goaltender, Colin McNelis, minds the net for my twins' Bantam team. (Congrats to Brian, the winning shooter as well - we've also played on tournament teams with this fine young man).
In July, Colin tried his luck at a shootout competition held at Ashburn Ice in the D.C. suburbs of Ashburn, Va. Colin was one of eight goalies taking three shots each from 16 shooters. Colin had the best score and moved on to the semi-finals.
At the semi-finals, Colin was one of four goalies who were taking three shots from eight shooters. Once again, he stood on his head to earn the best score (only being scored on by one of the eight shooters).
Last Tuesday night, Colin took to the Verizon Center’s ice during the 1st period intermission of the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning game to compete in the finals of the Washington Capitals Shootout Competition. Colin was asked to bring his home and away jerseys from his hockey team to wear out on the ice during the shootout. Colin hung his jerseys and equipment in a locker room across from the Capitals' room. Colin's proud hockey parents took some pictures and went to grab a bite to eat and watch the Caps practice. They came back to the locker room to find Colin’s jerseys gone, but replaced by an official Washington Capitals jersey with his name and number on it. Colin was thrilled to find this surprise from the Caps!
He and his team mate Brian made their way to the ice while the proud beaming dads made their way to the players' bench to shoot pics and video. The two teams made up of one goalie and one shooter represent the best in the Bantam division (13 and 14 year olds) from Maryland and Virginia.
Colin stopped all three shots and Brian sunk his third shot (sorry no video of Brian’s shot). Their team won! His dad interviewed Colin and Brian afterwards in the locker room just before they were given pucks used during the shootout as gifts. This was in addition to the gift bags they were given by the Caps.
A huge Hockey Mom tap o' the stick to Colin (and Brian) for winning (and in front of a packed and noisy Phone Booth, no less) and also to the Capitals staff involved with their community youth hockey initiatives - a first class effort all the way! I'm glad to report that Colin displayed his winning ways in our 6-3 victory yesterday afternoon.