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Sylvain Cote, John Walton Hang in Laurel With MSHL/Caps
Former Caps defenseman Sylvain Cote hangs with Slapshot. (Photos by Caps Outsider)
With the Olympics now a memory and the Caps’ season resuming on Thursday, area hockey fans didn’t have to look too far for some fast-paced, hard hitting action. The Washington Capitals partnered with the Maryland Student Hockey League (MSHL) to support the Class 1A semifinal Monday evening at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD. This marks the second consecutive year the Capitals have partnered with local youth hockey leagues to promote the Youth Hockey Game of the Week. The contest featured Annapolis Old Mill versus Montgomery Blair.
Prior to the game, former Washington Capital defenseman Sylvain Cote participated in a ceremonial puck drop alongside players from Annapolis Old Mill and Montgomery Blair. Cote, a Canadian, played in the NHL for 18 years. He played for the Caps from 1991-1998, and again from 2000-2003 when he retired. Cote also spent time on an NHL roster for the Hartford Whalers (Carolina Hurricanes), Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars.
Cote was happy to come out to support youth hockey. “I enjoy seeing the kids compete and play,” he said. “My son will be playing on the Annapolis team next year.”
The former Cap has not stayed far from hockey. “I help coach Team Maryland, a Tier I team,” Cote added.
But all of the excitement wasn’t on the ice. Personal appearances by Washington Capitals mascot, Slapshot, and the members the Red Rockers, the Caps’ spirit squad, added to the festivities.
Red Rockers, Devin, Christie and Morgan, had a lot to say about the importance of supporting youth hockey and bringing the Caps into the community.
“These kids are the future of the NHL,” Devin explained. “Being here helps people to become engaged and involved with the Caps,”
Christie, a third year Red Rocker, feels strongly about developing positive public relations. “Being at this type of event helps bring fans to the arena.”
“It is also important for kids to know that the NHL is tangible to them,” added Morgan. “The closer we get to them, the closer they get to us.”
John Walton, the radio play-by-play announcer for the Caps was also in attendance to greet fans and interview coaches and players. He spoke about the importance of the Caps organization to promote and support local youth hockey.
“We have a responsibility as an NHL team to give back to the community and foster the next generation of hockey talent,” Walton said.
Footage from this Class A1 semifinal Youth Game of the Week is available at MonumentalNetwork.com. The highlight package features game analysis, a post game recap and interviews with players and coaches.
Annapolis Old Mill moves on to the MSHL finals as they beat Montgomery Blair 4-1.