SBD/December 20, 2012/Franchises

Capitals Give High School Hockey Games NHL Treatment With Radio Crew, PA Announcer

The Capitals' production staff is “bringing a professional touch to high school hockey games" in the DC area, "watering the grass roots of the sport during a season in which the professional version is withering,” according to Preston Williams of the WASHINGTON POST. On Friday night at the Ashburn Ice House in Ashburn, Va., the PA announcer for a local high school game was “the dramatic voice from the Caps’ games at Verizon Center,” with the Capitals' Slapshot mascot and Red Rockers cheerleading squad also in attendance. The Caps' involvement in high school games “brings welcome attention to the sport and attracted a standing-room-only crowd of about 900" to a game with a 9:20pm ET start time. The game was “a production” for the Caps. The team “wrote a preview” of the game for its website and sent PA announcer Wes Johnson, radio play-by-play announcer John Walton and website reporter Mike Vogel, "among others, to the rink." The team later "posted highlight and interview packages on their site as well as Monumental Sports," a sports website launched by Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis. Walton and Vogel discussed the players “just as they would” Caps players such as LW Alex Ovechkin or D Mike Green. Capitals Assistant Manager/Amateur Hockey & Fan Development Peter Robinson said, “We want to cover it just like we would an NHL game” (WASHINGTON POST, 12/20).
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