Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin wasn’t the only person celebrating their birthday at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. Young Capitals fan Ava, who turned 11, was also in attendance to watch Training Camp and root on her favorite player, TJ Oshie.
Ava brought a hand-made sign that she created using stickers and held it up. The poster read Hey Oshie!! It’s my birthday!! Can I meet u?
Not only did TJ oblige, but so did several other star Capitals players.
Ava’s mom, Liz B, spoke to RMNB about making the trip to MedStar Capitals Iceplex from Woodbridge. “TJ Oshie is Ava’s favorite player because he was one of the stars of the very first game she ever went to,” Liz said. “He’s also not hard on the eyes.”
That first game for Ava was Game Five against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the year that the Capitals won the Stanley Cup. Oshie tallied an empty-net goal in their decisive 6-3 win over the Penguins, as well as an assist on John Carlson’s first-period goal.
“She had been watching them at home with us for months prior,” Liz told us. “But it wasn’t until she experienced a game live that she was hooked.”
But nothing could prepare her for having Oshie make his way over to the barriers after finishing up on the ice, where Ava was waiting with her specially made sign.
“Oh my gosh, we didn’t think he was going to but he came back out of the locker room, took his gloves off, and started to walk towards us,” Liz said. “She looked at me with huge eyes and said, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, he’s coming over!’ I thought she was going to faint!”
A photograph posted to the Capitals Twitter caught the exact moment that an elated Ava got her jersey signed by Oshie.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 17, 2019
Ava, who thinks it’s “really cool that she gets to share a birthday with the team captain,” had more surprises to come after Oshie stopped to spend a little time with her.
“She also was fortunate enough while there to get one of Backstrom’s sticks given to her,” Liz told us. “As well as Ovi’s signature, which we know NEVER happens.”
Ovi’s signature joined the many that Ava has on her Oshie jersey.
Ava’s dad, Dan, found a photo snapped at the perfect moment by NBC Sports Washington’s JJ Regan when Ovi came over to sign Ava’s jersey.
A couple quick bday autographs pic.twitter.com/cJsjRSlD3b
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) September 17, 2019
The birthday celebrations for Ava didn’t end there. When she returned home to Woodbridge, mom Liz said they would finish the day with “some Stone Cold Creamery ice cream cake and some Stranger Things and Caps gifts.”
As thanks for Oshie taking the time out to make Ava’s birthday as special as it could be, she had a sweet message for him in return.
“Hi, Oshie! Thank you for making this the best birthday ever, I really appreciate it,” Ava said. “Go Caps!”
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