Alex Ovechkin ‘was the happiest kid in the world’ when he met pro athletes. Now he takes pride in inspiring Special Hockey players.
Alex Ovechkin just keeps giving us reasons to cherish him.
Tuesday afternoon after Capitals practice, Ovechkin skated with more than 80 special needs hockey players from the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) at Medstar Capitals Iceplex. The young players were all members of local D.C. area special needs hockey programs, including the Baltimore Saints, Montgomery Cheetahs, Nova Cool Cats, and Washington Ice Dogs.
This has become an annual tradition for Ovechkin, who started volunteering his time with ASHA four years ago. Four years ago, Washington Ice Dogs player Ann Schaab was just ten-years-old and her mother, Melissa Schaab, thought the chance for her daughter to skate with Ovechkin would just be a once in a lifetime opportunity. But Ovechkin formed a special bond with Ann, famously accepting her invitation of a sushi date in 2014.
“Ovi has been gracious enough to constantly think of our players and reach out to us and offer opportunities like this, year after year after year. It’s pretty incredible,” Melissa Schaab said to the Capitals’ Zach Shapiro.