The NHL lockout has been frustrating fans across North America for nearly 100 days, but for some local high school hockey players, the prolonged labor dispute has led to something kind of awesome.
Without any Caps games to cover, the team’s production staff has decided to not only cover high school games for the website, but make it a complete Verizon Center-like experience — Red Rockers, Slapshot, Wes Johnson and all.
From Preston Williams’s story:
The Caps wrote a preview of the Loudoun County-Stone Bridge game for the team’s Web site, dispatched PA announcer Wes Johnson, radio play-by-play man John Walton and WashingtonCaps.com senior writer Mike Vogel, among others, to the rink, and later posted highlight and interview packages on their site as well as Monumental Sports, a sports Web site launched by Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.
Walton and Vogel discussed Stone Bridge and Loudoun County players just as they would Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman Mike Green.
“We want to cover it just like we would an NHL game,” said Peter Robinson, assistant manager of amateur hockey and fan development for the Capitals.
That was the effect, even for Stone Bridge players, whose team usually draws boisterous crowds even without the Capitals’ professional flourishes.
“Going to Caps games, it felt like I was actually playing in one,” said Stone Bridge player Chris Berry, who had two goals and two assists. “It’s kind of weird. It felt like I was actually in the pros.”