ANNAPOLIS, DEC. 10 -- Rich Doyle has brass. Doyle, the goalie for the Naval Academy hockey team, and a few teammates joined the Washington Capitals for the last few minutes of the NHL team's practice this morning at Dahlgren Hall. Undaunted, Doyle skated up to Capitals goalies Don Beaupre and Mike Liut.

"I told them I was taking over practice and one of them would have to go down to the Skipjacks," Doyle said, with a laugh. "I'm from {Edina} Minnesota and I was playing pee-wee when Don Beaupre came up and made the North Stars. Today, I'm taking him to lunch."

After the practice, the Capitals were guests of the Academy for lunch with the brigade in the main dining room in Bancroft Hall.

"I had a great time, probably one of the best experiences I've ever had in hockey," Doyle said. "I flipped Dino Ciccarelli a puck and told him I wanted him to come in on a breakaway."

Ciccarelli took a shot, though not quite with the same velocity as in a game.

"He didn't want to embarrass me too much," Doyle said.

This session, and ones like it in the past, serve various purposes. General Manager David Poile said, "This is a special place. I hope our players can get a little appreciation for what the military academies are about and get a feel for what their schedules and lives are about." . . .

Poile likes to tell newly acquired players about the opportunities of living in this area. In that regard, the Capitals and their families will be given a private tour of the White House on Wednesday.