The Capitals had an extra goaltender on the ice the past few weeks for Camp Nemo. Max Cichanowicz was invited to sit in the net as a few Caps played a bit of ‘pickup hockey’ before training camp begins mid-September. Here’s his story about how the Capitals made his dream come true!
Three weeks ago, I was asked if I could play in net as a second goalie for Caps players returning to the DC area as the season approached. I jumped at the opportunity. I am an 18-year-old senior goalie at The Hill prep school in Pottstown, PA, but have lived in Reston, Virginia as a die-hard Caps fan since I was five years old.
Stepping onto the ice with the players I watched win the Stanley Cup was surreal. I quickly realized though, that we had lots in common like our love for the game, joking around with the boys, and how much fun we were having. I also learned about how hard they work.
When I would arrive at the rink at 7am, they would be in the gym stretching or working out and when I would leave the rink they would be back in the gym. After each practice, everyone would also do gassers with everyone going as hard as they could.
Stopping pucks against Carlson, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Eller and Walker was amazing. You see the skill on TV and then you find yourself in net stopping the same shots and it’s like a fantasy. Playing cross ice games against Holtby, Copley and Grubauer was crazy too.
I have to say the best part of the experience was just hanging with the boys in the locker room. Everyone I met was a great guy and treated me like one of the group. They are all Stanley Cup winners and have big contracts, but they are just hardworking, fun, awesome guys. The whole thing just makes me want to emulate everything they do and who they are to help me achieve my goals and dreams.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us Max – we’ll be watching to see where your love of hockey takes you next!
check out our story about another huge Caps fan: Gene Wu