4th graders tour as crews prepare for NHL outdoor hockey at Naval Academy

Fourth graders tour as crews prepare for NHL outdoor hockey at Naval Academy. (ABC7)

A group of fourth graders from Germantown Elementary School got a behind the scenes look at the outdoor ice rink being built inside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“We saw how the ice was made and we got a tour, which was unexpected, of the Navy stadium,” student Bailey Harris said.

A couple of days before the outdoor game between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs, the group is learning the ins and outs of how it all comes together.

“So, what happens when we make ice, you guys, we build it up a little bit with actually just water right out of the tap and then we paint it. We paint it white. Then, we put a little bit more ice and then we put the logos in,” said Mike Craig, the NHL senior manager of facility operations, as he took the students on a tour.

Conversation ranged from keeping the ice cold to potential impacts from the weather.

“Rain can help up to a point,” Craig said to the group. “It doesn’t hurt, but if it gets too heavy, we’ll have to remove it.”

They plan to take down the glass before the expected high winds.

For the students, who are all a part of the NHL/NHLPA Future Goals – Hockey Scholar Program, the excitement did not end on Thursday.

“What if I told you we got a whole bunch of tickets right here?” Craig said, holding up a stack of tickets to Saturday’s game.

“My whole class had like the same reaction, like, ‘Oh my Gosh! We’re going to the game,’” Harris said, excitedly.

“I had no clue that my entire class was going to go, so I was really excited,” fourth grader Davis Chapman said.

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