It appears the Washington Capitals hockey team is getting an international following – judging from the reports of disappointed fans who traveled a long way to Washington DC in hopes of seeing both the games this weekend: the Friday night game against the Anaheim Ducks on January 22 and the Sunday afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There is a fan from Brazil by the name of Pedro Tulio Rocha who, back in June, had planned a trip to take his son, J.P., to Washington DC in February. Pedro works long hours as a doctor and envisioned this as a father/son trip where they would see two Washington Capitals games, as well as the sights in Washington DC. Pedro used to live in Minnesota and was originally a North Stars fan but when they moved to Dallas, he looked around for another team to adopt and chose the Caps due to the exploits of Peter Bondra and Dale Hunter but got even more interested with the arrival of Alex Ovechkin. His interest in the Caps rubbed off on his 7 year old son. Hence, they planned their trip for Jan 22-25 to see two Caps games and, hopefully, also see snow. But, along came the Winter Storm Jonas and both games were cancelled. When the Ducks game was cancelled, the son said, “That’s okay. At least we’ll get to see the Caps crush the Penguins.” But then the Penguins game ended up being cancelled, as well.
— Pedro Tulio Rocha (@pedrotuliorocha) January 22, 2016
The museums were also closed. Pedro and his son enjoyed DC anyway and spent time walking the 3.5 miles on the National Mall on foot and enjoying the winter day. There was a plea for the Caps organization to do something for those two fans that has even spread to Caps’ PA announcer, Wes Johnson. (Source: a Facebook post to the fan group “Unleash the Fury!!!Go Caps”).
In addition, the Washington Post published a story this morning about a pair of Swedish fans who intended to come to this weekend’s games, Simon Thurgren and Andreas Forsman. Thurgren is from Borlange, in central Sweden and snowstorms are part of his normal winter life.
The disappointment just reached the top! No #caps game for me this time and we’re stuck inside haha
— Simon (@thugge21) January 23, 2016
While he had played junior hockey against Marcus Johansson, the real reason he had become interested in the Caps was Alex Ovechkin. But, of course, having a couple of Swedish forwards on the team didn’t hurt. He would stay up late to watch the games, which would start at 1:00 am in Sweden. If he tried to sleep instead of watching the game, he would be too nervous about the game to go to sleep. Thurgren had even attended the Winter Classic last year. This year they planned their trip to coincide with the winter break of another friend, Adam Barragan, who was on a semester break from Virginia Tech’s Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – which was this past weekend. However, the games were cancelled, disappointing those three fans, including the 2 from Sweden. Usually games in hockey are not cancelled due to snow in Sweden.
So, this was a weekend where fans from both Brazil and Sweden wanted to attend Caps games, traveled from far away, but were unable to see the games due to the weather.
By Diane Doyle