One year ago, the Tucker Road Ducks youth hockey team lost their home rink due to a fire. Since the fire, the team, based in Prince George’s County, Maryland has received an outpouring of support, not only from the Washington-area hockey community, but also from the Washington Capitals, including defensemen Brooks Orpik. When he first learned of the fire, Orpik reached out to them to help the team get new gear and even got the NHLPA involved through their Goals and Dreams program.
At around 3 p.m. on January 4, 2017 at Tucker Road Ice Rink, there was an electrical spark that engaged a two-alarm fire that went through the roof of the building. The fire not only damaged the structure but ruined thousands of dollars worth of equipment within. This put the Road Ducks through the challenge of not having a place to practice or play their games. They have practiced and played at other rinks including SkateQuest in Reston, Wells Ice Rink in College Park, and Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf.
On scene with units, 2nd alarm at Tucker Road ice rink – evacuation tones, no injuries at this time pic.twitter.com/BTgArlhbrJ
— Marc Bashoor (@PGFD_Chief) January 4, 2017
With the Capitals having a day off Wednesday, Orpik surprised the team with 25 sets of equipment worth $10,000 as well as some new team jerseys through the Goals and Dreams program.
#Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik just surprised the Tucker Road Ducks with 25 sets of equipment, provided through the @NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams program. The Ducks’ rink burned down last January. pic.twitter.com/t9fjQ95Rdq
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) January 10, 2018
Orpik saw a story on TV about the Road Ducks misfortune and approached the NHLPA about getting involved with them during a day off in the Toronto playoff series last year. Orpik talked to the kids about the importance of education.
— Sherree Burruss (@SherreeBurruss) January 10, 2018
Via the NHLPA website, the NHLPA Goals and Dreams program provides equipment grants to volunteer-based grassroots hockey programs. Since the program’s inception in 1999, the Goals and Dreams program has donated more than $24 million dollars worth of equipment to hundreds of grassroots programs and has assisted more than 70,000 children.
To learn more about the NHLPA Goals and Dreams program, check out the video below. The video features prominent NHL players that have been involved such as Henrik Lundqvist, Gabriel Landeskog, Kevin Bieksa, Henrik Sedin, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane.
The Tucker Road Ice Rink is still in the process of being rebuilt with the goal of reopening in the fall of 2019. The Road Ducks have a GoFundMe page for donations to assist the team in their participation in two upcoming tournaments in York, PA and Columbus, Ohio, transportation as well as more equipment. So far they’ve received $11,230 in donations and have a fundraising goal of $25,000. You can donate here.
#Caps Brooks Orpik surprising Tucker Road Ducks with 25 sets of new hockey equipment courtesy of @NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund. Ducks lost home rink in a fire in 2017. When Brooks learned of the fire, he reached out to help them secure new gear.
Contribute: https://t.co/5u4WT8F4Nl pic.twitter.com/nNZBCy7isG
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 10, 2018
By Michael Marzzacco