HC Dynamo Minsk, the team to where Washington Capitals prospect Alexei Protas was loaned, held several events related to ‘World Day of Pets’ in conjunction with their game against HC Vityaz on Thursday. ‘World Day Day of Pets’ is celebrated on November 30.
HC Dynamo Minsk called for all fans attending today’s game to bring pet food and medicine for animals at the animal shelters. The collected food and medicine will be distributed to the ZOOshans animal shelter organization and City Fauna State Enterprise EGIDA, the Public Association for Animal Protection (Belarus). Protas was pictured in the promotional picture.
Dinamo’s Instagram page published a group shot of the players with animals and the individual pets as well (top).
Protas was actually photographed twice, once with a cat named Mika and another time with a dog named Naida.
By participating in the event, fans could win an autographed jersey of a player on the team. Another way fans could participate is by ordering pet supplies online from the team’s sponsor, zoopro.by.
As part of the event, several of the players on Dinamo Minsk, including Protas, participated in a photo session with animals available for adoption.
The Dinamo Minsk website published a story about the session on their website, including details on about each of the animals included in the photo shoot.
Below is the group shot of the players with the animals. The caption on the related Instagram post said,
“These cats and the dog are looking for a home. Dynamo made good friends with them, so they really want the pets to get into good hands. Anyone who becomes the owner of one of these handsome men, in addition to a faithful friend, will also receive a bonus from the hockey player.”
Below are the individual pictures from the special player and animal photo shoot. Each picture shows a player and details of the animal they are with. There are two picture of Protas, one with a dog, who was named Nayda and one with a cat who was named Mika.
Alexei Protas spoke after the shoot and shared his impressions.
“It’s a great project, there should be more of them. Because you need to help the animals. People who actively do this are admirable.
He had learned that the dog he was with for the shoot, Nayda, had a difficult life,
“It is clear that this was an unusual situation for a dog. Perhaps she was a little shocked. But we quickly hit it off, I think the photo shoot turned out well. One feels that Naida is kind, sincere.”
On the subject of whether he had animals at home, Protas said, “There used to be a rabbit, but since he was gone, I have not turned to anyone else. In the future, I would like to have a dog at home. I love cats too. When I went to the village as a child, my neighbor had a lot of kittens, they often came running to us to be stroked.”
A link to an interview with Woodcroft about this special training session is here.
Here are pictures of players and coaches on the ice, with their dogs. One of the assistant coaches for Dinamo Minsk is former Capitals player, Mikhail Grabovski who played with the team in 2013-14.
Dinamo won the game 4-3, getting two goals by Ryan Spooner, including the goal to tie the game late in third period. There were no goals by Protas.
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