Ice Dogs Need Ice

We need ice. Ice time is our largest budget item. We have 2 hours of ice time nearly every Saturday from September to March. Every hour of ice is $400. Every weekend is $800. Every month is $3,200. Each season is close to $20,000.

Our organization is entirely volunteer run, so donations go entirely to team expenses like ice, tournaments and player development. We believe that the benefits of special hockey are significant and we do not want the cost of playing hockey to prevent players from participating. Your donation will go directly to paying our season's ice time bill, which also helps offset player fees.

Will you help us get our ice?

Sign up here to Run with the Dogs at the 43rd Marine Corps Marathon!

Sign up here to Run with the Dogs at the 43rd MCM on October 28, 2018.  Runners who fundraise for the Ice Dogs receive entry into the Marine Corps Marathon and lots of runner perks!  Sign up today and tell your running friends!  The Ice Dogs very own Sam Smith, Elias Tsakiris, and Coach Robert Widmer will all be running the marathon.  Join them and Run with the Dogs in October!  

Thank you AAA and TJ Oshie for recognizing our mentors and coaches!

On Sunday, February 11, coaches, mentors, and voluneers of the Washington Ice Dogs program were treated to a Capitals game in the NBC SportsNet box followed by a meet and greet with TJ Oshie.  AAA provided tickets to the game and set up the meeting with TJ Oshie to help the Ice Dogs show appreciation to the volunteers who make our special hockey program a success.  It is our mentors and coaches who allow the Ice Dogs to provide such a rich hockey experience to the Ice Dog players.   While just a few mentors and coaches could attend the game, the Ice Dogs appreciate all of our mentors, coaches, and program volunteers who make the program possible.

Purchase a wreath for Wreaths Across America and support the Ice Dogs.

Wreaths Across America (WAA) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The Ice Dogs are selling wreaths to be placed at a cemetary in honor of those who fought for our country. Additionally, the Ice Dogs will make a field trip to Arlington National Cemetary on Dec. 16 to lay wreaths. To donate and/or purchase a wreath, please follow these instructions. To sponsor multiple wreaths, please download these instructions.  For any questions, please contact Melissa Schaab, Program Director at

Street Hockey with the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin

Keeping with his tradition of playing hockey with the Ice Dogs each season, Alex Ovechkin invited Ice Dogs and other local ASHA players to play street hockey with him in front of Capital One Arena on September 22, 2017 .  Alex Ovechkin also presented the 4 local ASHA teams with a check for $5000.  Alex and the Washington Capitals chose the ASHA teams to receive the NHL grant marking the NHL's 100th anniversary.   Following a great afternoon of street hockey and enjoying the NHL 100 anniversary traveling museum, including photo ops with the Stanley Cup, Ice Dogs and their families were treated to complimentary tickets the the Capitals preseason game that evening.    The Ice Dogs are so grateful to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for continuing to support special hockey and providing our players and their families with memorable experiences.

Ice Dogs Communications Director, Stacie Manger, is an emerging leader!

Stacie Manger, the Ice Dogs communications director, was recently featured in PIN Points, a trade journal for the Public Affairs Council.  Stacie gave a shout out to the Washington Ice Dogs.  We are grateful that Stacie shares her time and talent with us and are proud to have an emerging leader on the Ice Dogs' bench.  Read her interview below.


Emerging Leader Spotlight: Stacie Manger

  1. Tell us a little about how you got to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and how you got involved in working with digital communications.

I moved to the American Forest & Paper Association in April of this year to focus solely on digital communications and to help grow this organization’s presence. I graduated college at the height of the economic downturn, and it took me a while to find a full-time communications job. I spent a little over a year at a start-up non-profit where I got my first taste of digital, then I went to a small law firm and eventually landed at the Aluminum Association,. I sunk my teeth into digital communications there and learned how powerful social media tools are for things like grassroots advocacy to changing perceptions. At Aluminum, I also got to try my hand at event planning, membership, media relations and other general communications work, but found my niche with digital advocacy. I grew the digital presence for the Association and the industry inside-the-beltway.

  1. What would you say your biggest challenge is as an emerging leader in the profession?

The challenge I face is educating others that digital is more than just sending out some tweets, and I think this perception is starting to change overall. I view what I do as a key part of AF&PA’s overall strategic plan and a powerful platform to advance our goals.  This includes tweeting and posting on Facebook, as well as diving deep into analytics and benchmarking against metrics, developing creative [content] – such as infographics, banners, video and more – that fits our brand and tone. Another challenge is with creative and pushing the boundaries a bit. I’m someone who heavily focuses on what my audience is supposed to gain from the message, and creating a message that will not only reach them but impact them, which sometimes means going outside the comfort zone.

  1. What do you think your greatest success has been to date?

I think professionally my greatest success was the development of Alloys 101 content at the Aluminum Association. We looked at key terms users were searching to end up on our site and “aluminum alloys” was one of them, but we were lacking the content. I sat with our standards department, read excerpts from metallurgy books, our standards material and other information to compose an Alloys 101 web page that provided tangible examples to the everyday user. From there, I developed an infographic, snackables, a newsletter write-up and social posts to promote the content. Aluminum Alloys 101 is now one of the Aluminum Association’s top 10 trafficked pages and saw a more than a 500% year-over-year increase in traffic. But I think the thing I’m most proud of is using my communications background to help a special needs ice hockey team, the Washington Ice Dogs. Helping increase awareness that hockey is for everyone, showing how our players have extraordinary capabilities, and becoming part of the team’s hockey family while doing it is probably the pride and joy of my life. Aside from being an aunt, of course.

  1. What advice do you have for newcomers to the public affairs field?

It’s the same advice that someone told me because it’s been invaluable: not only learn, but truly understand digital analytics and best practice metrics. Tools, platforms, the policies we advocate for, the hashtags, the jargon – it’s all going to change. My position didn’t exist 10 years ago, so the one thing we can rely on is that change is the only constant. But if you understand analytics and metrics, you will better position yourself in the communications field.

The second thing is that your own personal social media platforms and posts are reflections of yourself. Pay attention to what you post, what you say and what you do. It does matter; your posts are your personal brand.

  1. Do you have a favorite podcast you’re listening to?

I honestly don’t regularly listen to podcasts, but I do read Scientific American as often as possible. I’m a bit of a science geek and I’m constantly fascinated by advancements in medicine, space exploration, sustainability achievements, how the mind works, new technology and pretty much anything Scientific American publishes. They recently used Einstein’s theory of relativity to weigh a star for the first time – fascinating.

Mentor Jared Segal fundraises $1786 for the team!

Jared Segal is a consistent mentor for the Washington Ice Dogs.  He also needed to do a community project, a mitzvah project, for his bar mitzvah preparations.  Jared chose to aise money through a GoFundMe and donate his time to the Washington Ice Dogs hockey team.  In Jared's words, "I have enjoyed working with the team on the ice, but I would like to raise money for them as well.  The money raised would go towards their ice time which is the biggest cost for their program."

Jared raised $1,786 for the team through his project.  And he celebrated his bar mitzvah on June 3.  

Thank you, Jared, for your support and dedication to this hockey team. We know our players love having you as their mentor.  And, mazel tov!

Coach Mark's 60K for 60

Stacie Manger

Communications Director

Washington Ice Dogs




Coach Mark Carter will Skate from Calvert County to Laurel, MD on His 60th Birthday


Laurel, MD, January 5, 2017– On January 9, Special Hockey Washington’s Head Coach, Mark Carter will rollerblade 60 kilometers from his home in Calvert County to the practice facility of the Washington Ice Dogs – Gardens Ice House - in Laurel to raise awareness of special hockey.


“My son Garrett was injured at the age of 17 and before that, hockey was a huge part of his life.  And then we found the Ice Dogs,” said Washington Ice Dogs Head Coach Mark Carter. “I’m rollerblading 60k on my 60th birthday to show that instead of mocking the disabled, we would be better served celebrating their accomplishments and lives.”


Coach Carter will embark on his 60 kilometer journey mid to late morning on January 9 for safety precautions in traffic.  It is anticipated his route will take approximately four to five hours to complete, and he will utilize a heart rate monitor to maintain a marathon effort pace throughout. A bicycle will be brought along as a safety precaution and will be used only if the route proves unsafe for rollerblading. It will be a family affair as Coach Carter’s wife, Cheri, and son, Garrett, will support him along the way. He will finish at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland.


“Special hockey is a family where everyone feels like they belong,” said Washington Ice Dogs Program Director Melissa Schaab. “My daughter Ann thrives here and I know our players look forward to practice because they’re with their friends.  Everyone is accepted and we think that’s something that should be incorporated everywhere.”


You can donate to Coach Carter’s “60K@60” through Crowdrise:  You can follow the Ice Dogs on Twitter with the handle @IceDogsSHW and on Facebook.


# # #


Special Hockey Washington was founded in 1999 to give children and young adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to play ice hockey.  With the encouragement and support of our friends at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland, we skate every Saturday morning from October through April.  Volunteer coaches and high school mentors challenge the players to improve their hockey skills, increase self-reliance and experience the joy of playing as a team. The challenges our players face in school and as they enter the work world are great.  After  years of this program we know that as our players mature in self-esteem and confidence on the ice, their endeavors at home, in school and at work also benefit.

Thank you, Alex Ovechkin, for a gr8 skate.

This afternoon was a whirlwind of excitement for Ice Dog players as they traveled to Arlington, VA to Kettler Iceplex to skate with Washington Capitals Captain, Alex Ovechkin.  This is the third year that Ovechkin has put on a skate with the American Special Hockey Association for special hockey teams in the area.

It was quite the event.  Ann Schaab, #19 for the Ice Dogs B/C team and Alex's good pal, presented Alex with the latest Official Adventures book, Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey written by Jayne J. Jones Beehler. Ann is a featured character in the book.  

Then it was onto the skate, where Alex practiced with each team and played in the scrimmage with Ice Dog players.  At the end of the event, Alex was presented with the ASHA Inspiration Award.

Thank you Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the Playing Field is a local organization in Maryland that gives underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of athletic involvement through the donation of sports equipment.  Earlier this year, they reached out to the Ice Dogs about partnering in order to help outfit our players with new - used - gear as they grew out of their old gear.  Equipment for hockey can be expensive, and sometimes a hinderance for families, so if there was anything we could do to help mitigate costs, we wanted to.

Leveling the Playing Field helped us achieve that goal.  They have provided us with access to free hockey gear to help us outfit our new players and our growing players at no cost to us or our families.  And we couldn't be more thankful to them.  

Thank you, Ian Cohen and Leveling the Playing Field, for making it easier on our families and our players so they can do what they love most - play hockey!

Federal employeers support the Ice Dogs through CFC

Are you a federal employee or do you know one? Did you know you can support the Ice Dogs in this year's Combined Federal Campaign? Our CFC is 82570 Special Hockey Washington. Your support goes directly to things like ice time (our largest line item), equipment and tournament registration fees.

Ice Dogs B/C players Ann Schaab and Ethan Davidson want to thank their federal employee friends for thinking of them and supporting them in this upcoming season.

Red Rockers Help the Ice Dogs Celebrate the Holidays

On Saturday, Dec. 19, I had the privilege of attending the Washington Ice Dogs annual holiday party along with fellow Red Rocker, Mia. The Washington Ice Dogs are part of Special Hockey Washington, which was founded in 1999 to give children and young adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to play ice hockey. Volunteer coaches and mentors dedicate their time to help the players not only improve their hockey skills, but also to further develop individual characteristics such as dependability, concentration and self-confidence. During the party they honored each coach, mentor, parent and every person in between for their support of and impact on the Washington Ice Dogs.

The first player I had the pleasure of meeting at the party was Ann Schaab, who many may know as the adorable little girl who asked Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin out on a sushi date. In return he made her dream a reality. Although Ann was not very pleased with the announcement of Ovechkin’s recent engagement, that hasn’t stopped her from cheering on the “Great 8” during every game! Ann greeted us with open arms and gave us an extraordinary introduction into the room where the party was held.

Over the next couple hours we danced and talked with all of the other Ice Dog players and their families, many of whom are also huge Caps fans! There was even a caricature artist in attendance drawing incredibly accurate portraits of the players. At the end of the party they even offered for Mia and me to have one drawn! Everyone was so warm and welcoming of us. You could truly tell how appreciative the Ice Dogs and their families are of everything they have in their lives, and in return I felt so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and be a part of this experience. I had so much fun celebrating with the Ice Dogs and hope to see them again soon at a Capitals game!

Rock the Red,

RR Paige

Meet Stacie Manger, Washington Ice Dogs Communications Director

The Washington Ice Dogs are very excited to announce Stacie Manger as our new Communications Director. We are very pleased to have someone with Stacie's talents to handle the social networks and digital media for the Washington Ice Dogs organization. Please join us in welcoming Stacie to the team. You can read Stacie's complete bio below.

Stacie Manger is the Senior Public Affairs Specialist for the Aluminum Association. Manger joined the Aluminum Association in February, 2013 as the Communications Specialist.   In this role, Manger runs day-to-day digital advocacy and social media communications, as well as meetings management and membership.

Prior to joining the Association, Manger spent one year as a Marketing Manager for a small law firm where she managed the firm’s website and promotional materials. Manger began her career as a Communications Specialist for the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation. At ISSF, Manger communicated the sustainable use of tuna stocks and ecosystem health at a global level.

Manger received her B.A. in Communication Arts with a focus in Journalism and Public Relations from Salisbury University.  She is an avid ice hockey fan and her love for the Washington Capitals began in middle school.  She frequents the Verizon Center and she has a goal to see a game in every NHL arena.

"I've been an avid hockey fan for a long time and grew up volunteering with special needs kids in my local school system," Manger said. "So when the opportunity arose to offer my skill set to the Washington Ice Dogs, I didn't hesitate for a second."

"I'm honored to be part of the Ice Dogs family. It's a blast to watch the team play and to see the joy on their faces while they're on the ice.  Hockey is for everyone and this organization really shows that."

Rookies Hit the Pond

The Capital Showdown Tournament marked the first games for a few of our Ice Dogs players.  Friday night, Polina took her first face-off against the NoVa Cool Cats with the assistance of the Kaye Trainer.  Saturday early afternoon featured Julius, Ryan and Andrew taking the ice.  Congratulations on your first games, Polina, Julius, Ryan and Andrew!  Here's to many more with the Ice Dogs.

Summer Camp!

Here is the word from Coach Tony who continues to run our summer camps at the Gardens Ice House. (Thanks Tony!) This year he'll be joined by his son Jason and some special guest coaches. He has sent the following information but please contact Tony directly with additional questions:

So far 16 campers are registered and ready to play!  Monday morning there will be an equipment check.  Please help the coaches by checking your camper's equipment before Monday morning!  (No swimming-so no swim suits required!)

DROP OFF: 8:40am-9am
PICK UP:     4 pm.  Latest pickup is 4:15pm
LOCATION: back of the Gardens Ice house-this is closest to the rink and locker rooms

LUNCH and water: Campers can pack lunch or buy lunch at the Ice Breakers Café.   Campers should bring a water bottle labeled with their name. Ice Dogs will also supply water.

MEDS and special instructions: Monday morning bring any meds with necessary instructions and give them directly to Tony. Place meds and instructions in plastic Ziploc bag labeled with your camper's name, your name and best immediate contact phone number.  If there are additional special written instructions, please include them in the bag! 


8:45-9am Arrival
9-11-off ice outside time
11-12- lunch

12-12:30 Locker Room

12:40-1:40 Ice Time

1:45-2:15 Locker Room

2:15-3:45 Off Ice (might include using the sport court)

4:00  Departure

Have fun everyone!