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2017-18 Coaching Staff

2017-18 WLC Coaches

The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce the Head coaching staff for the 2017-18 hockey season.

  Assistants to be named this week.

WLC Goalie Coaches

Brent Johnson: Goalie Coach- Brent Johnson returns to the Little Caps as our Goaltending Instructor.  Johnson played 12 seasons in the NHL.  Originally from Farmington, MI, Johnson played junior hockey for Owen Sound in the OHL before being drafted by St. Louis in 1995.  Johnson began his NHL career in St. Louis before moving to Phoenix and then the Washington Capitals.  Johnson finished his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012.   Johnson hails from a hockey-rich family, his father Bob Johnson also played goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his grandfather Sid Abel is in the NHL Hall of Fame.  In addition to coaching the Little Caps, Johnson covers the Washington Capitals providing analysis for Comcast Sports Network

Travis Russell: Goalie Coach- Travis Russell returns to the Little Caps as our Goaltending Instructor.  Travis is a native Vermonter that grew up playing for the Essex Youth Hockey Association and then played at Essex High School. Travis played his senior year of high school at The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. He was selected to represent USA Hockey twice for the US Under-17 (2000) and US Under-18 (2001) Teams in the Five Nations Cup in Europe. Travis went on to play four years of Division I hockey at the University of Vermont.  Travis has coached with the Washington Little Capitals organization for the last five seasons.

 

 

U16 Midget (2001) Doug Plocki

Returning from Nationals Coach Plocki looking forward to a successful 2017-2018

Doug Plocki returns for his ninth season with the Washington Little Capitals, and is excited to lead the Little Caps 16U National Team for the 2017-18 campaign.  Coach Doug and Assistant Coach Vic Hugo expect this team to be very competitive.  The Little Caps will return the core of the 15U team that won the North American Prospects Hockey League (“NAPHL”), and the Southeast District Championship to advance to the USA Hockey National Tournament.  Bringing this group forward to the 16U National level, and adding a few key pieces should make 2017-18 a very exciting season.

Plocki is a Pittsburgh native who began coaching in 1991 as the State College Youth Ice Hockey Association Pee Wee Head Coach.  He returned to Pittsburgh to coach at his high school alma mater and worked briefly with the Pittsburgh Stars Tier-1 youth hockey program.  Plocki began coaching in the DC area in 2006 with the Kettler Capitals Iceplex youth program.  He helped coach Kettler's Tier-1 Development Camps beginning in 2008 before joining the Little Caps for the 2008-09 season.  In the past eight seasons, Plocki has helped win the Tier-1 Elite Hockey League Atlantic Division Title, 6 consecutive PVAHA titles, 3 Southeast District Championships, and has advanced to the USA Hockey National Championships 3 times. 

Last season the 15U team won the NAPHL and Southeast District Titles, and earned significant recognition along the way.  Three Little Caps were named to the All-NAPHL 15U First Team, 2 others honored on the Second Team, and 6 Little Caps honored as NAPHL-All-Academic Team members.  Plocki was named NAPHL 15U Coach of the Year, and selected to coach at the USA Hockey 2017-18 Development Camps.  Plocki is a USA Hockey Level 5 certified coach.

U15 Midget (2002) Lyon Messier

The Washington Little Capitals are excited to announce that Lyon Messier will serve as Head Coach of the 2002 (15U) and 2004 teams during the 2017-18 season.“I’m very excited to take on this challenge, and can’t wait for the season to start up again,” Messier said.  Last season, Messier stepped in to coach the 2002 team at the USA Hockey Southeast District playoffs and led the team during its thrilling come-from behind championship victory in Huntsville.  He then led the team at USA Hockey Tier 1 Nationals.  “It was really fun, a great experience for the coaches and for the kids to play the best teams in the country,” Messier said.  “Playing in Nationals is a big eye opener.  There’s not a lot of time and space at that level.  You have to move your feet, and move the puck faster, and work as a team.  We learned a lot, and now hopefully it carries over to next season to work together as a team and support each other.”  He says the experience showed the immense potential the Little Caps have at this age group, as he is excited to help them make the transition from Bantam to Midget hockey.    “It’s a lot more physical and the game is a lot faster,” he says. “The players are hitting that maturity level where you can throw more systems at them.  You’re playing more as a group than as individuals.”  “The 2002s are very skilled,” he adds. “My goal is to have the kids play more as a team, working together and moving the puck as a unit.” 

Messier grew up in the Washington area, and played youth hockey with the Northern Virginia Ice Dogs and the Little Caps.  He then played junior hockey for the Texas Tornado in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he won a national championship, and later with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He played major junior hockey in Canada for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) and Erie Otters (OHL), before moving on to play pro hockey for the New Mexico Scorpions of the Central Hockey League (CHL). “Then I went to the New York Rangers main camp, played an AHL game, and then went down to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and won the Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays.”  After his playing career was over, Lyon moved right into coaching. “I was assistant coach for the U18 Connecticut Wolfpack, and then head coach of the U16s Wolfpack team that was ranked #5 in the nation.  During that time, we moved 12 kids to Division 1 scholarships,” he says.  He moved back to Washington and has been coaching in the Little Caps organization for three years now.  “It’s great to be back and give back to the community where I got my start.  There’s a lot of talent here now.  My goal is to help the kids get the recognition they deserve and help them do good things.”  Messier says that in his playing days, talented players from this area thought they had to move away from Washington to make it to the next level, but that this is no longer the case. “Today, there are cameras and video feeds everywhere, so scouts can watch the games like they couldn’t in my day,” he says.  Moreover, by the North American Prospects League (AYHL) at the midget level, Little Caps players get plenty of exposure.  “Everyone is talking and sees the games.  And we play good competition. There are kids in Florida that are getting Division 1 scholarships.  Seth Jones was in Dallas, Texas and they found him.  Wherever you are, if you’re good enough they’ll find you.”  Messier wants to help his players at both levels develop their skills so they achieve their dreams. 

“I’m really excited and up for the challenge,” he says.

Bantam Major Coach (2003) Jeff Frost

Jeff Frost WLC 2003 Bantam Major Head Coach

The Washington Little Capitals are excited to announce that  coach Jeff Frost will join the organization as new head coach of the 2003 Bantam major team.  Frost joins the Washington Little Capitals for his first season, with an experienced background in both playing and coaching youth hockey.  Jeff grew up in Northern Virginia.  Coach Frost is from a Military family.  After high school, Jeff continued to play  the sport he’d grown to love.  Jeff played for Marist College at the ACHA Division 1 level.  During his four years at the Marist College, Jeff earned a degree in Business Administration, as well as a minor in Informational Systems.

Jeff made the decision early to continue working in, and offering his teaching skills, to the sport he loved by coaching while he was still playing and attending college.  He spent multiple summers working hockey schools.  Coach Jeff served as an instructor for Huron Hockey School, Huron, Ontario, Canada, and Elite Hockey, MA multiple years.  Coach Frost successfully coached elite travel teams in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Coach Jeff has coached all levels from mite to Midget and finds Bantams is where he can make the most impact on players development on and off the ice.

He looks forward to helping the players make the transition from Bantam to Midget hockey, which is a critical stage in the ladder of development.  Coach Frost adds that his role is to teach the progression of skills needed to be an elite hockey player.  “They’ll be working on their technical  skills, but they’re also going to be exposed to team concepts and systems.–We will implement a team system that allows for creativity to fully enjoy the game!” he says.

Coach Jeff lives in Falls Church,VA  He works as a Platform (web development) Manager with the Bank's IT group for the World Bank. Coach Frost along with his support staff Markus Seppanen and Clark Mowrey are excited for the challenge to prepare the 2003 team for the next level of play.

Markus Seppanen WLC 2003 Bantam Major Assistant Coach

The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce Coach Markus Seppanen is returning for his second season with the Little Caps. Coach Seppanen will be assisting Head Coach Jeff Frost with the 2003 Bantam major team for the 2017-2018 season.

Coach Seppanen was instrumental in the U-18’s team success last season. The U-18’s reached the Southeastern District Championship game falling 5-4 in Double overtime.

Markus is a native of Finland. He grew up playing in Finland’s top youth program. Coach Markus brings an enthusiasm and knowledge base for developing hockey players. He previously coached Bantams with the Carolina Jr Hurricanes for three successful seasons. Markus is excited to share his teaching abilities with the 2003 team.

Clark Mowrey WLC 2003 Bantam Major Assistant Coach

The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce Coach Clark Mowrey is returning for his second season with the Little Caps. Coach Mowrey will be assisting Head Coach Jeff Frost with the 2003 Bantam major team for the 2017-2018 season.

Coach Clark is at home on the ice. Starting to play the game at the age of 5, he played his youth hockey for Bowie Hockey Club. Bantam year he advanced his skills to play Tier 1 for the Little Capitals. Coach Clark’s love of the game came when he was lucky enough to be coached by former Washington Capital Hall of fame player Yvon Labre. Coach Labre’s integrity and love for the game influenced Coach Clark and, in large part, is why he coaches youth hockey today. Coach Clark spends countless hours at the rink in addition to coaching elite hockey players he teaches “Learn to Skate” programs and administers “Try Hockey for Free” programs for years.

Coach Clark played Division 3 Lacrosse at Cabrini College, Radnor PA. Coach Clark has been coaching since 2003. Coach Morey started coaching in the Bowie Hockey Club. He has coached at all levels form 2003-2015 earning several trips to the USA Hockey Southeastern District Tournament. Coach Mowrey is a Level 4 certified coach within USA Hockey.   He is hardworking, dedicated, and enjoys building confidence in all players through a love of hockey and team play His instructional focus and coaching philosophy is to create well-balanced young men and women through physical and mental development.

Coach Clark lives in Bowie, Maryland, with his wife Jackie, two sons Jack and Cooper, daughter Ameila Rose and an old rescue lab named Trista.


 

Bantam Minor Coach (2004) Lyon Messier

Messier also has big plans for the 2004 team. “The 04s this year are going to be very talented and a very good team.  I’m really excited for the opportunity to coach them,” he says.   He looks forward to helping the players make the transition from Pee Wee to Bantam hockey, which is a critical development milestone in several levels. “They’ll still be working on their individual skills, but they’re also going to be exposed to systems for the first time – a system in the defensive zone, a system in the neutral zone, a forecheck – while making room for creativity as well,” he says.  “The first year of Bantams is also the first year of hitting.  You really have to teach the kids not only how to hit, but also how to take a hit and how to avoid a hit.  We plan to work on that over the summer, show them how to do it, so they’re not scared out there playing.” 

Messier grew up in the Washington area, and played youth hockey with the Northern Virginia Ice Dogs and the Little Caps.  He then played junior hockey for the Texas Tornado in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he won a national championship, and later with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He played major junior hockey in Canada for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) and Erie Otters (OHL), before moving on to play pro hockey for the New Mexico Scorpions of the Central Hockey League (CHL). “Then I went to the New York Rangers main camp, played an AHL game, and then went down to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and won the Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays.”  After his playing career was over, Lyon moved right into coaching. “I was assistant coach for the U18 Connecticut Wolfpack, and then head coach of the U16s Wolfpack team that was ranked #5 in the nation.  During that time, we moved 12 kids to Division 1 scholarships,” he says.  He moved back to Washington and has been coaching in the Little Caps organization for three years now.  “It’s great to be back and give back to the community where I got my start.  There’s a lot of talent here now.  My goal is to help the kids get the recognition they deserve and help them do good things.”  Messier says that in his playing days, talented players from this area thought they had to move away from Washington to make it to the next level, but that this is no longer the case. “Today, there are cameras and video feeds everywhere, so scouts can watch the games like they couldn’t in my day,” he says.  Moreover, by the North American Prospects League (AYHL) at the midget level, Little Caps players get plenty of exposure.  “Everyone is talking and sees the games.  And we play good competition. There are kids in Florida that are getting Division 1 scholarships.  Seth Jones was in Dallas, Texas and they found him.  Wherever you are, if you’re good enough they’ll find you.”  Messier wants to help his players at both levels develop their skills so they achieve their dreams. 

“I’m really excited and up for the challenge,” he says.

PeeWee Major Coach (2005) Nick Carso

The Washington Little Capitals are pleased to announce Coach Nick Carso is returning to the 2005 Pee-Wee Major Team for the 2017-18 season.  Coach Carso will be coaching Pee-Wee Major having previously coached the WLC Bantam Major/Minor Teams for the past five seasons which included Five trips to the USA Hockey Southeastern District tournament.  Nick has experience coaching at all levels within Washington Little Capitals previously coaching the WLC Junior team which included the 2004 AJHL Championship.   Nick is Level 4 coach within USA Hockey and has participated in the USA Hockey Development camps for the U16 age group.

As a player Nick played for WLC from squirt through Juniors, participated in USA Hockey Nationals as a midget and a junior player, and won the MJHL Junior B Championship in 1996 with the Jr Capitals. After Little Caps, Carso went to Westminster Prep School and NCAA Division I UMASS-Lowell in Hockey East.  He also participated as a player in the USA Hockey Select camps in Lake Placid.

Nick has coached players of all levels and will be focusing on the necessary skill development at the Pee Wee level this upcoming year.  Players he coached have moved on to play in for NCAA Division I and III, ACHA, USHL, and NAHL programs, including the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), ECHL, and other professional leagues. 

Scott Kozlak - Peewee  Assistant  coach  
Returning for his second season with WLC Coach Kozlak is excited to share his passion for the sport.  He will continue to teach eager young hockey players what it takes to succeed on and off the ice.  Coach Kozlak's values align with the areas that WLC is further committed to: player development, competition, hard work, and responsible decision making. 

Coach Kozlak career started playing outside in Duluth, MN.  He played high school hockey in Duluth followed by two year of junior hockey in the USHL and NAHL.  After junior, He played 4 years of D-1 hockey at the Air Force Academy where we won 3 conferences championships and played in the NCAA tournament 3 times.  In 2015-16, He was a Varsity HS Hockey Coach in Beavercreek, OH.  Additionally, while stationed in Dayton, He was also able to play professionally in the FHL for the Dayton Demolition where he was named captain of the team.   Currently,  Coach Kozlak  is a Captain in the United States Air Force.

PeeWee Minor Coach (2006) Alec Schappert

Alec Schappert WLC 2006 Peewee Minor Head Coach

The Washington Little Capitals are excited to announce Alec Schappert will join the organization as new head coach of the 2006 Peewee Minor Team.

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Alec played youth AAA hockey for the West Seneca Wings hockey organization. In his high school years, Alec played for the Nichols School prep team and played for the Buffalo Regals 18U AAA team.

After high school, Alec went on to study psychology at Loyola University Maryland. He graduated with a degree finance and economics.  Alec was a member of their club hockey team playing in the ACHA Division 1.  Alec’s enthusiasm to coach started during his playing days as Alec was a contributor to the summer hockey camps at Nichols School. Alec’s passion to transfer his knowledge into coaching lead to Coach Schappert serving one season as an Assistant Coach for the Nichols School team.  From the beginning of Alec’s coaching experience, Alec has clearly shown an ability and willingness to teach the game to every team member. Coach Schappert takes pride in his player’s progression. He is ready to develop the 2006 players into a highly skilled, puck moving, competitive AAA hockey team.

Coach Alec is an Operations specialist in brokerage operations for FBR & CO.  Coach Alec is now residing in Dc

Welcome Coach Schappert to the Little Capitals and welcome to DC!

Certified Strength Coach and Skills Coaches

Additional Coaches Bios coming soon. Check back for the exciting news!

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