ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd and goalie Charlie Lindgren have a mutual interest in helping children through the charitable foundations they created with their wives. So it made sense for them to team with So Kids SOAR to host an adaptive skate at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday.

More than 50 children participated from the So Kids SOAR (Strive, Own, Achieve and Realize their potential), a Washington, D.C.-based organization which provides free adaptive athletic, recreational and skill-building activities for youths with physical and developmental disabilities.

"My wife and I, this is something that we've talked about," Lindgren said. "We want to help the community in any way we can. I think right now it's primarily a focus on kids and adaptive sports, but any sort of event where we can show up and bring a positive impact to put a smile on someone's face, that's what it's all about."

This was the first event for Lindy's Lineup, which Lindgren and his wife, Mikkayla, a pediatric occupational therapist, founded earlier this season to provide opportunities for children in adaptive sports or in special education classrooms.

Dowd and his wife, Paige, whose college education focused on speech therapy, created Dowd's Crowd in 2018 to give children with sensory issues the opportunity to attend and enjoy Capitals games without being triggered with the help of sensory kits that include noise canceling headphones and sunglasses.


"You have kids from all over the spectrum," Dowd said. "You have very highly functioning. You have very non-verbal. The thing with Dowd's Crowd is we want to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the game. I think this [skate] is a major step into doing that. Getting them to a game is one thing. It's great. We've had a lot of positive feedback from siblings and family members and kids. But getting them out on the ice is awesome."

Nic and Paige Dowd planned a Dowd's Crowd skating event in March 2020 that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, so they were looking for an opportunity to try again. Their lengthy friendship with the Lindgrens, which dates to when Nic and Charlie were teammates at St. Cloud State University in 2013-14, led to Dowd's Crowd and Lindy's Lineup collaborating Monday.

"It's really fun to combine," Paige Dowd said. "Mikky and I, career-wise, our jobs align really well together, work together too. So it's fun to be able to do this together."

Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sundin and forwards Beck Malenstyn, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Hendrix Lapierre joined Lindgren and Dowd on the ice, talking, skating and passing the puck with the children or lending a hand to those who needed help with their balance.


"I think just to be able to be on the ice and skate alongside the Capitals, hometown heroes, it's such a great memory for them," So Kids SOAR executive director Glenda Fu said. "For some of them it's the first time they're getting on the ice, so for them to have that core memory accomplishing this, to have this moment on ice skates for them to take with them for the rest of their lives, it's really something special."

That was the main thing Dowd and Lindgren and their wives were hoping for.

"Any time when I was a little kid and someone that was an athlete waved at me in the stands or anything like that, that's a core memory for me," Mikkayla Lindgren said. "So for them to be able to love sports but then feel a part of the Caps community, I think hopefully is going to give them a lifelong memory and they feel included and important and that's the goal."