Sleet Possible for Thursday Evening

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Sleet Possible for Thursday Evening

To the chagrin of winter-weary Washingtonians, the Season that Won't End is sending us yet another icy-cold commute Thursday evening.

Sleet is possible as a rain system moves into our region between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., Storm Team4 reported.

Temperatures will fall quickly as the storm approaches, said Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer. They will reach the mid to low 40s, which will turn the rain into a rain/sleet mix.

It's part of a long cool early spring that has lingered in our region. This morning, temperatures in many places were below freezing. This afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Shenandoah Valley.

Virginia Tech actually cancelled classes Thursday due to snow. The National Weather Service in Blacksburg reported almost 5 inches of snow by 6 p.m., and areas around Blacksburg saw even more.

And we're not alone: Last month, an Ohio prosecutor filed court papers indicting Punxsutawney Phil for fraud for predicting an early spring - and that was before a freak spring storm brought several inches to much of the East Coast.

March 2013 was three degrees below average temperatures, and April is off to a worse start: it's already 5 degrees below average. But it may seem worse because we had the warmest March ever on record last year.

One small benefit to 2013's chilly spring: last year, the pollen levels were off the charts, said Storm Team4 Meteorologist Veronica Johnson.

And how about Washington's other famous blossoms of spring? The cold has kept cherry blossoms from showing up so far - and the National Park Service just pushed back the expectation for peak bloom.

But this storm isn't likely to hurt the blooms. The sleet might "knock the cherry blossoms around a bit," Johnson said, but there would be "no heavy damage."

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Former Cap named captain of U.S. Men's National team

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Former Cap named captain of U.S. Men's National team

While all eyes for Caps fans are on the Caps-Penguins series, there is other hockey going on around the world. The 2016 IIHF Men's World Championship begins on Friday in Moscow. When Team USA takes the ice, it will be a former Cap who leads the way.

Matt Hendricks, now of the Edmonton Oilers, was named captain of the U.S. team on Wednesday, the team announced. Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Connor Murphy of the Arizona Coyotes were selectd as alternates.

Hendricks was the captain of the team last year as well, helping Team USA claim bronze in the 2015 tournament. The Blaine, Minn. native spent three seasons with the Caps from 2010 to 2013.

The IIHF World Championships take place annually around the same time as the NHL Playoffs which always leads to an interesting collection of players making the trek as it is largely dependent on players who do not make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

RELATED: OVECHKIN NAMED FINALIST FOR MESSIER LEADERSHIP AWARD

Ovechkin named finalist for Messier Leadership Award

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Ovechkin named finalist for Messier Leadership Award

There is only one trophy Alex Ovechkin has his sites set on these days as the Caps continue their playoff trek, but he has been named a finalist for yet another individual honor. Ovechkin was named by the NHL as one of three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award on Wednesday. The award is presented "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”

John Tavares of the New York Islander and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators were also nominated.

Ovechkin's on-ice exploits are well known—50 goals, 71 points in a Presidents' Trophy winning season—but he also is very active in the community.

Ovechkin has been a very vocal advocate for American Special Hockey Association and he continued that work this year as an official spokesman hosting a skating session for the organization at the team's practice facility at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in October. He also continued his Ovi’s Crazy 8s program, which provides Capitals season tickets for Most Valuable Kids and ASHA.

The winner of the award will be announced during the 2016 NHL Awards on June 22.

RELATED: Stray cats and elephant poop: The strange stories of the NHL playoffs

Capitals Pulse: Caps look to even series in Game 4

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Pulse: Caps look to even series in Game 4

The Capitals will look to even the series against the Penguins in Game 4 in Pittsburgh. Join the conversation HERE on Capitals Pulse and tune in to CSN following the game for postgame coverage.