Saturday, March 15, 2014

Martinson Post Game Comments, CHL Memes Story, Special Teams Excel, No Star for Pitton Again

Playing in his first game since early February, it didn't take Darryl Bootland long to make his presence known against the Rapid City Rush as he scored on a great back door pass from Anthony Maiani at 1:15 of the first period. One of the keys to beating the Rush is getting an early lead and avoid having to come from behind. Allen used goals by Bootland, Tetrault, Lessard (the game winner), and Graham to defeat Rapid City last night by a score of 4-2 before a crowd of 4524 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. After Bootland's early goal Rapid City was never able to get a lead in the game. With the win, Allen is now within four points of the third place Rush with a chance to close the gap to two points as the teams have a rematch tonight.


- This game was one of the better games we have played all year as the guys played smart and didn't make decisions that would end up beating ourselves.

- An indication of how well we played tonight is the fact that we gave up no odd man rushes which has been a problem recently.

- Another key to the victory was our performance on special teams as we were able to get a power play goal (Bruce Graham) and held them scoreless on five power play opportunities.

- Bryan Pitton was once again solid in net as he continues to give us excellent goalie play.

- All three lines contributed a goal tonight and when you get balanced scoring you are going to be successful.

- Another injury, which doesn't look good, happened to Phil Fox in the game. Fox has had some tough luck recently. He has been playing hurt for weeks and has fought to stay in the lineup. The injury tonight is unrelated to his prior injury. I had to take him out of the lineup when I could see he couldn't skate, but he didn't want to come out of the game.


- Special teams are always a key to any game but against Rapid City who is ranked last (#10) in the league in both power play and penalty kill it is imperative to win the special teams battle to win the game. The Americans were able to do that last night. Allen only had three power play opportunities in the game but were able to score one power play goal. The Rush struggle on the power play as they only convert at a 12.55% and last night they were scoreless in five power play opportunities. Allen will have to have similar special teams success tonight (Saturday) if they are going to win.

- Daniel Tetrault had a great game with and goal and two assists and was rewarded by being named the #1 star of the game. Bruce Graham, with a goal and an assist was named the #2 star.

- The defensive pairing of Tetrault and Schaafsma are working well together. Their approach is to keep things simple out on the ice, not take chances and keep moving their feet. It sure worked last night as the duo had four points and were a combined +6.

- Bryan Pitton continues to get no respect from the those that decide the stars of the game. Coach Martinson mentioned how great Pitton played in the game and Tommy Daniels, in his post game  wrap up said, "The best player on the ice tonight was Bryan Pitton." Once again Pitton could not crack the three star list. Guess he deserves a permanent COME ON, MAN!

- With the win last night Allen increased its points lead over fifth place Brampton (lost in a shootout to Missouri) to five points. Quad City lost to Denver and is now in sixth place, six points behind Allen.

- It is important to remember that after this weekend Allen will play six of their last seven games at home with the last two games of the season against Denver. While many games still need to be played the battle for second place in the standings may come down to the last game of the season.

- Garrett Clarke posted this on twitter yesterday. "To all my fans around the league; My shield is coming off tonight. May all your wishes come true!"  With all of the problems Clarke has created for the Americans the kid still has a sense of humor.

- For those of you on twitter you have probably been fascinated by a recent addition to twitter called CHL Memes. CHL Memes describes their work in this manner, "Satire's nature is to be one-sided, contemptuous of ambiguity, and so unfairly selective as to find in the purity of ridicule an inarguable moral truth.” Taking on the league, referees, linesman, teams, players, fans, and mascots, CHL Memes has really connected with everyone connected with the CHL.  John Hall from Pro Hockey News recently wrote the article below about CHL Memes, who has taken those that follow the CHL by storm. You can follow CHL Memes at: @CHL_Memes.

 John Hall
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a meme as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” You may better understand a meme as an image, video or fad that rapidly makes its rounds across the internet, reaching viral status. Such popular memes we’ve all likely seen include grumpy cat, the most interesting man in the world and anything related to Miley Cyrus.
One hockey fan has achieved quite the following recently, creating his own brand of humor based solely on a list of characters from around the Central Hockey League.
The first post offered on twitter by @CHL_Memes

On February 10, 2014 twitter users started catching wind of a new handle, known only as @CHL_Memes. It all started with a simple image poking fun at CHL linesmen. Just over a month and nearly 300 tweets later, it has evolved into a daily ritual during which several new images are shared. Nothing is out of bounds, as the account has gained over 600 followers by poking harmless fun at players, coaches, officials and teams. Among the followers are CHL teams, fans, players and even the official CHL twitter account.
“Our league is driven by the fans and seeing active engagement from many different social media accounts that focus on the Central Hockey League is great for the league,” said CHL Director of Operations Bob Hoffman. “Fans live and die, laugh and cry by their teams and the CHL Memes site certainly does provide a few laughs for fans of the CHL,” he added.
It has also sparked a quest by fans to uncover who is behind the whole thing.
“I feel that it (anonymity) adds another element of fun to the page and I enjoy watching some of the followers tweet back and forth attempting to figure out who may be behind it,” said the mastermind who would only identify himself as ‘Skitch’ during a recent interview with Pro Hockey News.
‘Skitch’ was tight-lipped when asked about his personal identity, only sharing that he is a longtime fan and does have a favorite CHL team, but declined to name the team to help him remain anonymous. He did add that the CHL Memes account is a fan of all teams and all players.
According to ‘Skitch,’ the account was created on a whim as a platform to poke fun at league officials before he made the decision to broaden the scope of the account.
“I got the thought while making some of the first ones that maybe I should just make it a ‘communal’ page that is just a relentless, unforgiving, equal opportunity offender, meme-style real time look into the CHL, including the teams and players,” he added.
‘Skitch’ says he keeps an eye on scoreboards, game replays and highlights for what he calls “meme-worthy moments,” but there are other times when a good idea strikes him and sends it out to the world.
“Honestly, I make a lot of them up and to my surprise, they actually stick,” he said while adding that he would never create a meme that would attack an official or player on a personal level.
Whatever an official or player does on the ice though, is fair game and according to ‘Skitch’, there is plenty of material for him to use.
“Needless to say, the CHL is a gold mine of worthy events,” he said.
The response to Allen’s Mark Guggenberger tripping Missouri Mavericks mascot Mac

The memes have sparked a lot of responses, ‘Skitch’ said, including some from players and even a coach. Some of his most memorable responses came from an Allen Americans fan that offered to buy him a case of beer if they knew who he was, along with a few tweets from St. Charles Chill Head Coach and former St. Louis Blues defenseman Jamie Rivers.
“Jamie Rivers has tweeted a few times which is really cool for two reasons. He’s a former NHL player and I’ve taken some knocks at his team but he still follows and likes it,” he said.
Tulsa Oilers netminder Shane Madolora even got in on the action recently, responding to a meme that took aim at his stellar play during the Oilers’ recent hot streak. Madolora re-tweeted the meme and added his own commentary.
“The main reason we play the game is to get @CHL_Memes,” he said before adding that the twitter handle had taken over the Oilers’ bus.
‘Skitch’ said he was humbled when he read Madolora’s praise of the twitter account.
“It made my jaw drop a little, to be honest. I respect each and every player in the league, so to see them respond so well to them and look forward to them really means a lot,” he said before expressing his appreciation for the players.
“Those guys work their tails off for their teams and don’t get paid much…so if my dumb memes can make their lengthy roadies a little more enjoyable or bring some laughter to them, then I’ll keep making them until I run out of ideas.
“I wish I could do more for them,” he added.

- Here are a couple of other examples of CHL Memes work that struck home to me.

DID YOU KNOW: With all of the success the Allen Americans have had since joining the CHL in 2009 they have never won the award for MVP,  Most Outstanding Defenseman, Rookie of the Year, or Coach of the Year.

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