HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY JASON CHIMERA!
The Washington Capitals forward was born on 05/02/1979 in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Happy 34th Birthday to #25.
May 18, 2013
HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY JASON CHIMERA!
The Washington Capitals forward was born on 05/02/1979 in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Happy 34th Birthday to #25.
On April 27, while the rest of Verizon Center was preparing for Saturday evening’s Washington Capitals game, the hallway adjacent to the Capitals locker room was a frenzy of excitement. Intermittently, a figure, alternately in a red or white jersey, lumbering on hockey skates, would make their way out to the hallway to get some air, or to speak to a reporter.
It was a bit unusual for 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, considering the main attraction wasn’t until 7:00 p.m. that night, when the Washington Capitals would play their final game of the regular season versus the Boston Bruins. The figures wearing red and white jerseys were not members of the Capitals or Bruins. They were there for something a little bit different – a hockey game for charity, the 5th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge.
Founded in 2009, the Congressional Hockey Challenge raises funding for college scholarships and hockey programming, and has raised more than $400, 000 for its causes. This year’s event was held at Verizon Center for the second year in a row. Former Boston Bruin and hockey icon Willie O’Ree performed the ceremonial puck drop and also attended the Capitals game against the Bruins that evening.
The game stars a team of lawmakers (members of Congress, Senators and staff from legislative and executive branches) pitted against a team of lobbyists. It seems apropos to blend the rough-and-tumble sport of hockey with the rough-and-tumble sport of politics in the nation’s capital.
One might be surprised to note that all of the participants on both teams are lifelong hockey players. Congressman Pat Meehan (PA), was an NHL referee for two years before going into politics, and said the CHC helped him rediscover his passion for the sport. “I hadn’t skated for some time before I came back to this game. I grew up playing hockey, and I truly stayed with it,” he said. “Hockey was a big part of my life for a long period of time, but when I came here, I had given it up and I hadn’t skated in five years.”
“When they knew that I had a hockey background, they asked me to get involved with the game, so I came out and then made a fool of myself. But I’ve actually had an awful lot of fun, and it’s been a reason for me to get back into it,” said Meehan, who admitted his status assisted him in making the Lawmakers team. “It’s easier for me to get on the team because if you’re in Congress and can lace your skates up, I think you get on,” he chuckled.
Erik Paulsen, a congressman from Minnesota, had a recruiting experience similar to Meehan’s. ”I got recruited last year cause I’m from Minnesota, so they just figure everyone from Minnesota plays hockey. I grew up playing on the lake but never played organized hockey,” he said. “It’s for a good cause, and now I’m playing once a week out here.”
If you’re not a member of Congress, however, the competition to make the team is tougher. “It’s probably one of the only big hockey games outside of the Caps that happens, at least in our level of play these days, so everyone wants to play. In the small group that does play hockey, there is a waiting list,” said Michelle McGann, of the National Republican Congressional Committee, a member of the Lawmakers team.
McGann’s involvement with the team came almost by accident – she merely wanted to play hockey but ended up on the waiting list for the annual game.
“I moved to DC about two years ago and I’ve been playing hockey my entire life, so when I came down here, I tried to find a competitive league and similar to Melissa, I heard of this man named Nick Lewis that we were supposed to talk to about getting involved,” she said. “I spoke to him, and Tim Regan who works on the Hill, and started coming to these Monday night skates, and a lot of the players in this game are pulled from the Monday night skate. So I got on a waiting list and just crossed my fingers that I would finally make the cut.”
Every Monday night, a mixed group of lawmakers and lobbyists skates at Mount Vernon Ice Arena in Alexandria, VA. Many of the players in the annual Challenge game are pulled from these skates, according to McGann.
“It’s basically an exclusive pickup league,” said McGann. “There’s a group of maybe 40 or 50 people in the email chain, and we hope to have about 30 people come every night, and you just wear dark or white and you just play for an hour and a half.”
Melissa Lavinson, a member of the Lobbyists team, said attendance at the Monday night skates is unpredictable, but everyone is glad to for the opportunity to play hockey, even with a short bench.
“I’ve been to some of the night skates where there’s maybe about 12 people and you wind up playing 6-on-5-on-5, one sub for an hour,” she said. “It’s just fun.”
McGann agreed. “Everyone understands that you’re just out there to get a good workout and to be on the ice, so it’s great for girls, we’re obviously smaller than a lot of men, so they’re respectful and you don’t have to be too concerned about getting injured.”
Even though the weekly skates are primarily casual and low-key, the competitive nature of each player emerges when it comes to competing in the actual Congressional Challenge game.
“Everyone who plays a sport always has a competitive edge, and you realize that it’s been dormant for so long until you get in a situation where score matters,” said McGann. “You kind of put aside your friendships in some way and you want to win.”
John Goodwin, who represented the Lobbyists this year, said the Congressional game is kind of a big deal for the players, even though many do not have the chance to play as much as they’d like.
“For a bunch of amateurs and older folks, its intense competition, everyone takes it seriously, and we’re playing real hockey,” he said. “Everybody looks forward to it.”
Washington Capitals alumnus and CSN Washington analyst Alan May took some time out of his busy game-day duties and volunteered to coach the Lawmakers team this year. His coaching philosophy was all about moral support, making sure the players knew when to change lines – and scoring goals, of course.
“They all know how to play hockey, they’re all lifelong lovers of the game, they all played youth hockey, so it’s just a matter of just being there to support these guys,” said May.
May predicted it would be an “ugly game,” and an ugly game it was – for the Lawmakers. May’s pupils were shelled for double-digit goals, and fell to the Lobbyists, 11-3 in front of a modest cluster of rowdy spectators.
There is a trophy that the winning team gets to keep for the year, which is more for bragging rights than anything. As it stands, the Lobbyists lead the Challenge series record 3-2.
Photos from the event, courtesy of C&I Studios, can be found here.
Katie Brown is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. She grew up in Virginia and Maryland, currently resides in Arlington, VA, and developed a love for the sport of hockey as a youngster while watching her brothers play. She combined her enthusiasm for the game with her love of writing after college. Katie has covered the Capitals as credentialed media for two seasons for several area blogs before joining the DSP staff. Katie works at a nonprofit organization by day but the rest of her time is devoted to watching, writing, and talking about hockey and perfecting her mean one-timer. You can follow Katie on Twitter@katie_brown47.
Brooks Laich and the Capitals Make Local Teen’s Wish Come True
When the Washington Capitals began warm-ups during their final game of the regular season, a special voice helped to introduce them.
Emily, a 17-year-old Keymar, Md., native, joined public address announcer Wes Johnson in welcoming the team to the ice.
Emily was at her first Capitals game through the Capitals and Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic’s commitment to make Emily’s wish to meet Capitals forward Brooks Laich come true.
Emily suffers from Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract.
Due to complications, Emily has had most of her colon removed and has had additional coronary, venous and arterial infections and clots.
“Hockey is my favorite sport and I really enjoy it,” said Emily. “Everyone in my family likes it so I figured it’d be a good thing for us to all do.”
The evening included several surprises for Emily and her family.
After riding the Olympia ice resurfacer during the first intermission and watching the game with her family from Ovi’s Crazy 8s section, Emily was invited to the press box where she met Laich. The two then watched the third period of the game together, along with Emily’s father.
“Emily was awesome,” said Laich following the experience. “A huge hockey fan – a very bright, intelligent girl. It was an honor for me to meet her.”
After the game Laich presented Emily with his jersey during the team’s Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony, part of Fan Appreciation Night. Emily’s whole family then met with Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, Mike Green, Braden Holtby, Laich and Mike Ribeiro.
Founded in 1983, the mission of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation serves children who reside in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia and has granted the wishes of more than 7,600 local children fighting life-threatening medical conditions such as cancer, pediatric AIDS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy, kidney and heart disease.
The first playoff home game is this Thursday, May 3 when the Washington Capitals host the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. However, fans will be “Rocking the Red” all week. Check out all of the festivities listed in the team’s press release below.
Caps Fans Prepare to Rock the Red in the Playoffs Powered by Constellation Energy
Beard-A-Thon, Viewing Parties, Contests and More to Kick off Postseason
ARLINGTON, Va. – During the 2013 Stanley Cup quarterfinal round between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, Capitals fans are invited to participate in several activities to kick off the postseason.
Game 1 will be played Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Verizon Center and available locally on Comcast SportsNet HD. All Capitals playoff games will also be broadcast on CBS Radio (WJFK 106.7 The Fan) and Hubbard Radio (WFED 1500) as well as on WashingtonCaps.com and on Caps Mobile apps.
Playoff activities include:
The Washington Capitals, alongside Constellation Energy and media partners 106.7 The Fan and Comcast SportsNet, encourage fans to participate in one of hockey’s most visible traditions – the playoff beard. Beard-A-Thon participants can invite family members, friends and business associates to pledge money for their playoff beard. Confirmed beard-growers include Capitals players Karl Alzner, Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Braden Holtby, Steve Oleksy, Mike Ribeiro and Aaron Volpatti. Also participating are Caps public address announcer Wes Johnson, 106.7 The Fan’s John “Cakes” Auville, Eric Bickel, Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier. Money will be donated to Fuel Fund of Maryland for every day that a fan maintains his beard.
Fans who do not wish to or are unable to grow a playoff beard can participate by pledging a donation to their favorite Caps player, fan or media personality. For more information or to enroll in the Capitals’ Beard-A-Thon, log onto http://beardathon.com/capitals. The fan that raises the most money will win a Caps VIP Game Experience, which includes two tickets to a game during the 2013-14 season, a meet and greet with Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis and an autographed jersey from the player of their choice. All donations for the Capitals’ Beard-A-Thon are tax deductible.
Official Caps Viewing Parties at Hard Times Café
Fans are invited to attend the Official Caps Viewing Parties for each of the road games during round one. Game 3 will be held at Hard Times Café Clarendon, Game 4 at Hard Times Café Manassas and if necessary Game 6 will be held at the Hard Times Café Fairfax location. Fans will have a chance to win premium Caps giveaways at official viewing parties.
School Playoff Pep Rallies
The Washington Capitals will host pep rallies at local schools during each round of the playoffs while school is in session. Principals, teachers and students are encouraged to get their schools involved by emailing or tweeting photos of their schools rocking the red to show their Caps spirit. The Capitals will select a winning school each round to receive a pep rally featuring five stations to get the students excited to Rock the Red during the playoffs. Each student will have the opportunity to make signs to support the Caps in the playoffs, play in a street hockey scrimmage, take a photo with Caps mascot Slapshot, shoot slapshots on the Slapshot inflatable and take part in a hockey equipment demonstration. All participants will leave the Pep Rally with a Caps playoff T-shirt. Entries must be received at @CapsCR on Twitter or CapsPepRally@washcaps.com from teachers and school administers by 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, to participate.
“How Are You Rocking the Red” Contest
If “Rocking the Red” is what you do best, now is your opportunity to enter the “How Are You Rocking the Red” contest. The Caps mascot Slapshot is encouraging fans to submit photos to his Facebook page showing their decorated house, office work space, cars, kids, pets and even themselves. Just log onto Facebook.com/CapsSlapshot and share your image with Slapshot.
Watch and Listen
Games 1, 3, 4 and 5 will be televised exclusively on Comcast SportsNet in the Washington/Baltimore region, while Game 2 will air nationally on NBC. Games 1, 3 and 4 will also be televised to a national audience outside of the Washington/Baltimore region by NBC Sports Network. Television information for Games 6 and 7 will be announced at a later time along with the U.S. national television information for Game 5.
Comcast SportsNet will produce Capitals Postgame Live following every Caps playoff game through all rounds, regardless of the network carrying the game. Comcast will also present Capitals Central before every first-round game that is scheduled on Comcast SportsNet.
MonumentalNetwork.com is your playoff information hub. Get the latest news and video from team practices, pregame show, interviews, live postgame news conferences, expert analysis and that latest viewing parting locations, contests and more.
SERIES C TIME (ET) #3 Washington vs. #6 NY Rangers Networks
Thursday, May 2 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN
Saturday, May 4 12:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington NBC, TSN
Monday, May 6 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN
Wednesday, May 8 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers CSN, NBC Sports Network, TSN
*Friday, May 10 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington CSN, TSN
*Sunday, May 12 TBD Washington at NY Rangers TBD
*Monday, May 13 TBD NY Rangers at Washington TBD
On Monday morning, news broke that Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announced his coming out in the May 6 edition of Sports Illustrated. In the article, he states: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
With news of Collins’s announcement, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld issued the following statement on behalf of the team: “We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly. He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career. Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.” [Read more...]
HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY DANNY ESPINOSA!
Washington Nationals switch-hitting second baseman was born on 04/25/1987 in Santa Ana, California.
Happy birthday, #8.
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game will be held at CitiField in New York City on July 16, 2013.
Fans can cast their votes up to 25 times at MLB.com until Thursday, July 4 at 11:59 p.m. ET to make Nationals like Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, Wilson Ramos and Jayson Werth All-Star starters.
AUTOGRAPH OPPORTUNITY FOR CAPS FANS!
Several current and former Washington Capitals will be heading out to the Dulles, Virginia on Friday, April 26, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Autograph tickets are available for purchase. See information below for amount per autograph. Now is your chance to get that something special signed by your favorite Caps.
Braden Holtby - ($65)
Troy Brouwer - ($40)
Jack Hillen – ($20)
Wojek Wolski - ($20)
Aaron Volpatti - ($20)
John Erskine - ($30)
CAPS ALUMNI: (Autographs are FREE with Purchase-see site)
See link for more information.
Where: 21100 Dulles Town Circle, Suite #162, Dulles, VA 20166
Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.
P-NATS SS JASON MARTINSON WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE CAROLINA LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD & RHP TAYLOR HILL EARNS CL PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS Potomac’s Jason Martinson and Taylor Hill Sweep Carolina League Weekly Awards
Woodbridge, VA—After a tremendous start to the 2013 campaign, Potomac Nationals shortstop Jason Martinson (5th Rd.,2010), a product of Texas State University, from Dallas, TX, has earned his second consecutive Carolina League’s Player of the Week Award for his production from April 15th through April 21st, the league announced today.
Martinson, the #14 prospect in the Washington Nationals Minor League system per Baseball America, entered the 4/15 week with a .303 (10-for-33) batting average, a .429 on base percentage, a .788 slugging percentage through nine games, with four home runs and 11 runs batted in.
Martinson continued his prowess at the plate into the next week by turning in a 10-for-28 performance with the bat, good for a .357 batting average in the week, while achieving an on-base percentage mark of .419, and a slugging percentage clip of .500.
The 24-year-old also cranked one double and one four-bagger, while collecting four RBIs, four runs scored, and three walks during his latest weekly tear.
The 6’1″, 190 pound Nationals prospect enters tonight’s contest with the Carolina Mudcats (Cleveland Indians) in Zebulon, NC tied for the Carolina League lead with 15 RBIs, a .635 slugging percentage, and 40 total bases. The offensive assassin is also tied for the circuit lead in home runs (5) and is 10th in the CL in batting (.317).
Sealing the sweep for Potomac in the league’s weekly awards, RHP Taylor Hill, after an absolute gem spun against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) in Game One of the doubleheader last Saturday on April 20th, was announced today as the winner of the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week Award.
Hill, the 24-year-old whom Baseball America says has the “Best Control” in the Washington Nationals farm system, was selected in the 6th round in 2011 out of Vanderbilt University.
Hill, a native of Old Hickory, TN, is (3-0) on the season after a terrific pair of starts on April 15th at Salem and on April 20th vs. Frederick as he went (2-0) over the course of the week with victories over the Red Sox and Keys. He combined to pitch to a 0.69 earned run average over 13.0 innings in the two outings in which he surrendered just five total base hits, one earned run, zero home run balls, no hit batters, and one walk, while striking out eleven batters.
The only pitcher on the P-Nats staff with three victories, Hill dominated the Keys in his third start of the season tossing a one-hitter over seven shutout innings, and earning the complete game win.
The Nationals have now garnered three of the four Carolina League weekly awards in 2013.
SYRACUSE CHIEFS INTRODUCE NEW BIRTHDAY PERK FOR FANS
Chiefs are one of 22 teams to form partnership with HULEDET
Syracuse, NY–The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce that they will be partnering with HULEDET in order to give local fans a free ticket and hot dog for their birthday. HULEDET (http://www.HULEDET.com), a one-year old company based in New York City, partners with local and national companies to enable them to reward their loyal customers on their birthdays, and to bring in new customers with the incentive of a birthday perk.
As fans enter Chiefs home games this season, they will be given the opportunity to register to receive the birthday gift by simply providing their name, email address, birth month and day, and zip code. When the first day of their birthday month comes, they’ll receive an email from HULEDET giving them a free ticket and free hot dog voucher to use during their birthday month.
Fans with birthdays during the off season need not worry – they’ll get their gift from the team on their half birthday.
“We are very excited to work with HULEDET on this new promotion,” Chiefs general manager John Simone said. We look forward to offering a birthday present to each of our fans.”
The Chiefs are one of 22 minor league baseball teams who will be working with HULEDET during the 2013 season. Says HULEDET founder Michael Frankel, “We have seen great success with HULEDET at local restaurants and businesses, and we are excited to work with the Chiefs as we bring HULEDET gifts to sports fans around the country this spring.”
Fans may also join the Syracuse Chiefs birthday list online at http://www.HULEDET.com/SyracuseChiefs.
April 1, 2013 By Chris Garosi
Welcome back to Fantasy Baseball coverage for 2013 at District Sports Page. I apologize for not being around to help with your … [Read More...]
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