Hershey Bears go roar in Charlotte, defeat Checkers 5-3.

Tonight in Charlotte, the hometown Checkers lost by a score of 5-3 to the Hershey Bears, who had many many fans that traveled quite the distance from Pennsylvania to cheer on their team.

The first goal of the game was scored by Hershey’s Nathan Walker, who deflected a point shot from Tyson Strachman over Rick DiPietro’s glove.

The Checkers first powerplay included a number of offensive zone turnovers by Charlotte, zero scoring opportunities and no shots on goal.

And then the goals from Hershey started coming.  The second goal was the result of Rick DiPietro being out of position and the Bears Ryan Stoa was able to score on a virtually empty net.

Hershey’s third goal was scored by Casey Wellman, another high glove shot where a Checkers defenseman was nowhere in sight.

Finally, after Hershey had four goals, the Checkers got on the board with an unassisted power play goal from Michal Jordan.

A tripping call sent Rasmus Rissanen to the box during the second period.  It took Hershey less than a minute on the power play to score a fifth goal, this time from AHL journeyman Jeff Taffe.  The fifth goal was enough to pull DiPietro from the game in favor of John Muse, who sits atop the standings as the best goalie in the league.

Things appeared to turn around for Charlotte.  With the goaltending change, a fire was lit beneath them, and it didn’t take long for Adam Brace to score with an assist from Captain Brett Sutter.  This extended Brace’s point streak to five, the longest active point streak on the Checkers.

Coach Jeff Daniels felt the team did a lot of great things despite the final outcome.

“I thought we did a lot of great things tonight. We’ve just got to continue them tomorrow..  We did a lot of good things. We skated well,” Daniels continued, “The power play scored a couple goals…. We can’t change the outcome of the last four games, but we can change the outcome tomorrow night.”

Elias Lindholm was one of the bright spots for the Checkers.  In only his third game since being assigned to Charlotte from the Hurricanes, he scored his first AHL goal on the power play with 1:04 left in the game.

Lindholm felt good about his third game as a member of the Checkers. “I haven’t played too many games yet, but the speed is a little bit faster in the NHL.”

 

The Checkers face Hershey again tomorrow.  It’s a Thirsty Thursday game, and the beer will be flowing!

Random assorted observations:

  • Rick DiPietro is now 0-3 with the Checkers.  He has allowed 14 goals in just over 150 minutes of ice time.
  • Though DiPietro had a tough night between the pipes, many of the goals he allowed were at times when he had no support from Checkers defensemen.
  • Many many many giveaways by Charlotte in their offensive zone.
  • Allan, who’s  a regular contributor to Chasing Checkers observed that Allan York is 2-0 with a shutout since he was released from his PTO with Charlotte.
  • Rasmus Rissanen was a -4 on the night (and was responsible for the tripping penalty that led to a Bears power play goal).

Fluffy Filler:

  • Every time the Checkers play the Bears (which isn’t often, unfortunately), I’m reminded of Justin Pogge’s epic performance/temper tantrum in Hershey that got him thrown out of the game.  I believe the line from the Bears play by play announcer was something to the effect of, “Justin Pogge has LOST HIS MIND.”  I miss the days of characters like Mr. Pogge playing in Charlotte.  He was definitely entertaining!
  • Kudos to the Checkers for having a Hockey & Heels event.  I think it has the potential to be a great night for ladies new to the sport.  But please, please for the love of the hockey gods, fix the logo! It’s currently a FIGURE skate with a high heel on it.  Hockey & Heels lesson number one: Hockey skates don’t have toe picks!

Professional hockey in Charlotte – six decades of awesome

The first professional team in Charlotte to win a league title was the Charlotte Clippers in 1957, following their first full season in town.  The previous year, the Baltimore Clippers relocated to Charlotte mid-season after their own rink had burned down.  Charlotte was home to the brand-new, state-of-the-art Charlotte Coliseum that is now known as Bojangles Arena on Independence Blvd, and the perfect place for a homeless hockey team to move into.

In the early days of professional hockey in Charlotte, there were multiple titles and trophies won.  Charlotte won the EHL regular-season title (called the Walker Cup) in 1957, and also the playoff championship, called the Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy against an IHL team, the Philadelphia Ramblers.

In 1956-57, the first season of hockey in Charlotte was one for the record books.   Six of the league’s top-10 scorers played for the Charlotte.  The team was the first professional hockey team   in the South to win a league championship.  Charlotte’s 50-13-1 record and 101 points broke Eastern Hockey League Records. (By comparison, that record came in a 64 game season.  Last season, the Checkers had 92 points in a 76 game season).

Charlotte came close to a championship repeat in 1958.  They won the Walker Cup in the regular season, and it came down to the seventh game of the finals and Charlotte lost to the Washington Presidents.

The Clippers changed their name to the Checkers in 1960, a decade that was full of ups and downs for the team, though they did reach the finals once in 1968.  Things turned around for the 1970-71 season, with the Checkers crowned Champions.  Just a few months before the Checkers defeated the New Haven Blades in the finals, the team published a photograph of the first Charlotte team to win a hockey championship, in the season’s program.  Did the photo serve as inspiration for a team that had struggled since that first championship in 1957?  Maybe so!  The Checkers repeated as EHL champions the following season as well.

 

The Charlotte Clippers won the championship in 1957.  Over a decade later, and just a month before the team's second championship, the photo was published in the team's official program. Is it time to re-print this photo in a 2013-14 program? (Photo credit - Charlotte Checkers, used with permission)

The Charlotte Clippers won the championship in 1957. Over a decade later, and just a month before the team’s second championship, the photo was published in the team’s official program. Is it time to re-print this photo in a 2013-14 program? (Photo credit – Charlotte Checkers, used with permission)

The Checkers continued their winning ways during the 1970’s.  They Changed leagues in 1973, and won the Southern Hockey League Championship in 1975 and again in 1976.  Unfortunately, the league folded midway through the following season and the Checkers weren’t able to go for a championship Crockett Cup hat trick.

From 1977 to 1993, it was a dark time in Charlotte.  For 18 years, there was not professional hockey in Charlotte, but that changed when the Checkers returned  as a team in the East Coast Hockey League.  In the Checkers third season in the ECHL, in 1997, they won the league championship, which at the time was called the Riley Cup.

It’s been 18 years since the Checkers won a league Championship of any kind, but I’d hardly say these have been dark years in Charlotte.  Checkers teams have visited the conference finals in both the ECHL and AHL.  The teams have had MVPs, league-leading scorers , and now compete in the highest level of professional hockey that Charlotte has ever had. The teams have received local and national press for the great things they do in the Charlotte community, and continue to make an impact throughout the region.

The future continues to be bright for the Checkers.  With the list of talented prospects and hockey veterans who will be a part of the 2013-14 roster, I can’t wait to see what’s in store in Charlotte.  I will say though, maybe a photo of the first Charlotte championship hockey team could make an appearance in a game program this season.  It can’t hurt, right?

 

 

So, readers, other than the obvious “Calder Cup Championship,” what would you like to see the Checkers do to continue their history of awesome?

 

 

P.S. Much of my research comes from Jim Mancuso’s Hockey in Charlotte.  It’s my go-to book for school paper writing, and Chasing Checkers research.  Pick up a copy if you haven’t read it yet!

And then there were 11 – A tale of the ever-changing Charlotte Checkers roster

When the AHL season began in October, the NHL lockout was in full swing, and there were more than enough Hurricanes prospects to fill the playing roster in Charlotte and still have a few to spare for ECHL teams all across the USA (Joe Sova was assigned to the San Francisco Bulls, where he is still playing, and Rob Madore spent the first part of the season in Evansville before being assigned to the Everblades.

Since the NHL resumed a month ago, one by one, Checkers players have been called up to play for the Hurricanes.  Some made the team right out of camp, and others have been emergency recalls as the result of what appears to be a compounding injury problem with the team in Raleigh.

Today, Michal Jordan and Andreas Nodl were returned to the Checkers, while Marc-Andre Gragnani and Zac Dalpe were recalled by the Hurricanes. I must say, as an aside, that there is no player more deserving of an NHL recall than Dalpe. This weekend in Abbotsford, he had four points on one game, including two shorthanded goals. In the past seven games since his last NHL recall, Dalpe has eight points (5g, 3a). If that’s not sheer skill and determination, I don’t know what is.

Only 11 players remain on the Charlotte roster that began the season with the Checkers, and two of those 11 are injured (Jerome Samson and AJ Jenks).  The other nine are: Justin Peters, Brett Sutter, Nic Blanchard, Chris Terry, Brett Bellemore, Rasmus Rissanen, Justin Krueger, Michal Jordan and Justin Soryal.

Departed from Charlotte are Gragnani, Dalpe, Dan Ellis, Riley Nash, Jeremy Welsh, Justin Faulk, Drayson Bowman, Tim Wallace, and Bobby Sanguinetti.  Zach Boychuk now resides in a press box in Pittsburgh after the Penguins claimed him off of waivers.

To supplement the flood of former Checkers in Raleigh, the Checkers have added a number of new players.  Since there were only two home games this month, it feels like I haven’t seen enough Checkers hockey in person to even know who is who on the ice!  So as a refresher course for everyone (myself included!), here’s a list of the newest additions:

Bobby Raymond – Signed to a PTO at the end of December, and then an AHL contract in mid-January.  Raymond has six points (2g, 4a) and a +3 +/- rating in 22 games played with Charlotte. These numbers have him on track to double his AHL career highs this season. (Previously, he had 4 assists in 38 games with Binghamton last year).

Matt Beca – Though he’s not a new face to the Checkers organization, this is the first time he’s played regularly for Charlotte.  Beca is a third-year veteran of the AHL Checkers, though had only dressed for the Checkers during seven games last year.  This year, he’s already played in 11 games and has four points (1g, 3a).

David Rutherford – Like Beca, Rutherford was signed to an AHL two-way contract by the Checkers over the summer.  He is also a veteran of the Checkers organization, having played most of the 2008-09 ECHL season with the Checkers.  After many years in the pros, Rutherford finally made his AHL debut this year, and has appeared in nine games so far, and has two assists.  He’s got a resume full of championships (ECHL Kelly Cup, CHL Championship and the Memorial Cup).  I’d love to see “Calder Cup” with Charlotte added to the list.

Matt Marquardt – Marquardt is the newest addition to the Checkers, having signed a PTO with the team earlier this month.  He’s played in seven games so far, and has a +1 rating.  This is his fifth full season in the pros, and his fourth playing in the AHL, so I’d expect good things to come from him.

Brody Sutter – Though Checkers fans saw him briefly last spring after his junior season ended (he had one goal in four appearances), he was recently recalled by Charlotte just in time to make the trip to Western Canada over the weekend, where from what I hear, half of the arena shared the last name Sutter.  Hopefully he’ll play a few more games so we can continue to enjoy reading “Bro Sutter” and “Bre Sutter” on the box score, and hear Officer Brian Stickley get flustered on the PA system when one of the Sutter’s scores a goal and he can’t remember which one deserves the credit.

Luke Pither – Pither joined the Checkers as a result of the trade that sent Hurricanes goaltender Brian Bouher to Philadelphia, and as soon as he arrived in Charlotte, he made an impression.  In 15 games with Charlotte, Pither has 14 points (6g, 8a).  I’d have to say those stats are #PitherPerfect.

 

So Chasing Checkers readers, who has been your favorite addition to the Checkers lineup this season?

 

Charlotte Checkers Hockey – a family affair!

Sometimes, I think it’s nice to take a step back and remember why I’m a hockey fan, and more specifically, why I appreciate the Checkers organization as much as I do.

I had the opportunity to do that last week.  My niece and nephew live in the mountains, and know I love hockey, but had never gotten to see a game live before, so for my oldest nephew’s seventh birthday, I arranged for them to spend the weekend in Charlotte.  We all spent a day at the Great Wolf Lodge playing in the waterpark (and what a GREAT time it was!) and then headed to a Checkers game.  Having kids around made me a lot less tempted to cuss when the Checkers lost, and I was less annoyed than usual at the terrible music played following goals scored against the Checkers.

 

So, without further adieu, a few things I noticed when surrounded by a five and seven year old at their first hockey game.

Chubby is AWESOME

  • The Checkers mascot is probably the best part of a game in a child’s eyes.  Having been to three other arenas in our division in the past month, I think I can say (with some bias, I suppose) that Chubby is one of the best mascots in the league.  He’s constantly in the seating bowl, and while I at times am annoyed when he gets in my way, seeing the reaction from my nephew and niece made me realize what’s really important, and that’s the simple fact that Chubby is AWESOME.
  • My nephew Keaton probably couldn’t tell you much about the game (and doesn’t even care the Checkers lost), but he’s told EVERYONE about how Chubby rode a FOUR WHEELER on the ice, and Chubby has his own jersey, and Chubby went “fishing” with a spider on the end of a fishing pole in the stands.  They don’t really care who Brett Sutter or Zac Dalpe is, but they know the mascot’s name!
  • The money I spent on a small Chubby Bear stuffed animal was a great buy.  Keaton called me on the phone to tell me “I sleep with Chubby every night”… uh… remember, he’s seven… and I’m not allowed to giggle inappropriately at that statement.

Bloody jerseys and missing teeth are COOL:

  • Keaton and Nola were fascinated by the blood stains on my game-worn Michal Jordan jersey.  They thought it was equally gross and cool.  They also wanted to know what other players were on the ice and represented by the jerseys their parents and I were wearing.
  • A lot of hockey players are missing some of their front teeth, just like my nephew.  Unfortunately, the tooth fairy doesn’t visit the players when they lose teeth (if so, I think Zach Boychuk would have had a lot of visits this year.  I wonder if there’s a lifetime maximum on tooth fairy visits though?  If so, I’d guess Nic Blanchard has reached it.)

Keep it Simple hockey rules:

  • The home white jerseys are the “good guys” and the red team are the bad guys.
  • If you do something bad, you go to the penalty box, which is kind of like time out, but only for two minutes.
  • If you do something REALLY bad, like “talk back to the referee” you get an extra 10 minutes in time out, which is kind of like talking back to your mom

Meet the new Checkers

Getting to know the New Checkers:

While many are familiar faces to Charlotte Checkers fans, the team has a number of new faces this year, so here’s a brief bio on the new faces.  (As the photographer, I’m allowed to call the pictures horrible, but there were too many things to watch and people to talk to at practice without being distracted by my camera!)

Returning to the 2011/12 team from last season:

31 – Mike Murphy – Goaltender

34 – Brett Bellemore – Defense

29 – Michal Jordan – Defense

5 – Kyle Lawson – Defense

6 – Bobby Sanguinetti – Defense

26 – Nicolas Blanchard – LW

19 – Drayson Bowman – LW

11 – Zach Boychuck – C

10 – Jonathan Matsumoto – C

12 – Mike McKenzie – LW

23 – Cedric McNicoll – C

15 – Matt Pistilli – RW

16 – Jerome Samson – RW

22 – Jared Staal – RW

14 – Brett Sutter – C

25 – Chris Terry – LW

 

 

New to the Checkers in 2011/12, including FOUR Justin’s:

John Muse1 – John Muse – Goaltender

Muse joins the Checkers as a first-year professional.  He spent four-years at Boston College, where he won two NCAA championships.  He was the starting goaltender during all four seasons he played at Boston College, and was a teammate of Hurricanes prospect Brian Dumolin.  Muse is on a two-way contract with the Charlotte Checkers.  You can follow him on Twitter at @ImTheMoose01

 60 – Justin Peters – Goaltender

Peters was a four-year veteran of the AHL, with ECHL experience as well, prior to becoming Cam Ward’s backup in Raleigh last season.  As a Hurricane, he played 12 games, with a record of 3-5-1 (.875 SV%, 3.98 GAA).  Returning to the AHL this year, he will share time between the pipes with Mike Murphy.

4 – Ryan Donald – D

Ryan Donald

Donald joins the Checkers this year as a second-year pro.  He spent four years at Yale University.  Last season, he split time between the Providence Bruins and Reading Royals.  Donald is a hulking defenseman, who is listed at only 6’3”, was easily the largest player on the ice during camp sessions.

- Justin Krueger – D

Krueger was a teammate of Riley Nash at Cornell.  He was drafted by the Hurricanes in 2006, and played in the Swiss elite league last season in the first professional year of his career.  He’s a big, defensive-minded defenseman, weighing in at 205 pounds and 6’2″ on the height charts.  He’s played for his native country of Germany at the IIHF World Championships the past two years.

 

Chris Murray

21 – Chris Murray – D

Murray spent four years at the University of New Hampshire, and was a teammate of former Checker Jacob Micflikier.  Murray, 26, is an American-born Defenseman, who has spent time in the ECHL and AHL since turning pro, including a stint with the ECHL Checkers in 2008-09.  Murray signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Checkers this summer.

2 – Rasmus Rissanen – D

Rissanen, 20, played one regular-season game with the Checkers, and was with the team during the playoff run.  Rissanen was a 2009 Hurricanes draft pick, and spent the past two years in the WHL, playing for the Everett Silvertips.

33 – Mathieu Roy – D

Roy, 28, has spent the majority of his career in the AHL, though he did spend nearly half the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10 before being traded to the Florida Panthers, and in turn being assigned to the Rochester Americans.  Last season, in 45 games with the Norfolk Admirals, he had 22 points (4G, 18A) and was a +9.  In four games against the Checkers, Roy was a -3 (0G,1A).  He had 10 PIM after a fight with Brad Herauf on February 25 in Norfolk, and then with Brett Sutter at TWCA on April 4.

 

Matt Beca

16 – Matt Beca – RW

Beca spent last season with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, though he was contracted by the Checkers, he didn’t play in any AHL games.  He appeared in 62 games, and scored  50 points (22G, 28A) with the Everblades.  He is a 2010 graduate of Clarkson University, where he spent four seasons playing for the Golden Knights.  He is under contract with the Checkers this year on a two-way AHL/ECHL contract.

 

Chris Durno (with his former team)

14 – Chris Durno – RW

Durno, 30, is an NHL and AHL veteran.  Last season, he served as the captain for the Norfolk Admirals, and amassed 36 points (19G, 17A) in 73 games. His veteran leadership will be a huge boost to Charlotte’s young core of players.

Justin Shugg

24 – Justin Shugg – LW

Shugg, who is only 19, completed his fourth season in the OHL in 2011, and made three-Memorial Cup appearances, winning the championship in two of them.  He spent time with CHL clubs in Oshawa, Windsor and Mississauga.  He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010.

Justin Soryal

18 – Justin Soryal – LW

Soryal was a UFA signing this summer by the Hurricanes.  The 6’3” winger is a big, physical forward and spent the past three seasons in the Rangers organization, with their AHL club.  Last year, he was 11th in the league in PIMs, racking up 220 of them.  (He was second on his team in that category though, Devin DiDiomete led the Whale with 303 PIMs).  You can follow him on Twitter at @JustinSoryal47

Ice Making 101

Chasing Checkers had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Womack, the Assistant Director of Engineering at the arena.  He walked me through the process from start to finish of how they make the ice, and all that goes into taking it in and out.

With the first game just around the corner, the ice technicians at Time Warner Cable Arena have been hard at work this week putting down the ice for the first time this season.  What begins with a clean cement floor turns into an ice surface a little over an inch thick. It’s a 36 hour long process, that takes place around the clock.

The process began on Monday morning with them cooling the entire building down to 60-65 degrees.  Then, they turn on the CIMCO chiller which is connected to pipes under the cement floor.  The pipes are a few inches apart and run across the width of the ice, zig-zaging their way over the entire length of the surface.  The pipes are filled with a brine solution because the salt water won’t freeze, whereas water would.  Once the floor begins to frost, at about 23 degrees, it’s ready for ice.

Ice Technicians at TWCA install the ice surface

The ice technicians use a large wand with cold water and mist over the cement floor and build up a sealcoat, which simply seals the concrete.  After this is applied, the entire surface is painted white.  The paint comes in a powder form, and is mixed with water.  It’s made with potato starch and is therefore completely biodegradable.  The biodegradable element is crucial because when the ice is removed, 15-20,000 gallons of melted ice has to be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.

White paint comes in a powder form and is mixed with water in a container that's about 5' tall. It takes nine boxes to cover the ice surface.

Another sealcoat is laid down over the white paint, and then the lines and official markings can be placed onto the ice.  At this point, the ice is less than 1/4″ thick.

Again, the red and blue paint (two shades, one for the blue lines, and another lighter shade for the goal crease) is made from potato starch.  The painted lines are once again misted over to seal the paint onto the ice, which will enable people to walk on the ice and not pick up bits of paint on their shoes.

I asked how they make such perfectly straight lines, and as a knitter, was excited to learn that they use red and blue yarn.  It is stretched tightly across the ice, and they paint in between the two pieces, and can even leave the yarn in the ice for the course of the season.  This is just further evidence that knitting and hockey CAN go together!

The logos, sponsors and writing are placed next.  They are printed on a mesh material that is laid onto the ice and then sealed over with more water and ice.  In the past, these logos were hand painted, but the mesh logos are faster especially when there is a time constraint.

After all logos are installed, the ice crew works around the clock misting the surface.  Three or four people will work through the day and night to build up the surface slowly until it reaches optimal thickness.

The ice surface is only removed once during the course of the season, for the circus in January.  Concerts and basketball games are all done on top of the ice surface, with a layer of ice deck boards placed directly on the ice surface.

This season, the NHL game on September 25 will be played, and then the ice technicians will prepare the surface for the Disney on Ice show.  The boards, glass and nets will all be removed, and the surface it built up even more, including an additional white coat of paint to cover up the hockey markings for the theatrical show.  After the figure skating show is over, the ice technicians will shave down layers of ice to expose the hockey surface again in time for opening night on October 15.

Making ice in a Southern climate like Charlotte is full of challenges our Northern AHL cities don’t have.  Humidity is incredibly bad for the ice, and TWCA is equipped with extra dehumidifiers to combat this.  When you have a sell out crowd, and doors open to the outside during a warm month like September, interior temperture goes up drastically which can be harmful to the ice surface.  The variables are always changing, but Charlotte has an incredibly experienced crew of technicians, and have created a surface that is considered to be one of the best in the league, which is something all Checkers fans should be proud of!

Stay tuned for part two…. all about the equipment used to maintain the surface!

The one about jersey fouls

I’m an avid reader of Puckdaddy over on Yahoo, and his very justified tirades on the idea of a jersey foul.  I think that Charlotte being a newer hockey market (at least in the truly professional level that having an AHL team brings), many Checkers fans don’t understand the unwritten rules of jersey wearing, and what constitutes a “jersey foul.”

The best list of rules I’ve found is here:   “Jersey foul bill of rights”

Puck Daddy is the king of documenting fouls, and has the greatest comprehension of them.  (If you are interested, check out Puck Daddy’s pictorial evidence).  His pictures are educational AND entertaining.

As a hockey fan, I’m pretty particular about a few things regarding jersey fouls.

First of all, never, and I mean NEVER, put your own name on a jersey.  I kind of think it’s arrogant, especially if you do something like give yourself the number 99 of the Great One.  (Mascot’s and in-game personalities are of course exempt from this rule!)

Secondly, don’t put a cutesy saying or nickname on your jersey instead of a name.
Third, I believe all pink hockey jerseys should be burned.  I’m not talking about the Pink in the Rink jerseys.  Those are cool, and for a good cause.  If they are pink, sparkled versions of the player jerseys on the other hand, I don’t want to see them.  Ever.

Fourth, and finally, make sure the font used on your jersey is the officially licensed font the team uses.  Like a lot of teams the Hurricanes have a unique font, much like the NHL Predators and Blue Jackets.  Look closely at a Checkers jersey.  The names and numbers on the back have a slightly italicized font that is unique to the Hurricanes organization.

Prior to 2010, when the ECHL Franchinse was a part of the Rangers organization, they used a different font.  What shocks (and actually bugs me a great deal) is that the jerseys the team sold to season ticket holders and allowed them to personalize were done with the wrong font, the previously mentioned Rangers font.  Besides the fact the owners of these jerseys got their own names on them (personally, I ordered mine blank to avoid the fouls!), the jerseys have a weird, inaccurate Rangers font.

Each and every night, when I look at Chubby’s jersey, I cringe a little as well, because it’s also the wrong font.  Would it be too much to ask that our mascot’s jersey match the team?  Do they need a local seamstress that can fabricate a jersey with the right name and number on him that fits his big belly?  Because I can put them in touch with no fewer than a dozen people who could help them out!

In general, I’ll give exceptions and get out of jail free cards to all players.  Like the game that Brad Herauf wore an unnamed 9 jersey, or the funny numbers Samson and Rodney wore last week when their equipment was delayed in returning from the All Star Game.  (Those were pretty special fouls though, like I’m pretty sure the “M” in Samson was an upside down W, and Rodney’s captain C was cut off of a nameplate, and not the unique C he usually wears.)