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'Best of the Best' results issued

The Central Hockey League issued this news release today:

GLENDALE, AZ (March 15, 2012) – The Central Hockey League (CHL) released today the results of the annual ‘Best of the Best’ poll as voted on by CHL players, coaches and operational staff from all 14 CHL teams (each team submitted one ballot). The poll consists of 50 categories that cover all aspects of the league including on-ice performance, in-game entertainment as well as top venues, concessions, websites, etc. Each team provided three top choices for each category, with first place votes counting as five points, second place votes counting as three points and third place votes counting as one point.

The Allen Americans led the way among all CHL teams as they were represented in 21 different categories and were tied for the most first place finishes with 10. On the ice, the Americans were voted first in the ‘Best Power Forward’ and ‘Best Stickhandler’ categories with Most Valuable Player finalist Bruce Graham taking the honor. Allen also received first place recognition with their logo, uniform and all-star broadcaster Tommy Daniels who was voted ‘Best Broadcaster’. Among other first place nods for Allen, the Ice Angels were voted the ‘Best Dance Team’ and the City of Allen was voted as the best CHL city.

Evansville finished second with 20 categories represented and were tied with Allen with 10 first place finishes led by veteran forward Todd Robinson (Most Valuable Player finalist) who was present in seven categories and was voted the ‘Best Overall Player’, the ‘Best Playmaker’ and the ‘Best Player on the Power Play’. Defenseman Matt Gens earned first place honors as the league’s ‘Best Offensive Defenseman’ and ‘Best Bodychecker’.

The Wichita Thunder (16 categories), Rapid City Rush (15 categories) and Missouri Mavericks (14 categories) round out the top five teams on the poll.

Wichita’s Kevin McClelland was voted as the CHL’s ‘Best Coach’ and the INTRUST Bank Arena was voted the ‘Best Arena’ while forward Alex Bourret was voted as the ‘Most Annoying Player’.

Rapid City’s Shawn Limpright was voted the ‘Best Defensive Forward’, the organization was voted to have the ‘Best Training/Equipment Staff’ and the Rush faithful were voted the CHL’s ‘Best Fans’.

Missouri’s Ed McGrane was voted the ‘Most Gentlemanly Player’ and the organization was identified as having the ‘Best Website’ and the ‘Best Use of Social Media’.

Earning top honors in the physical categories, Wichita’s Erik Lizon was voted the ‘Best Heavyweight Fighter’ and Missouri’s David Simoes was voted the ‘Best Fighter- Pound-for-Pound’.

In other on-ice categories, Texas’ Mark Guggenberger was voted the “Most Valuable Player to His Team’ and the ‘Best Goaltender’ and his teammate Chad Woollard was deemed to have the ‘Hardest Shot’. Quad City’s Eric Giosa was voted the ‘Most Underrated’ and his teammate Jared Brown was voted the ‘Best Rookie’. Fort Wayne veteran Colin Chaulk earned first place in two categories; ‘Best Player on Face-Offs’ and ‘Best Leader’ and his teammate Brent Henley was voted the ‘Best Defensive Defenseman’.

(Added by JG: Jamie Milam of the Komets placed second as Hardest Shooter and as Best Offensive Defenseman. Brett Smith was third as Best Defensive Forward. Kaleigh Schrock was third as Best Fighter (Pound for Pound). Bob Chase was third as Best Broadcaster. The Fort Wayne fans placed third as Best Fans. They also placed third as Most Annoying Fans. The Komets were second in Best Press Box. The Courtyard by Marriott placed second as Best Host Hotel. In overall points for these categories, Fort Wayne placed fifth behind Allen, Evansville, Rapid City and Missouri.)

Bill Althaus (2010 CHL Media Service Award winner) of the Examiner in Independence, Missouri covered the results of the 2011-12 Best of the Best Poll and his feature story is currently available at

To see a complete listing of all 50 categories and all the winners:

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at