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St. Lawrence uses social media theme for Clarkson game

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CANTON — Anyone planning to attend Saturday afternoon’s Clarkson/St. Lawrence women’s hockey game at Appleton Arena should be sure to bring a smartphone or tablet.

SLU will dedicate Saturday’s 3 p.m. game to social media awareness and has planned many events, including wearing special brown jerseys that feature the school’s Twitter handle on the front, “@SLUSaints”. Each player will feature their Twitter handle on the back of their jerseys, instead of their last names.

“It kind of came about in practice,” Saints coach Chris Wells said. “One day everyone was having fun using their Twitter names. It’s turned into a pretty good event.”

In addition to the jerseys, SLU also will be tweeting from the bench during the game as well as tweeting between periods.

“I think we’re all pretty pumped about it,” Saints defenseman Amanda Boulier said. “I think it’s definitely going to bring some positive energy to our Clarkson game this weekend.”

Any time SLU plays Clarkson the players are subject to taunts from Clarkson’s pep band, which attends the games at both Appleton and Cheel Arena.

Putting individual Twitter handles on jerseys will make it easier for an opposing fan to send a taunt online, but that is not a concern.

“I’m sure they’ll throw something at us, but we can take it,” Saints forward Jamie Goldsmith said.

Said Wells, “If they send (bad) messages, we’ll just retweet them out. We are giving Clarkson quite a bit of ammunition coming into the weekend. That’s what’s it’s all about, the rivalry. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it, too.”

The game alone would be worth attending even without the extra social media events. Clarkson is 20-6 overall and 12-2 in ECAC Hockey games. The Saints are 14-10-2 overall and 9-4-1 in the conference.

“During the season you want to try to create something each week to create some energy,” Wells said. “There aren’t many two-semester teams. It will bring a little excitement around the program throughout the season.”

A primary reason for the event is to promote the proper way to use social media.

Tonight, SLU will bring in Mark Anbinder, who works in the office of Marketing and Communications in Campus Life at Cornell, to speak to the students about social media.

Wells also spoke to his players before the season about what to do and what not to do with Twitter.

“I just gave them a few odds and ends like a parent would,” Wells said. “They’re good and the university does a good job of monitoring. It’s good for the kids to be aware of what they are putting out on social media and understand the ramifications if they put something out there they shouldn’t.”

Said Goldsmith, “We all use it fairly responsibly and in a fun way, especially with each other. It’s a way to promote yourself. It’s your digital identity. You don’t want to do anything that would shed a poor light on you.”

Wells also has been active on Twitter, even creating an account for his dog, Blitz.

Earlier this year he tweeted to his team saying that he would start practice that day with the favorite drill of the first player to tweet back.

“It’s fun to have a coach who is so involved in social media, especially in this modern technological day,” Boulier said. “It’s pretty entertaining.”

Fans will also be involved in Saturday’s events. There will be a few social media contests and a new Ipad Mini will be given away to one spectator.

Fans can also upload pictures to Instagram and the best one will be put on SLU’s website to go along with the game story.

The University of Akron men’s basketball team has a similar promotion planned for its home game Saturday against Ohio, but ran into some NCAA roadblocks.

The Zips wanted to put, “@ZipsMBB” on the back of each player’s jersey but the NCAA said they could not. Instead the school will wear them during warmups. SLU is not expecting to have a similar problem with its event.

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