Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Garret Clark Signed/ Brennan to IR

- The Americans have signed Garret Clark and he will play in tonight's game. Clark is a 6 foot 200 pound defenseman from Windsor, Nova Scotia with a November 3,1992 birthdate. Clark was with Rio Grande Valley for one game in the playoffs in 2012 and was with the ECHL Reading Royals prior to signing with the Americans.

- Kip Brennan has been place on injured reserve with an upper body injury.

Americans Article - thehockeywriters.com

Great article by Tony Jaremko from thehockeywriters.com:

By October 31, 2012

Allen Americans Look to Scare Their Way to Top

Allen Americans goaltender, Steve Silverthorn Photo by: Chip Crail/CHLPhotos.com
@CHLPhotosBlog
This Halloween, the Allen Americans look to treat themselves to first place in the league with a win over the Tulsa Oilers as they host their Red River rivals tonight at 7:00 PM.  The Oilers (3-1-1) find themselves currently in first by just one point over the Americans (3-1-0) thanks to their overtime loss at the hands of the Quad City Mallards.
Allen is looking to bounce back from their only blemish, a road loss to their bitter rivals, Fort Worth Brahmas on Saturday evening.  With a flair for the dramatic, of Allen’s three victories, two came via shootout and the other came from an offensive explosion on opening night.
Allen is led by forward, Darryl Bootland and defenseman, Brett Skinner, each with 6 points.  Skinner leads the team in assists with five where Bootland has efficiently netted 3 goals to go with his 3 assists.  Darryl currently holds the 2nd best shooting percentage in the CHL where Skinner leads all CHL defensemen in scoring.
The Americans can attribute their early success on the pads of their new goaltender, Steve Silverthorn who was signed during the off season.  Currently, Silverthorn is tied in wins with 3 but has the league’s only shutout (opening night) and leads in GAA at 1.89 and of all tenders who have faced greater than 50 shots, trails Quad City’s Joe Palmer by just .003 in save percentage.
Tulsa has heavily relied on fire power as opposed to defense and net minding.  The Oilers have split time between Ian Keserich and Dan Bakala with both playing 3 games apiece and Ian having one more win than Dan.  However, both have GAA in the three’s and Keserich’s save percentage is teetering on the .900 line.
Gary Steffes (CHL’s player of the week) and Michel Beausoleil lead the CHL in +/- with a +4 and +5 rating respectively and have 13 points between the two.  
As minority owner, Craig Ludwig has stated on several occasions, the Americans will be known as a tough team to play against and you will “pay the price to beat us.”  With the addition of several physical finishers, the team has had to put a great deal of focus on special teams.  Ludwig has even stated that it is estimated half a hockey game these days are played a man-up or man-down.
The Americans have heeded his call and lead the league in every statistical category on special teams (with the exception of shorthanded goals for; they have none).  Allen has the most power play goals (9), most times on the man advantage (26) resulting in the highest PP% at 34.62%.  Despite also leading in times being shorthanded at 23, Allen has only given up one power play goal, resulting in a PK% of 95.65% (only team in the CHL above 86%).
Tonight should be a “spooktacular” evening (ok, I’ll stop with the puns, I promise) as the best offense goes head-to-head with the best defensive team.  At stake: first place…momentum…confidence.  The season is has just started, but the implications couldn’t be any hotter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New CHL Collective Bargaining Agreement

The Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) & the Central Hockey League (CHL) have reached agreement on a new contract. While I have not seen it officially I have heard the agreement has been ratified. Here is the press release the PHPA issued on 10/19:

PHPA and CHL Reach Tentative Agreement

By Darryl Dionne  Published on: Friday October 19, 2012

(Niagara Falls, ON) The Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) is pleased to announce that on Friday October 19th, the PHPA and Central Hockey League (CHL) reached a tentative, one-year successor Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  The agreement is expected to be ratified later this week.
Under the CBA, players will continue to have a formal arbitration process, Standard Players Contracts, receive rights to medical records and second and third medical opinions, travel reimbursement, and lodging provisions.  CHL Owners will pay the entire premiums for players’ off ice insurance.  The Salary Cap, Salary Floor, and Minimum Salary will remain the same as the previous CBA, while adjustments were made to the Injured Reserve, All-Star and Christmas Breaks, as well as pre and post season travel reimbursement provisions.
Players will continue to have access to a variety of programs such as the REDLINE Membership Assistance Program which is a 24/7/365 counseling service for players, Career Enhancement Program for players wishing to advance their education, as well as a Group Licensing Authorization Program which protects player likeness rights.
“We are happy this deal was in place before the start of the regular season and look forward to an exciting year of CHL action,” said PHPA Executive Director, Larry Landon.  “We wanted to reach a deal where players would feel comfortable competing, knowing that they would receive appropriate off ice care and insurance benefits.
“I would like to thank the many CHL players whose input, courage, and leadership during the negotiation process was instrumental in reaching this agreement,” added Landon. 

Practice Notes - 10/30

I attended practice today for the first time in a week and saw a couple of unfamiliar faces on the ice. Assume some changes are in order over the  next few days. Other observations:

- Craig Ludwig joined Coaches Martinson & Matvichuk on the ice this morning for the first time in a few days. Congrats to Craig on the birth of granddaughter Sydney!!!

- Tyler Ludwig is on league leave as he and his wife Taylor are having a baby. A little girl name Sydney was born this afternoon. She is beautiful!!!



- Look for more NHL players to sign on with CHL/AHL teams if the lockout continues. If the Winter Classic is cancelled which may happen as soon as Thursday a big point of leverage for getting a deal done will have passed. The NHL's contract with the University of Michigan calls for a $100,000 payment if the Classic is canceled before Nov. 3. The costs go up dramatically after the 3rd.

- The big issue for CHL teams trying to sign NHL players is the cost of injury insurance. For lower tier NHL players it is not so bad but for top line players it is cost prohibitive.

- Saw lots of work on getting in position to get pucks on net during drills today

- A new collective bargaining agreement CBA has apparently been ratified. Under the CBA, players will continue to have a formal arbitration process, Standard Players Contracts, receive rights to medical records and second and third medical opinions, travel reimbursement, and lodging provisions.  CHL Owners will pay the entire premiums for players’ off ice insurance.  The Salary Cap, Salary Floor, and Minimum Salary will remain the same as the previous CBA, while adjustments were made to the Injured Reserve, All-Star and Christmas Breaks, as well as pre and post season travel reimbursement provisions.

Monday, October 29, 2012

CHL Team Could Move To Casper Wyoming

Check out this article by Kelly Byer of the Casper Star-Tribune.

October 26, 2012 7:00 pm  • 
A professional hockey team could begin playing at the Casper Events Center as early as fall 2013.
City Manager John Patterson said the city is in the process of bringing Central Hockey League play to the area, as community interest sparked the notion about three months ago.
“There are a number of people who love hockey and want to see professional hockey here,” he said.
At a monthly Casper City Council meeting on Friday, Patterson said the city is working to assemble an “investment board.” The board would purchase a team and install the ice rink. Patterson said the city wouldn’t contribute to the project but provides an ideal facility in the Events Center with enough space and seating.
“The hope is to put in an ice floor, and create some box seating and get a Jumbotron up there,” he said.
The construction would take less than 90 days, and the city has until the season’s start in October. Patterson said the improvements could be done during a slow time at the Events Center.
Patterson said there are several teams for sale in the Central Hockey League, and he expects the team will likely be from Texas.
The CHL is roughly comparable to baseball’s AA level in the hierarchy of minor league hockey. It will field 10 teams this season and add a team in St. Charles, Mo., for the 2013-14 season. Two teams are currently located in Texas: the Allen Americans and the Forth Worth Bramhas.
The closest franchises to Casper are the Rapid City (S.D.) Rush and the Denver Cutthroats.
“There probably will be a team that has closed operations elsewhere,” he said.
Councilman Maury Daubin expressed support for the plan while Councilman Keith Goodenough questioned its feasibility.
“I have trouble seeing how this is going to work,” Goodenough said.
Patterson said the ice would stay on the Events Center floor eight months a year and an inch-thick board would be placed over the ice when concerts and other events take place. The hockey team would play about 40 home games each season.
The Casper Ice Arena, located at the city recreation center, is currently the only ice rink in Casper, but Patterson said it does not have the capacity to host professional hockey. Officials in Rapid City are assisting in Casper’s efforts.
Patterson said agreement details should be determined within the next two months in order to offer hockey by next season.
Reach city reporter Kelly Byer at 307-266-0639 or kelly.byer@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyByer.

Where Are They Now - Colton Yellow Horn

Great article about Colton Yellow Horn written by Mitch Cooper at prohockeynews.com. Yellow is currently leading the Reign in scoring. He sure is missed by all of his fans in Allen.



When it Reigns, it pours
Yellow Horn leads team to big win over Bulls
Mitch Cooper
Oct 22, 2012 - 1:00:00 AM

 



ONTARIO, Calif. – In a recent ECHL early season game between the Ontario Reign and the San Francisco Bulls, the Reign came roaring back from a 4-1 deficit. With just over three minutes remaining in regulation, the Reign scored three goals in a minute and 57 seconds to tie the score and then win 5-4 in a shootout.
YH4.jpg
Colton Yellow Horn (by Jack Lima)
Some of the spark for this exciting comeback win was fueled by Ontario forward Colton Yellow Horn, who assisted on the Reign’s third regulation goal. Yellow Horn scored the game-winner in the shootout, firing the puck between the pads of Bulls’ goaltender Thomas Heemskerk. Yellow Horn was selected as the game’s number one star.
“It was kind of a sloppy game,” Yellow Horn said. “But we didn’t quit and came back and got a big win which is huge for us. That’s how you build character. You finish hard no matter what.”
Yellow Horn’s performance was reflective of the way he’s played throughout his hockey career. In 628 games prior to this season, he’s scored 629 points. He is often double-shifted due to great conditioning and plays either wing.
“He’s full of life and energy,” said Reign Head Coach Jason Christie. “He’s tenacious and will find a way to get the puck. I’m excited to have him on the team.”
Christie first encountered Yellow Horn when he coached the Bloomington Prairie Thunder in the CHL and Yellow Horn played for the Allen Americans.
“I remember him from two years ago, when I coached against him,” Christie said. “He’s a little fireball out there and a guy that can beat you. I want him out there as much as possible.”
Yellow Horn is a native of Brocket, Alberta and is a Blackfoot Canadian. The Blackfoot is one of three First Nations tribes that make up the Blackfoot Nation.
“There’s a lot of hockey played (in the tribal nations), but there’s not as many kids,” Yellow Horn said. “Whenever I go home, I try to get the kids to be active in any kind of sport. I want them to know there’s more to life than (hanging) around there. I’ve been fortunate enough to play hockey and see the world; done lots of things I would have never done and I want them to have the same opportunities.”
Yellow Horn began his career in major juniors with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Tri-City Americans in the WHL. He traveled overseas to play for Salzburg in the Austrian League, and then returned to the states to play for the Elmira Jackals and Stockton Thunder, both ECHL teams.
“I played in Stockton for a couple of months,” Yellow Horn said. “But it didn’t work out. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.”
YH7.jpg
Yellow Horn battles for puck (by Jack Lima)
That change of scenery took him to Allen, Texas where he helped the Americans to three playoff appearances, including the CHL finals 2009-2010. It was there that he played with current Dallas/Texas Stars defenseman Jamie Benn.
“He’s an unreal guy,” Benn said. “He’s a great teammate, a great hockey player and a good buddy of mine.”
Yellow Horn decided to leave the CHL and join the Reign because the he felt the ECHL’s style of hockey better suited his game.
“It’s a little different game in the ECHL,” Yellow Horn said. “The CHL is more of a puck possession game and here (there are) younger guys who chip the puck in and out. There’s a little more grinding.”
“I also have some really close friends that I grew up with that are here,” Yellow Horn added. “There are others (in the league) who are out there as well. But there are no friends out on the ice (for the opposition).”
YH_Bulls_game_1.jpg
Yellow Horn discusses call with Ref (by Mitch Cooper)
Like any professional minor league hockey player, Yellow Horn strives for the opportunity to move up in his profession.
“I hope I get the opportunity (to play in the AHL),” Yellow Horn said. “I can only control how I play and hopefully I do well enough.”
One of the current barriers for moving up is the NHL lockout that threatens the 2012-2013 NHL season.
“It’s going to be tough to move up with the lockout this year,” Yellow Horn said. “So hopefully that gets settled soon so guys down here have a chance to move up. People don’t realize that the lockout affects not only the NHL players, but minor leaguers as well.”
His coach feels he’s capable of moving up to a higher league, but the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself.
“I don’t think he’s ever been in a situation where he’s been in position to be called up,” Christie said. “Hopefully, I can do that for him. That’s one of my goals. It’s a long process, but I’ll work hard for him.”
No matter who you talk to, they all agree that Yellow Horn is talented, tenacious, good in the locker room, and a positive influence on everyone he comes in contact with. He credits his parents for his positive outlook on life.
“My parents are the biggest part of my attitude,” Yellow Horn said. “They never pushed me to play hockey. That was my decision. But they said once you start, you can’t quit. They said if I worked hard, everything else would fall into place.”
It would appear that things have fallen into place just fine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CHL Takes Over Quad City Mallards

CHL takes over Mallards

Here is a press release from the CHL regarding the take over of the Quad City Mallards.
GLENDALE, AZ (October 23, 2012) – The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today that the league has taken control of the Quad City Mallards in an effort to stabilize the current operations, provide funding and evaluate the ownership status in order to keep the club in the Quad Cities at the i wireless Center in Moline, Illinois.
“The CHL is committed to the Quad Cities market and is confident that the long-standing tradition of Mallards hockey can flourish once again,” said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner.
The CHL will work alongside current Mallards Executive Vice President Ryan Simmons and the i wireless Center and their General Manager Scott Mullen to run operations of the team.
“We are very appreciative to the building and in particular Scott Mullen for his efforts in helping keep the franchise operating over the past few months as well as to the Mallards staff who has been through a challenging off-season,” added Lewis. “One of the immediate tasks is to hire additional front office staff to complement the current group of employees.”
The Mallards are heading into their third season in the CHL and were originally established in 1995. The organization previously won three league championships and had 50 or more wins in five consecutive seasons. The Flock are 71-58-3 in their two seasons in the CHL and will begin their 2012-13 season on the road in Tulsa on Friday night with their home opener slated for Saturday, October 27 against the Oilers.
“We believe in this market and are fully aware of what strength that a solid organization in Quad Cities can add to our league now and into the future,” said Lewis.

Where Are They Now - Josh Hepditch

Cover Photo
Allen Americans Blog



This is the first in a series of articles where we will try and catch up with some of the Americans players from the past. If there is anyone you would like to hear from please post a comment.

 Josh Hepditch only played one year for the Americans (2011-2012) but if your ever spent time talking to him you new he had bigger goals in mind. He was a champion in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playing for the Moncton Wildcats, the Canadian University Sport (CIS)  where he won the University Cup three times playing for the University of New Brunswick. He was also selected as an Academic All Canadian.

We caught up with Josh and his new bride Kathryn in Creston, Britich Columbia where he is the new coach and general manager of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats which is a Junior B team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). Kathryn is a physical therapist at Creston Physioworks.

Kathryn, tell us a little about your summer?
  Josh and I began our trek home from Texas a week after the season  
> sadly ended in late April.  We drove East with teammate Nick Layton  
> and his fiance Melissa Russwurm following closely with 2 hockey  
> bags strapped to the roof of our car.  We spent a couple days in  
> Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and then in Virginia Beach, Virginia,  
> along with a couple other stops in Georgia and Connecticut. It was a  
> bitter sweet trip because we weren't ready to leave Allen; however  
> we were looking forward to seeing our families.
> When we arrived home we quickly settled back into our Canadian  
> lives. Josh began his summer job installing pools and I resumed my  
> position as a physiotherapist with CBI Health Centre in Fredericton,  
> NB.
> We got married on August 4th, 2012, which was my 26th birthday and  
> my parents' wedding anniversary. It was the most perfect, sunny day  
> and went without a glitch.  A week later we headed West again to the  
> other side of the country.
 
Josh, How did you end up in Creston? Were you looking for a coaching job?
I realized I wanted to coach about 4 years ago. I wanted to play  
> at the highest level for as long as I could. I tell everyone I meet  
> that last year in Texas was one of the best years of my life. Being  
> a professional in the hockey world is a great job, and knowing that   
> I wanted to coach, I told myself last summer if I had a good  
> opportunity I would take it and begin my coaching career and work my  
> way up to hopefully one day coach in the professional leagues.  
> The job all came about when I was coaching a spring team in Montreal  
> and I ran into my former coach, Danny Flynn, (Head Coach/GM with the  
> Moncton Wildcats) who was scouting at the tournament. We caught up  
> and I explained to him my goals and it wasn't a few weeks later he  
> called and told me about a great opportunity in Creston, BC. I did  
> my research and it looked good so I applied and was shortly after  
> hired.
 
I see your job title is General Manager/Coach. What are the off
 ice responsibilities that go with the job of General Manager?
>
> General Manager is usually the person over seeing the team as a  
> whole so I am kind of my own boss. Being the general manager I also  
> have to keep up with what is happening with player transactions  
> (trades, cuts, recruits) in our league and the leagues around us. As  
> a general manager I am responsible for making the trades, cuts, and  
> the tough decisions that go with the game of hockey. I try to keep  
> up on the movement in other leagues and watch players that I could be  
> interested in down the road. Creston, being such a small  
> organization, the job head coach/general manager gives me all the  
> duties from coaching,teaching, planning, making trades, signing of  
> players, road trip planning in regards to meals and hotels and  
> itineraries. It's a lot of jobs in one but it gives me a chance to  
> learn a bunch of different roles all at once.
 
 What are some of the challenges moving from player to coach?

> The biggest thing that I am dealing with right now is the fact I  
> can't do anything in regards to the outcome of the game. I find  
> myself getting so into the game I want to be back on the ice as a  
> player, trying to make a difference. I am starting to get used to it  
> but it's hard. Also the way you deal with the players; you can be  
> friends with them but you also have to be their boss and the one to  
> make the difficult decisions. When the team goes through tough times  
> a lot of the pressure comes down on the coach and I have to be able  
> to handle the pressure. I thought I would miss it way more than I do  
> and as much as I miss being a player it helps to be on the ice  
> everyday and still involved with the game. 
 

  What is it like living in what seems like a small town (under  
> 6000 according to Wikipedia)? Are you used to living a long way from  
> home yet? What do you guys do when you have time off, if you have any?
>
> Creston is a very small town.  We have 4 traffic lights that go  
> down one main road. We can walk anywhere in town in under 30  
> minutes, and we already run into at least one person we know every  
> time we go to the grocery store and we've only been here for 7  
> weeks. We're really enjoying the town, it's very quaint and  
> picturesque.  We're surrounded by spectacular mountains and we're right  
> on Kootneay Lake, which is beautiful.  Creston is located 10 minutes  
> North of the Idaho border, so we frequently visit our American  
> neighbors to get a shopping fix.
To give you an idea of how small it really is, our closest Wal Mart is  
over an hour drive. That is taking some getting used to, but the  
friendly community and beautiful scenery makes up for the lack of  
shopping.
> We're not used to being this far from home.  We really miss our  
> family, who are about 5000kms away and a 4 hour time difference.  
> We're anxiously awaiting visitors.
> There's lots to do in our time off, although we haven't had  
> much.  There's hiking and biking trails all over the mountains and  
> valleys.  We have 5 ski hills within an hour drive, some have  
> already had snow fall on the summits.
> Most of our weekends have been spent at the hockey rink, but we've  
> had a chance to explore some the communities we travel to for hockey.
 
 
 Kathryn, I know you could not work in Texas because you didn't have
 a work visa. Not being able to work in your field as a physical therapist
 was difficult. How did you get the job at Creston PhysioWorks & More? Did you  
> have the job lined up before you arrived in Creston?  
> 
>
> One of the board members for the Thundercats hockey team is an  
> acquaintance of the owners of Creston PhysioWorks & More. He  
> contacted the owners and they quickly got in touch with me.  This  
> all happened while Josh and I were in Fredericton, so I had the  
> position lined up before we arrived.
> In such a small town, it's difficult to recruit physical therapists,  
> so they were just as excited as I was to accept the full-time  
> position.  In fact, the clinic is located in a brand new, state of  
> the art recreation centre, equipped with a fitness centre, aquatic  
> centre, curling club and hockey rink, which houses none other than  
> the Creston Valley Thundercats so Josh and I work in the same  
> building! 
 
  What do you miss about the North Texas Area & the Allen Americans?
>
> We miss the people in North Texas and the hospitality of the  
> Allen Americans community.  We also miss the camaraderie of the  
> players and their families.  We made so many friends and shared so  
> many great memories. Allen was such a beautiful place to live; there  
> was so much to do we're never just sitting around. 
 
 Anything else you would like to share or any message for your  
friends here in Texas?
 
> We really miss everybody there; we made so many close friends not  
> just on the team but in the community and organization. We are  
> planning on making a trip near the end of the Americans' season to  
> visit. In saying that, I won't mention individual names but thanks  
> so much to everyone that made our year so special. The town of Allen  
> has so much to be proud of and the Allen Americans is a first class  
> organization from the bottom right to the top. We hope to see  
> everyone sometime this season and we wish you all the best  
> throughout this hockey season.
  


 
 
 



 
 
 
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Americans Sweep Sundogs


Americans Gain Weekend Sweep Over 'Dogs


The Allen Americans and Steve Silverthorn earned the first shutout in the CHL for the 2012-13 season thanks to Silverthorn’s 30 save performance in his team’s 4-0 victory at the Allen Event Center on Saturday night.

Scotty Howes paced the Americans offense with a pair of goals and Adam Pineault and Darryl Bootland each found the back of the net giving the home team more than enough to get past the Sundogs.

Arizona was the busier team outshooting the Americans 30-16 and they had six power play chances compared to just four for Allen but they could not find the back of the net.

Howes, Bootland, Pineault and Brett Skinner each had two point games.

The Allen Americans scored three consecutive power play goals on Sunday afternoon en route to a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Arizona Sundogs.  The win gives the Americans a weekend sweep over Arizona in their back-to-back games.

The Americans shined in the shootout with all four skaters scoring against Arizona’s Adam Russo but it was Jamie Schaafsma’s goal that would earn credit for the game winner.

Adam Pineault, Jarret Lukin and Darryl Bootland scored the PP goals for Allen.

Arizona’s David Schlemko scored the game’s first goal with a shorthanded strike, he later added an assist as well.

Jason Morgan and Mario Larocque also scored goals for the Sundogs.

Steve Silverthorn made 26 saves improving to 2-0 on the season, while Russo made 22 saves taking the loss.
 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Coach Martinson - Post Game Comments

Here are a few of the comments Coach Martinson made after the game tonight:

- I liked what we did but I did not like how we did it
- Too many guys tried to manufacture plays that weren't there
- I like to play probabilities
- Trying to make a saucer pass through two opponents is not a high probability play
- Steve Silverthorn  was outstanding & he will play again on Sunday
- I want more goals like the one Darryl Bootland scored. Knock down a player, get control of the puck, create a mismatch and put the puck on net
- We didn't put enough pucks on net
- We need to chip more pucks in the zone rather than make fancy plays

Former Americans Players Off To Good Start

Thought I would take a look at how some of our former players are doing this year and found the following:

- Justin Bowers is leading the entire ECHL in scoring with three goals and six assists in four games. Justin plays for the San Francisco Bulls along with former Americans defencemen Dylan King, Scott Langdon & Trevor Hendrix.

- Dave Bonk is second in the league in scoring. Dave plays for the Nikko Icebucks in the Asia League.

- Judd Blackwater leads his team (Las Vegas Wranglers) in scoring

- Colton Yellow Horn is second in scoring for his team (Ontario Reign), has a game winning goal, and his team leads the ECHL Western Conference in points.

- Bruce Graham has four goals and six assists in twelve games for his team, the Nottingham Panthers in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) based in the United Kingdom. They are currently in third place in their conference.

- Josh Hepditch is in his first year as head coach and general manager of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). Look for a post next week that will start a series of "Where Are They Now" features where we will catch up with Josh and his wife Kathryn on all that has happened in their lives since last year when they were living in North Texas.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Tough Was Coach Martinson As A Player

Had heard Coach Martinson was a tough, hard-nosed player so thought I would take a look at his fighting statistics at dropyourgloves.com. Close to 200 fights in his career including including 41 in 1985-1986 while playing for the Hershey Bears for a total of 432 penalty minutes. Average over his career IS close to 5 PIM's per game. Those are Kip Brennan numbers. Yes, he was a tough guy and when he says we are going to be big, strong, tough, and hard to play against there is no doubt he is correct. DREAD THE RED!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scotty & Andrew Howes- Paired Preferences

We asked Scotty & Andrew Howes their preference on an number of paired items. Check out the results:

                                                               Andrew                            Scotty

Dog or Cat                                             Dog                                   Dog
Ford or Chevrolet                                   Chevrolet                          Ford
PlayStation or XBOX                             Both                                  Neither
Beer or Wine                                          Beer                                  Wine
Sushi or Mexican                                    Mexican                            Sushi
Ocean or Lake                                       Lake                                 Ocean
Boxers or Briefs                                     Boxers                              Boxers
Kindle or Hardback                               Hardback                          Kindle
Brad Pitt or George Clooney                 George Clooney                 Brad Pitt
Coke or Pepsi                                       Coke                                 Neither
Lady Gaga or Rihanna                           Rihanna                             Rihanna
Beef or Chicken                                    Chicken                            Chicken
Tiger Woods or Rory Mcllroy                Tiger Woods                     Tiger Woods
Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil                                  Dr. Oz                               Neither
Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood        Taylor Swift                       Carrie Underwood
Big Brother or Amazing Race                Amazing Race                   Amazing Race
Titleist or Srixon                                    Titleist                               Titleist
Survivor or The Bachelor                      The Bachelor                     The Bachelor
Clean or Messy                                    Clean                                 Clean
Facebook or Twitter                             Neither                              Neither
Fishing or Hunting                                 Both                                  Fishing
Justin Bieber or Kanye West                 Justin Bieber                      Neither
Dancing with The Stars or So               So You Think Can Dance   So You Think You Can Dance
You Think You Can Dance
                  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tommy Daniels Q&A with Coach Steve Martinson

Q&A with Head Coach Steve Martinson


Q&A with Head Coach Steve Martinson

We caught up with Allen Americans Head Coach Steve Martinson as the hockey club begins pre-season play this weekend vs. Texas. Hockey season is here and no one is more excited than the Americans' new head man behind the bench.


Q: What are your opinions of the first few days of Training Camp? How does the team look?
Steve Martinson: “We came into camp and we knew were going to have skill and depth up front. Some of the young guys have looked really good and it will make some decisions really tough. The problem is that the proven, skilled guys and veteran guys have also looked good. It’s a good problem to have. The big thing is the addition of some defenseman. We came in with only four signed, on paper, and we knew we were going to get (Mike) Montgomery. We had five. We knew we needed to add some defenseman but I was confident that the guys we wanted would be available.”

Q: Who has caught your eye among the defensemen?
SM: “Well, getting a guy like (Brett) Skinner was big for us. We have guys we have confidence in to quarterback the power play but to get guy like Skinner, a Denver University star, and one of the best types of a player you will get at this level. He had 47 points in the American League. Skinner can carry the puck in and can quarterback the power play. There is also Derek Matheson. We were looking for a big-bodied defenseman who could play against the other teams’ physical lines and then we’ve got Drew Daniels who we just picked up. He was a seventh round pick by San Jose. He’s also played center and is versatile.”

Q: What can fans expect to see in this year’s Allen Americans team?
SM: “The difference between this year and last year is the style of play I like to implement. We will intimidate more with our forwards. Our defense has to be mobile and has to be able to move their feet. We will beat the trap and the one-man fore check a lot with our defense. They have to be able to play a certain way. When people look at our team, the style of play will look a lot different than what they’ve seen in the past. I think fans will like what they see. It certainly will be entertaining.”

Q: How physical do you want the forwards to be?
SM: “Consistently physical. Relentless. When they opened up the game, some people thought it was more of a skill game. But the flip side of that is that if you have guys that can fore check and hit, you can’t hold them up. So when you play these same teams over and over again often, they’re going to get a steady dose of our forwards. When you have guys like (Kip) Brennan and (Darryl) Bootland and (Ryley) Grantham and big wingers like (Adam) Pineault, (Bradley) Gallant, (Chapen) Leblond - big bodied guys - we’re going to have some guys that want to fore check and like to hit people. That adds up over time.”

Q: How excited are you to start the season?
SM: “I can’t wait to get playing. The veteran rule in this league and the quality of life here in Allen has given us the ability to attract some quality veterans. I’m really excited about the lineup that we have. Right now if you said, ‘What do we need?’ there really aren’t a lot of holes. With (Steve) Silverthorn, we have a veteran goalie that’s won a championship. We’ve got physical defensemen, and we’ve got skilled defensemen. And the biggest thing we have is mobile defense. We’ve got a ton of skill up front but we also have power. We are ready to go.”

Q: What will the lineups look like this weekend in the pre-season games?
SM: “Friday night we’re going to get some of the try-out guys in there and some of the young guys that are fighting for a spot. And Saturday night in Allen we’ll hone it in a little bit – Bootland will be back in and Kip will be in and we’ll be able to play an aggressive skilled game and it will be fun to watch. And a fun game to coach.”

Q: How has it been working with Richard Matvichuk, Craig Ludwig and Steve Duchesne on the ice during practices?
SM: “I’ve been coaching for 16 seasons now. This is going to be a fun team. I get to work with Matti and Craig and Steve have been on the ice with us, and it’s been great. I’ve been used to doing everything myself for 16 years. Right now they’re doing the first half of the skating drills and the practice and it’s been good for me to have the time to watch our team. For the first time in my career, I was able to sit in the stands for an hour and watch the scrimmage and that is very valuable for me. These things I’m not accustomed to. It’s an advantage and a luxury. It’s really nice to have NHL defensemen working with your players and talking about the wealth and experience that they have, and then of course we have the current NHL players who are practicing some with us, that brings another element. I think it’s kind of nice for our guys to skate with Ray Whitney. Can you imagine going to camp and getting a chance to skate on a line with Ray Whitney? The guys can learn a ton just by watching them. Everything has been first class – from the meals to the locker room areas – it’s all top shelf here with the Americans.”

Q: How did you become a coach?
SM: “I found I had a passion for it. After my playing days I went out and got a business degree and got into financial consulting. It always looked like I was going to get into business. I ended up coaching a pro roller hockey team. I did it to meet the owners and the team and the league because I wanted to make the contacts for the financial consulting. I liked it. And found that I liked it a lot. Then they were forming a new league and Don Waddell recommended me to Ron Hahn in San Diego and the rest is history. I love hockey and I have a passion for it. I could talk it all day long. When you’ve got guys like Richard and Craig around, there are two more guys who love the game and it’s made this a lot of fun.”

Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence for you as a coach?
SM: “As a player I was kind of a hired gun so I played for a lot of different coaches, and I saw what worked and what didn’t work. I think the one thing you cannot be a phony in this job. I pride myself in being able to measure what a guy can do and push him. I push guys in different ways to be at his ability level consistently. I want teams that work hard. The one thing that we have here this year, and it makes a big difference, is that our top guys on the payroll are leading by example. They’re working hard on both sides of the puck. Those are the easiest teams to coach. When your top forwards are playing a complete game, it trickles down among the entire group. I’ve had the most success with those types of guys – those complete guys – than a guy that led the league in scoring. We have some good players here and it should be a fun year.”

Player Profile - Scott Howes #13 Forward

                                                               
                                                                     

Birth date: September 3, 1987
Hometown: Toronto, ONT

Things you need to know about "Howesy":

Family: Mom Paula, Dad Kevin, Brother Andrew, Wife Katie, Dog Simba

Hockey Hero: Glen Metropolit, Trevor Daley

* Started skating and playing hockey at age 3
* Favorite food is potato chips
* Favorite actors are Denzel Washington & Mark Whalberg
* Favorite childhood toy was a police car that lit up
* Likes hip hop music
* Favorite TV show is The Voice

Scott won the Kelly Cup (ECHL Championship) in 2011 as a member of the Alaska Aces and was named Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Interesting article by Kevin Woodley in recent issue of In Goal magazine. Great idea and great publicity for Chris Whitley. I heard today the mask is not completed yet but look forward to seeing it in person.


As if having an A-Team themed mask wasn’t cool enough, Allen Americans goaltender Chris Whitley had teammates faces painted on the bodies of the four characters from the show.
Chris Whitley may be back playing in the Central Hockey League, but there is nothing minor league about his new A-Team mask from HeadStrongGrafx.
In truth, InGoal would probably applaud any attempt to work the 1980s television show onto a mask, but Whitley went beyond the simple and somewhat obvious alphabetical tie in between the A-Team and his team, the Allen Americans.
In addition to Mr. T’s van flying through an explosion on the right side of the mask – ”which typically happened every show,” Whitley noted, “something was always getting blown up” – the 29-year-old goaltender actually had the faces of four Allen players painted onto the bodies of the show’s four main characters, casting himself as Hannibal.
“I asked guys I thought might fit the role as the characters,” said Whitley, who played two seasons for the Americans before spending last year in Dundee, Scotland of the EIHL. “I asked Darryl Bootland to be Mr. T because he is a tough guy. Nino Musitell is Faceman because he is funny. Jarrett Lukin is Murdoch because I think he is crazy and I gave myself the role of Hannibal as the guy who is gonna lead us from the back end. I wanted to show the respect I have for these guys and the whole team. I would have loved to put everyone on it, but I designed the mask right after I signed and wanted it before the season started.”
Whitley, who played one game in the AHL two seasons ago, had previously used Batman themes on his helmets, but wanted something different for his return to Allen. So he had HeadStrongGrafx wrap the entire thing in an American flag, with the team logo on the forehead and the A-Team theme everywhere else, right down to the bullet holes throughout.
“I had this idea for a while,” Whitley said. “I was a fan of the A-Team TV show as well as the [2010] movie and thought it would be a goood fit with our team name. The mask actually has the American flag wrapped around it and the front has our logo with bullet holes again signifying the armed battles the A-Team usually goes through.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Allen Americans Media Day

Great media day event put on by the Allen Americans. Much more interest than in past years. Heard from Modano, Ludwig, Belfour, Duchesne, Matvichuk, & Martinson. You might think there are lots of cooks in the kitchen but the consistency of the message from each of them was right on. It is obvious the ownership group has been successful in attracting quality players. As coach Martinson said, we are
going to be big, strong, tough and hard to play against but with good speed and skill as well. The building blocks are there but a lot of work ahead to build a team. Brenden Morrow & Ray Whitney joined the group of Dallas Stars players skating with the team today. Martinson mentioned how valuable it was to have the Stars participate.
 
Other tidbits:
 
- There are a couple of defensemen on the way who are as yet unannounced
- Martinson, Matvichuk, Ludwig & Duchesne were all on the ice at practice
- Scott Howes not in camp yet. Is on the way
- KLAK (97.5) will be working with the Americans again this year. 
- You can get the broadcast inside the Allen Event Center. Bring your radio to the game and listen to Tommy Daniels
- There was some good natured kidding about the minority owners suiting up for a game. I'm just sayin!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Found this interesting post by geofissiffoeg on CHLforums.com:

Andrew Howes is an interesting pick up for the Americans. He's the kind of player everyone wants. He has hands (not the greatest but they can get the job done), he'll hit anything that moves, and he's not afraid to fight. In his first game with the Ice Flyers last season he had a Gordie Howe hattrick. The interesting part comes into play because he returned home to Toronto because "his heart wasn't in it anymore". I don't think he was really that tired of hockey just he wanted to be there for his girlfriend and their new born baby. Now 8 or 9 months later, he's giving hockey another go.

The lions are ready for hockey after a lazy summer!



10/8/12 - Welcome to the Heritage Ranch Allen Americans Fan Club blog. This is a work in progress and hopefully both the content and design will improve over time. I wanted to get the site going as training camp gets underway. It was great to see all of the returning and new players at camp today along with Stars players Ericksson, Fistric, Daley, Robidas, & Bachman. Nice to see Jarret Lukin finally wearing his favorite number #32, so long #40 & #7.