|It has been a long time from this picture at the beginning of the season to the championship finals - photo by SceneByKimberly.com|
- Had a chance to watch pre-game skates this morning by both teams and if you can tell anything by watching I would say the mood is "let's get this thing going. It is time to get it on."
- I contact a couple of the players from the 2010 team that went to the CHL finals and this is what they had to say:
Liam Huculak -
I've been keeping up with Americans this season and I'm really pulling for them in the finals! I've got a few really good friends on the team. Getting to play in the finals doesn't come around very often so for me the 2010 CHL Finals will be something I will never forget. By this time in the year the team has pulled together and like 2010, would do anything for each other. Playoffs are the best time of the year, especially when you're in the finals. I'm pulling for the Americans and I really hope they bring the cup to Allen. One of my best memories from Allen is the fans and they deserve a championship along with team!
Bruce Graham -
What I remember most about the finals against Rapid City is the excitement surrounding the team. Expansion team that overcame the odds all year and now were in the finals.
We had leads going into the 3rd period every game except game 5 I believe.
Rapid City showed a lot of heart and battle in the series and 3rd periods ended up being our worst nightmare. Big shout out to Luky as I think his 4th year with the team will bring a championship.
With Deitchy leading the way and what I've heard about Dell in net I'm going to predict Allen in 6.
- The pregame roster for tonight's game on the CHL web site shows Adam Pineault as not playing and since he has not been on the ice I assume he will be the player on injured reserve this round. However, I have not seen the official roster.
- I haven't talked to anyone who thinks the two referees in the finals is a good idea. Bryan Lewis, Referee-in-Chief for the CHL has apparently insisted this is not an experiment. It is hard to think of what you would call it other than an experiment. COME ON, MAN!!
- Saw an interview with Thunder coach Kevin McClelland and he also has some doubts on the wisdom of having two referees in the finals. As many Allen fans have said, why didn't they try this during the season before implementing the two referees in the finals. Kevin has warned his players that slashing, hooking, etc. behind the play will be called in this series where it might not have been with one referee. A couple of other things he mentions in the interview include the importance of coming out fast in the first period after the long layoff and how important it is for the Thunder to stay disciplined especially if Allen starts to get chippy. He specifically talked about not getting involved in what he called Bootland's antics.
- A big night in the ECHL as all four second round series are 3-2 in games and in action tonight. Remember, there are four rounds to the championship in the ECHL. The series are:
Reading (3) vs Florida (2)
Cincinnati (3) vs Gwinnett (2)
Stockton (3) vs Anchorage (2)
Idaho (3) vs Ontario (2)
- If you haven't seen the new logo of the Iowa Wild, here it is.
Not real popular from what all of the message board posts are saying. The Houston Aeros will no longer exist as a franchise after the conclusion of the AHL Calder Cup playoffs currently in progress. Houston is playing Grand Rapids in the first round and the series is tied 1-1. They play game three tomorrow (Wednesday). The Iowa Wild, who are the AHL team of the Minnesota Wild, will play in Des Moines and ownership is saying all of the right things, “Des Moines is an excellent sports market. Wild fan support is excellent not just in Minnesota but throughout the Upper Midwest, including Iowa,” said Wild owner Craig Leipold in a release. “We know fans in Des Moines will enjoy watching tomorrow’s Minnesota Wild stars. Our team will be entrenched in this community, particularly in youth hockey.”
There are doubters however as the AHL didn't last in the last attempt in Des Moines. Des Moines had an AHL team (Iowa Chops) from 2005-2009 and were affiliated with the Dallas Stars for four years and Edmonton Oilers for one year.
What impact does all of this have on the Americans and their affiliation with the Houston Aeros remains to be seen.