Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cats & Dogs, McMillin On His Way, Howes Signs, Pitton Honored & More

Not much new today so am going to cover a lot of "cats and dogs" from all over the place speaking of which have you ever noticed hockey players are really big dog lovers. Sounds like a good idea for a story (The Dogs of the Allen Americans). The only player I know with a cat is Darryl Bootland (at least he had one last year). When I interviewed him last year he was slightly embarrassed to admit he had a cat and said the boys back home would give him a lot of s*** if they knew he had a cat. For the record the cat's official name (named by Booter's son Trace) is Aunt Hot Donna Lord Tubbington Bootland but you can call her Hot Donna. If truth be known, I would bet the real cat lover in the house would be Booter's wife, Sarah.

- True to his word Coach Martinson has come to terms with Brian McMillin to return to the Americans. Brian and his wife Wendy are winging their way home from Coventry, England today. It is a 24 hour trip from door to door. The door in the US happens to be Roseau, Minnesota which is having a heat wave this week as the temperatures have been above zero several times and the nighttime lows will only be -18. Last week it was -30 and I am not talking wind chill. A report date has not been determined so not sure when we will see McMillin in Texas.
From Coventry England to Allen, Texas. Welcome back Brian!!

- You may have noticed Scott Howes signed with Brampton yesterday. A great signing for the Beast and one that will surely help them if  Scott can stay healthy. Since he got called up to the AHL from the Americans in January (2013) he has only played in 16 games. Howes started this year in  Europe where he only played in four games this season in the Austrian League playing for a team from Slovenia. One of his teammates was Judd Blackwater. Colton Yellow Horn plays for another team in that league. Scott is from Toronto so he will be able to play close to home for the first time in his professional career.

- Missouri defenseman Henrik Odegaard has been granted a leave of absence by the league to allow him to attend the final training camp for the Norwegian Olympic Team in preparation for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Odegaard has made it to the final tryout stage and will know in the coming days if he has made the Olympic roster.

- In addition to Odegaard the Mavericks lost another player yesterday as back up goalie, Joe Howe,  signed with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). The move caught Mavericks coach Scott Hillman and his squad by surprise. “Kind of blindsided by it,” Hillman said Monday morning as Christmas tunes played in the background of the Mavericks’ locker room. “I had no idea. It’s a move we don’t support, because we feel this is a lateral move. We’re all for guys making big steps in their career, but not when it comes at the expense of your teammates at this time of the season.”

- The Rapid City Rush (18-3-0) tied the CHL record with 10 straight wins to start the season and they have not slowed down since.  The club went 7-3-0 in their second 10 games tying them with the Colorado Eagles for the most wins (17) through the first 20 games of the season (since the CHL/WPHL merger in 2001-02 season).  No team over the past dozen seasons has won 18 of their first 21 games and only the Rocky Mountain Rage (2007-08) earned as many points in their first 21 games going 17-2-2 (36 points).  The Rush are on the cusp of another CHL record having won nine consecutive road games.  The CHL record for consecutive road wins is 10 set four times, most recently in 2001-02 when Odessa accomplished this feat.  Rapid City can tie and potentially break the record this weekend when they play in Denver on Friday and Saturday taking on the Cutthroats (12-8-4).

- In a true testament  to the hockey saying you miss 100% of the shots you don't take Denver forward Garett Bembridge leads the league in goals and shots by a wide margin. He has 21 goals which is five more than anyone else in the league. If you look at shots taken the top four in the league are at 138, 117, 100, 94. Bembridge is the 138. Jonathan Lessard leads the Americans in shots with 76.

- Congrats to Bryan Pitton who was named the 3rd star in the Oakley 3 Stars of the Week competition. Bryan played his first game in two weeks on Saturday in Missouri and his 40 save shutout effort against the Mavericks was one of the best goaltending performances of the season.  Pitton made 17 second period stops and for the game faced five power plays. Hope he gets one of the starts this weekend so the Allen fans can see him play against his brother, Beast forward Jason Pitton.

-  To say the Allen home record thus far of 4-4-2 is a disappointment would be an understatement as you hear fans say how the Americans stink at home. This may be the weekend to break out and get two wins. Reminds me of a John Madden saying, "Winning is the Best Deodorant."

- Don't forget tonight and tomorrow night players will be appearing at La Belle Boutique in downtown Plano from 6:00 - 7:00 pm.

- The last I heard the Americans were planning on a "Hockey and Heels" session for Saturday night. For ladies only (no you don't have to wear heels) and what a deal. For $10 (if you have a ticket for the game already) you get upgraded to a suite, a wine tasting, and some practical hockey discussion with Americans staff. It starts at 5:30 pm. Contact Erik Adams (erikadams@allenamericans.com) to reserve your spot. You won't be disappointed!

DID YOU KNOW: The Americans have played 23 games thus far and have 28 points. Last year after 23 games the Americans had 35 points.


  1. I am hoping that Pitton gets the start for both games. I am elated that Brian will be coming "home" to Allen. Scotty? Did we know he was available? And as far as Bootland having a cat, you know the old saying "Real men love cats"! Last but not least, wishing Odegaard the very best and "God speed".

  2. Either way Scotty will be welcome in Allen. J I st wished it was a red jersey, but wemcome back Scotty an Brian to this side of the pond.