Today the Americans will travel as a team to Anchorage, Alaska where they play the Alaska Aces on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Luckily, Big Red (the bus) wasn't a viable option since it would take almost three days to drive the 4000 miles to Anchorage and Big Red is way to old (18 years) to survive a trip like that in the winter.
So the good news is the team travels in style which is Alaska Airlines. The bad news is the trip will take all day. From start to finish with a stop in Seattle it will be a 12 hour process and the team won't arrive at the hotel in Anchorage until around 2:00 am Allen time. I am sure it will be nice to spend six nights in one place on a road trip. After the three game series with Alaska the team returns home on Sunday.
It will be a late night if you want to listen to or watch the games with Alaska live. Anchorage time is three hours earlier than Allen time. All three games have a 7:15 pm local start time which means a 10:15 pm puck drop back in Allen.
- As for who made the trip to Alaska, the last indication from coach Martinson was Reid Halabi and Riley Gill would stay home as they are still recovering from injuries. Vincent Arseneau is going to make the trip. At the last couple of press conferences, coach Martinson mentioned he was actively pursuing a trade to provide more depth for the team. Part of any potential trade could be the rights to either Ian Schultz and/or Justin Baker who are no longer with the team, but the Americans do retain their rights. Heard last night that Allen has made a trade but have been unable to confirm the details with team officials. Would assume the team will be making an announcement today.
- There will be a lot of support for the team in Alaska and they will be loud and proud because they will be led by a contingent of the drummers group. From what I have heard there will be big group of Allen Americans fans traveling to Alaska. The weather forecast for the week calls for lows in the 20's, highs in the 30's with a chance of rain and/or snow on a couple of the days. Hopefully, I will get some reports and pictures from the group during the week.
- The ECHL has scheduled a press conference for today so would assume the announcement that professional hockey will be returning to Worcester will be the headline.
- Here are a few photos from the last couple of games that talk to the entire experience when attending an Allen Americans game:
|"I love going to hockey games" - photo by Dainne Webster|
|"I am barely touching you bro" - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
|"The puck stops here" - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
|"What do you mean you are here for the mascot tryouts" - photo by Dianne Webster|
|"You gotta be kidding me" - photo by Dianne Webster|
- Every time the Ice Angels perform on the ice at an Allen Americans game you marvel at all the talented young women Ice Angels Director and Choreographer Stephanie Di Biase-Wheat assembles each season. They are professionals in every sense of the word and many will go on to become members of NFL, NBA or NHL dance teams. Some have already been members of major league dance teams. Here is a video of the Ice Angels performance on Saturday:
DID YOU KNOW: While doing research for the Wichita radio broadcast on Saturday I came across several connections between Allen and Wichita players. Here are a few:
- Gary Steffes and Wichita forward Micheal Neal were teammates in Bakersfield (2013-14)
- Joel Rumpel and Wichita defenseman Eric Springer were college teammates at the University of Wisconsin.
- Chris Crane and Wichita defensemen Brandon Martell were college teammates at Ohio State University.
- Wichita captain Ian Lowe played hockey at Bemidji State University (Minnesota) at the same time Wendy McMillin (Brian's wife) was playing division one hockey at Bemidji State.
- Wichita tough guy Erick Lizon played for Steve Martinson back 2006-07 when Martinson was coaching the Rockford IceHogs of the United Hockey League.