Thursday, April 7, 2016


*Please note: While Barry is on vacation, the views below do not reflect those of Barry or the Allen Americans Organization.

Celebrating a goal - courtesy of Dianne Webster
Before a crowd of 3613, the Allen Americans beat the Evansville IceMen by of score of 7-4.  Allen got off to a slow start as just 6 minutes 3 seconds into the game Evansville was up 2-0.  The first Evansville goal was scored by ex Allen player, Casey Thrush at the 3:13 mark.  Their second goal came at 6:03, by Daultan Leveille.  Allen would answer with a goal at the 7:19 mark by Tristan King.  Scoring for the first period was closed out by IceMen's Mac Olson.  The first period would find Allen down by 2 and being outshot 11-10.

We can only speculate what was said during the first intermission as an inspired, determined team returned to the ice for the second period.  The Americans would score 4 unanswered goals by Thomas Carr (2:27), Gary Steffes (7:12), David Makowski (7:56), and Eric Roy (18:00 SH). The period ended with Allen commanding a 5-3 lead with an ECHL season high 26 shots on goal for the period.

Allen continued the scoring with 2 goals in the third period by Roy (5:06) and Steffes (19:33 EN). Evansville would only answer with 1 goal by Nathan Moon at 15:19.

The game ended with Allen having a team high 53 shots on goal, and emerging victorious 7-4.

Hats off to:

  • Chad Costello with 4 assists increasing his league leading points to 101, and continuing his assist streak to 17 consecutive games (#1 star of game)
  • Eric Roy with 2 goals (#2 star of game)
  • Casey Pierro-Zabotel, 3 assists (#3 star of game)

Newcomers Alex Schoenborn and Thomas Carr scored their first points as professionals.  Carr had 1 goal and 1 assist, Schoenborn had 1 assist.

Alex Schoenborn made his debut last night in an Americans uniform.  The 20 year old right winger was a third round draft choice of the San Jose Sharks.  Alex stands 6'1", weighs 196 lbs,, and was born in Minot, North Dakota

Evansville owner Ron Geary was fined by the ECHL as a result of his actions at Evansville final home game on April 2.  

Coach Martinson's Post Game Comments:
  • (losing his voice) I liked the second period more than the first one
  • we got 4 goals from our defensemen
  • Evansville could have had a couple more goals in the first
  • Asuchak-Hanson line performed well; getting their "A" game back
  • like Schoenborn, gritty, moves feet well, fights for space in front of the net
  • tried Roy at left wing in the 3rd, but moved him back to defense
  • 2 more home games, then the "real" season starts
  • Schoenborn is considered an amateur even though he has played 1 game with the Barracuda
  • Evansville has a lot of speed, 4-5 guys who can really skate; impressed with a few of them
  • Steffes has really improved plus/minus over the last 20 games
  • Evansville players will all be free agents, they want to make an impression for potential positions on other teams next season
  • we have to make sure we are on our "A" game for the playoffs regardless of the opponent
  • will probably play Gill in goal this weekend

Separated at birth?  courtesy of Dianne Webster

Hockey Operations - Part I

It is game day.  You have your ticket.  Some of you may have some ritual that you perform before a game to help our team win.  But what happens before, during and after that game, behind the scenes, to ensure everything goes as planned...or at least, with few glitches?  Allen is fortunate to have an outstanding "Hockey Operations Staff".  If you are at all like us, you know very little about the "Equipment Manager",  "Athletic Trainer", "Goalie Coach", and "Skating Coach".  Our goal here is to introduce you to them and touch on some of what they do in their roles with the Americans.  And when you see these guys, either at the event center, or maybe enjoying a beverage at one of the local watering holes, take a moment to say hello,..and that you appreciate what they do.

Meet Nolan Bowker - Equipment Manager

Nolan at his "real job"
then there is this Nolan:

Nolan Bowker as emergency back-up goalie (courtesy of Diane Webster)

Nolan was born and raised in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver.  He played minor league hockey there.  Nolan was fortunate to leave home at the young age of 16 to play juniors and was the only goalie in BC playing juniors.  He played his last 4 years in Alberta where he gained a lot of experience as well as making tons of friends.  Nolan remembers good times there. Nolan has a 19 yr. old sister who is still in school, and his family still resides in the Vancouver area. Nolan is still a single guy!

We asked Nolan the following - 

How does it feel to lead all ECHL goalies in GAA and SV% - It is funny and cool at the same time. Marty put me in goal against Wichita.  All-in-all it was a fun experience.

When was the last time you played - 2012

How long have you been with the Americans -  This is my first year

What do your duties entail - making sure the guys get what they need to play, preparing the orders, repairs of clothing and equipment (includes sewing), setting the rooms up, skate sharpening, rigging things especially at games.  Sometimes when away, we don't have the tools needed and the host team lets us use theirs. Was once told that I am the jack of all trades but master of none.

Does the ECHL have designated vendors - all the equipment must be CCM and we can only use their sport tape.

Do you operate within a budget - There is a budget but we do not know what it is, so we send up the request(s) for approval. Sometimes something is not approved, i.e. Hildebrand uses composite sticks so I explained to him that he probably have to use a wooden stick. Hildy was really cool and understood.

In the 1 years with the Americans is there an interesting moment that sticks in your mind - Probably when Shultzy blocked a shot and broke his skate holder off and times when I was emergency back up goalie, I was repairing the skate while in full goalie gear. (there are some funny videos floating around)

In addition to the Hockey Operations Staff, we interviewed Jordan Manias; Senior Executive of Sales and Service.  If you do not have a ticket representative, and need help, Jordan is there for you.   Bug him as much as you can (only kidding!)

Meet Jordan - 

Jordan Manias was born in St. Louis but moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he spent most of his time with his mom.  His dad worked for a professional sports team in public relations (job required a lot of travel) and that influenced what direction Jordan wanted to go. Jordan played hockey since he was 3 years old and went on to play at the University of Dayton where he was a Left Wing Forward.  When school was completed, he did not have a job.  His Dad was working for Legends (owned by the Cowboys and Yankees), and was based in Dallas.  So Jordan had to decide between Cleveland and Dallas.  Of course, Dallas sounded much better to him so he headed southwest and landed in Dallas. He started an internship with the Texas Tornado which wound up folding only 2 weeks later.   He sent his resume to the Allen Americans, where Mike Martin called him quickly only to have his voicemail accidentally deleted by Jordan.   Not knowing who called him or why, he immediately called the number to find that Mike wanted to interview him. Jordon was hired and the rest is history in the making.  Not wanting to get a job on his father's shirttails, Jordon chose to be in sales.  Jordan's Dad now works for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  

We asked Jordan the following - 

What was your first experience with professional hockey - My dad was in hockey so I was a stick kid for the Greenville Road Warriors who are now the Swamp Rabbits.  That was my first experience with the ECHL.

How long have you been with Allen - this is my 3rd season.  I have been here the longest of the sales reps, and because I have been a "constant"  some fans will ask me questions even though they have a designated ticket rep.

How do you describe your duties - Our duties change when "in season" or "off season".  In the off season our main focus is on expanding the ticket base, sell season tickets for next season, talk to attendees about their Allen American's experience, and try to improve for the following season. We try to get people to come back and hopefully get them hooked on a hockey plan.  We try to get in touch with companies and corporations to sell them group outings.  This is particularly hard in our area because we have so much competition with the Stars, Mavericks, Rangers, and minor league sports.  During the hockey season we need to take care of our customers and  have to sell group and season ticket packages, We also have to make 60 calls a day, we split them amongst the staff. The front office would like to do a lot more for our season ticket holders, but due to budgetary restraints, it is hard.   We do realize that the season ticket holders are our lifeline!

Jordan went on to explain that the market is much different here than in Tulsa and/or Wichita.   In those markets there is little competition and they have a huge walk up attendance, where here in Allen, we have more season ticket holders and very little walk up interest because there are so many more things to do in this area.  We need a dedicated "Marketing Budget".

What is the most frequently asked question - This is not a question, but a remark we hear a lot. Fans want to know why the owners do not hold "town hall meetings" with them especially when there are major changes in staff.  Fans often express that they would like to have a meeting with the owners, at least, once a year.

We replied to Jordan that we see on social media that this is a practice that a lot of other hockey clubs use and agree that we should also have.

What is the most amusing thing you have encountered - When I first arrived here, right after Allen won the championship, I saw two guys that looked like hockey players.  They were Darryl Bootland and Trevor Ludwig.  They were doing the same thing I was hired to do, making calls, trying to sell tickets!  Matt Canavan had put them to work for the summer, which is understandable since most people would rather talk to the hockey player than a ticket rep.

Our last question was on behalf of the Allen American Fan Club - Can we please get advertising on the video board to make fans aware that we do indeed have a 50/50 raffle which benefits the players.  We have seen this done at other arenas and hopefully this gets filtered to who can approve and execute it.

As you can imagine, this is a lengthy piece so these writers decided to split it into 2 parts.  Stay tuned for Part II.


  1. Good stuff.
    Yes, this is a Hard market. Stars, Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, UNT, SMU, TCU, D-League, FC Dallas, Rough Riders, the list goes on. Tough.

  2. Hi Kevin, this is Mary. Thanks for the kind words. You got that right! Great for fans to have such a variety, but so hard for individual teams to increase attendance.

  3. If I had to guess, I'd say the conversation after the first frame started off, "Look, boys. Didn't we JUST talk about this ****??"

    1. I was thinking it was something like "Well boys, I guess the next two frames are going to show me who makes the playoff team". Coach keeps saying things like that and this league is a here today gone tomorrow league, that is a fire starter.

  4. Glad we are getting our guys back from ahl and injury. Things are looking up. Glad we will get nikita for the plyoffs.

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  6. The importance of farm teams - team affiliations - can't be understated. Allen has a great relationship with San Jose and gets a lot from it. Players are sent down, players are pulled up, coaches get to work with San Jose preseason, etc. It has been very good for Allen.
    While all this is common knowledge, sometimes it doesn't seem like it does much for the NHL team. But wow, the Dallas Stars are getting great call ups from the Texas Stars! So many guys on IR and the call up are just playing great. The farm system is really shining bright right now.