|Goalie Jake Paterson assigned to Allen|
The big news yesterday was the announcement that the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) have assigned goalie Jake Paterson to the Allen Americans to replace Jeremy Brodeur who just signed a tryout contract with the San Jose Barracuda. Paterson is 23 years old, stands 6'1' and weighs 190 pounds. He is from the Toronto area. Jake was the third round draft choice (80th overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in 2012. Paterson signed a three year entry level contract with Detroit in 2013 and spent most of his time with the Red Wings ECHL affiliate the Toledo Walleye. Last season (2016-17) Jake led the Walleye to the best regular season record in the ECHL. His record was 34-13-2 with a GAA of 2.28, a save percentage of .918 and seven shutouts. He was runnerup to Riley Gill for the ECHL Goalie of the Year.
- In parts of three seasons with Toledo, Paterson compiled a record of 53-24-4, a GAA of 2.24 and save percentage of .920. Jake became a free agent after last season and signed an AHL deal with the Milwaukee Admirals in July. This season has been a difficult one for Paterson who was the fourth goalie under contract with the Admirals when he signed this summer. He has bounced around between Milwaukee and ECHL assignments in Norfolk and Quad City.
- Allen captain Joel Chouinard played with Paterson in Toledo in 2015-16 and knows first hand the skills he brings to the table. When Jake was drafted by Detroit he was the third ranked goalie in North America. I am sure Chouinard weighed in on Paterson being assigned to Allen. If given a chance Jake will be as good as he was in Toledo. With Stephon Williams coming off a head injury it wouldn't surprise me if Paterson is between the pipes on Friday night.
- It was a long practice for the Americans yesterday as they worked on a variety of system drills both on offense and defense and spent quite a bit of time working on the power play which has struggled recently (2-43 or 4.7%).
- I am sure coach Martinson is trying to add a forward or two to the roster but as of yesterday there are only eight forwards on the roster with Hall (injury), Archambault (AHL), McAuley (AHL) and Schoenborn (AHL) not available. Unless something breaks today or tomorrow look for Miles Liberati to play up front this weekend.
- When coach Martinson traded Marcus Basara to Wheeling for future considerations he said the futures would be a player he would get in return from Wheeling at or before the trade deadline. The trade deadline is now just one week away so look for that player to be named soon. By the way, Basara had a goal and an assist last night in Wheeling's 6-3 win over division leading Manchester. The game was in Manchester, Marcus had the game winning goal and he was selected as the #2 star of the game. Basara has played four games since joining Wheeling and has four points (1 goal 3 assists).
- You probably saw that Aaron Dell signed a two year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks yesterday. I know Allen fans take great pride in Dell's success because he has to earned everything through hard work and perseverance. It was only five years ago (2012-13) that Dell showed up in Allen as a rookie just looking for a backup job after being cut in training camp by the Colorado Eagles. By the end of that season he had led the Americans to their first championship. Two years later (2014-15) when it looked like he would be in the the AHL all season he was sent back to Allen. I remember talking to Aaron after he was sent down and he had such a positive attitude saying he just needed to keep working and everything would work out. He spent 12 games in Allen with a record of 8-1-1-1 (one no decision) before being recalled by the Worcester Sharks and never saw the ECHL again. To give you an idea of how big this two year contract extension is for Aaron here are the details from the website capfriendly.com. This season Dell is on the second year of a two year deal and is earning $675,000. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. His new two year deal is worth a total of 3.8 million and is front loaded. Next season (2018-19) his salary will be $2,200,000 and in 2019-20 his salary is $1,600,000. The best security for Aaron is the contract is a one way deal which means if he gets sent down to the Barracuda he still earns his NHL salary.
- The Florida Everblades beat Jacksonville 6-2 last night to mathematically eliminate the Icemen from the playoffs. Florida became the first ECHL team to clinch a playoff spot. The Everblades lead the South Division with 80 points and have a 31 point lead over fifth place Jacksonville.
- In Mountain Division action last night Utah beat Quad City 5-2 and Tulsa lost in a shootout to Colorado. Allen is now three points behind fourth place Tulsa and tied with Utah for fifth place.
- Nick Nollenberger is the radio play-by-play voice of the San Jose Barracuda and writes a weekly blog. This week Nick recaps what was a busy week for the Sharks and Barracuda that included a lot of player movement. http://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/broadcast-blog-6
- The ninth annual Police vs Fire hockey game takes place on Saturday at 5:05 pm just prior to the Allen vs Rapid City game at 7:05 pm. This game is always entertaining with lots of scoring. The best part is one ticket gets you in for both games. I am pretty sure you can leave the AEC between games. If you have never taken in this game it is a great way to support the first responders.
- This has nothing to do with hockey but it made me smile so sharing it with the hope it makes you smile as well. Each morning before I start writing I check social media to get the latest news that I can include in the blog. I end up wading through a lot of info and once in a while a post will make me crack a smile. With all of the problems in the world and the Allen Americans struggling this is the post that made me smile this morning. "When y'all begin to think life is hard, just remember y'all survived the great Blue Bell famine of 2015."
DID YOU KNOW: There are five ECHL teams with fewer than 10 regulation road losses this season. Playing well on the road is always big come playoff time. Here are the five.
6 losses - South Carolina
7 losses - Florida
8 losses - Fort Wayne
8 losses - Manchester
9 losses - Idaho