Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This & That, Odds & Ends, Plus The Playoff Roster Rules In The ECHL

Don't have much new today but a bunch of unrelated items that have been accumulating so here goes:

- The Allen Americans will be back at regular practice today after having Sunday off and a change of schedule (practice was at 8:15 am) on Monday to accommodate the first of what will be an annual "Icebreaker Golf Tournament." Coach Martinson sees the practices this week as very important to work on system issues and correct some of the problems that surfaced in the first two games.

- Speaking of the Inaugural Icebreaker Tournament heard there was a good turnout and the guys had a lot of fun. Riley Gill, who is by consensus the best golfer on the team, won the longest drive contest.

- The team should leave for Rapid City Wednesday evening where they will play the Rush on Friday and Saturday. Rapid City is currently leading the ECHL Central Division with five points however they have played four games while all of the other teams in the division have only played two games.

- The ECHL is down to three teams that have a perfect record (Fort Wayne 5-0, Evansville 2-0 and Tulsa 2-0).

- Brampton (0-2) and Missouri (0-2) are the only two teams in the ECHL that have not gotten a point.

- It is still too early to look at attendance as most teams have had only one or two home dates but the best attendance in the ECHL at this point goes to Fort Wayne who is averaging 8451 while Elmira is at the bottom with an average of 2308. The seven teams that moved from the CHL have the following ranks out of the 28 ECHL teams. Missouri is not included as they don't have their home opener until November 8th.
Tulsa - 4th (7744)
Wichita - 5th (7004)
Allen - 15th (5006)
Quad City - 21st (4291)
Rapid City - 25th (3506)
Brampton - 26th (2710)

- Some former Allen Americans lead the ECHL in a few statistical categories. Darryl Bootland (2012-2014) leads the ECHL in penalty minutes with forty. Bryce Aneloski, who played seven games in the 2012-2013 playoffs for Allen as an amateur before getting hurt, leads the ECHL in plus/minus with a +8. Jonathan Lessard (2013-2014) has two game winning goals which is tops in the ECHL.

- Allen Americans on the ECHL leader board include:
Greger Hanson is tied for 2nd in goals scored (4)
Greger Hanson is tied for 3rd in points (7)
Greger Hanson is tied for first in shorthanded goals (1)
Ian Schultz is tied for second in power play goals (2)
Hanson is also only one of three players that have had a hat trick 

- The seven new ECHL teams are now 1-5 against the "old" teams. There are four more games this weekend and then the seven new teams will only be playing each other for close to two months with one exception. Between November 2nd and December 29th the only game between new and old is a December 7th game where the Wheeling Nailers travel to Brampton.

- For Allen fans it will be a steady diet of playing Tulsa and Wichita. The Americans have twelve games in November and six of them are against Tulsa or Wichita. It gets worse in December as eight of thirteen games are against Tulsa and Wichita. The team will be home almost the entire month of December. They have only five road games but four of them are in Tulsa (the other is Wichita) which does not require an overnight.

- Anthony Maiani (2012-2014) who is playing in Denmark leads his team in scoring with nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in eight games. His team is in sixth place in a ten team league.

- Bryan Pitton (2013-2014) continues to have an outstanding year in goal for his team in Poland. He has played in ten regular season games and has a GAA of 1.72 and save percentage of .943. His team is tied for third place in a ten team league.

- According to Elite Prospects Allen is on average one of the shortest teams in the ECHL. They rank 25th of  the 28 ECHL teams in height. The difference between teams in average height is very small with Elmira at the top with an average height of 73.64 inches and Brampton at the bottom at 72.17 inches. Allen is at 72.26 inches.

- When it comes to weight Allen ranks 5th when you look at average weight in the league. Allen's  average weight is 195 pounds. Ontario is the heaviest team in the league at just under 200 pounds while Bakersfield is the lightest at 187 pounds.

- According to hockeydb and the Allen Americans web site team roster the lightest guy on the team is Devin Di Diomete at 176 pounds. Would guess that weight is from his days in juniors playing for the Sudbury Wolves. Probably 30 pounds light. C'MON MAN!

- The Americans are the fourth oldest team in the league according to Elite Prospects with an average age of 26.33 years. The oldest team in the ECHL is the Rapid City Rush at 27.09 years while the youngest team is the Indianapolis Fuel at 23.62 years. The top five in the oldest team category are all from the prior CHL teams. (Rapid City, Tulsa, Wichita, Allen, Missouri).

DID YOU KNOW:  Haven't seen this discussed and it is a long way off but did you know players must play a minimum of five (5) regular season ECHL games to be eligible for inclusion on the playoff roster. The CHL rule was three games. Furthermore, players on two way AHL contracts must have appeared in five (5) AHL regular season games, however, at the discretion of the ECHL team, up to two (2) AHL two way contracted players may be exempt from this requirement. Veteran players on a two way AHL contract must have appeared in at least 10 AHL regular season games. There are no exemptions permitted for these players. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Journey of Goalie Scott Darling to the NHL Including His CHL Connection

Scott Darling

It is always great to see a hockey player that chases their dream against all of the odds and becomes successful and if you read anything about Chicago Blackhawk goalie Scott Darling's story it helps you understand why all players that pass through the Allen Americans organization believe they can perform at a higher level if just given the chance. Now starting their sixth year, the Americans have had only one player, Jordie Benn, make it to the NHL but many others still have that dream.

Scott Daring made his NHL debut last night in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks and came away with a 34 save 2-1 win. Not too bad for a guy that less than three years ago was bouncing around the SPHL, CHL and ECHL looking for a place to play. Here is his resume just since the 2010-2011 season.

2010-2011 - Louisiana IceGators (SPHL) - 30 games
2011-2012 - Mississippi RiverKings (SPHL) - 35 games
2011-2012 - Florida Everblades (ECHL) - 1 game
2011-2012 - Wichita Thunder (CHL) - 1 game
2012-2013 - Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) - 32 games
2012-2013 - Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) - 1 game
2013-2014 - Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) - 26 games
2013-2014 - Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) - 6 games
2014-2015 - Rockford IceHogs (AHL) - 2 games
2014-2015 - CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - 1 game

The story below written by Chris Peters of CBSSports.com talks about Scott Darling's journey to the NHL. It is one of hard work, making hockey your top priority, never giving up and yes, a little luck.

Blackhawks G Scott Darling took long road to first NHL win

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

As a familiar horn sounded to let Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling know he just earned his first win in his first NHL game, the emotion was obvious. The 6-foot-6 goalie became a little smaller as he crouched and rattled his hands in celebration. It was probably part joy, part relief and part realization of both a dream and the seizing of a second chance.
Chicago is the 13th different team that Darling has played for since the 2010-11 season, a winding road that started with a closed door. After two seasons at the vaunted University of Maine hockey program, Darling was released from the team and decided to try the pros at 21 years old.
A sixth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes three years prior, he remained unsigned, but they continued to control his rights. Instead of trying to catch on with another college program via transfer, Darling decided to embark on his pro career.
“I was a bit of a wild child when I was in my late teens and early-twenties,” Darling told AdmiralsRoundtable.com in February. “That's kind of what caused me to leave Maine after my sophomore year instead of going for four-years. Then Phoenix sent me to their [ECHL] team which, at the time, was in Las Vegas. Which, for a guy who likes to have fun, Las Vegas is not a good place to be.
“I used to like to go out to bars, liked to party, and do everything a normal 21-year old likes to do. It wasn't good for my hockey career. I got in trouble a few times. When you get labeled as a wild card people don't want to pay you money to be a hockey player. You're a liability. So that definitely slowed down the start of my career.”
Now carrying the dreaded “character concerns” tag and the Coyotes passing on him as a result, Darling had to start at the bottom with zero guarantees and slim chances he'd ever make it to the NHL. He signed with the Louisiana IceGators of the Southern Professional Hockey League, which is almost the bottom rung of professional hockey in North America.
He had an inconspicuous start with an .892 save percentage in 30 appearances, but it was enough to earn him another year of pro hockey.
The following year, he was with the Mississippi RiverKings in the SPHL and had a few unmemorable cups of coffee in both the Central Hockey League and ECHL.
Darling apparently did enough to be granted the opportunity to climb a few rungs of the ladder as he signed with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL and got into 32 games in 2012-13. He put up respectable numbers and even earned a call to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL for a game.
Last season, he was offered a contract by the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League after having worked with Nashville Predators goalie coach Mitch Korn. In 26 AHL appearances, Darling posted a sparkling .933 save percentage. It was his breakout and thanks to his size and athleticism, it got him noticed more.
That's when the Lemont, Illinois, native got the call from the team he grew up following. He signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Blackhawks over the offseason. He was to start the year in Rockford in the American League, likely as the backup to veteran Michael Leighton. He eventually jumped Leighton on the depth chart and did well in his first two appearances of the season.
When Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford went down with an upper-body injury last week, it was Darling who got the call to the big club. With Chicago playing back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday, it was simply Darling's turn after Antti Raanta was in net for a road loss the night before.
Darling responded with 32 saves in a 2-1 win for the Blackhawks, stopping a two-game skid and helping Chicago survive a sloppy start to the game with some big saves early.
To think of the series of things that had to happen for Darling to get into the lineup, there was a lot of luck involved. It doesn't matter how it transpired, though. What matters is what Darling did with it. He was named the game's No. 1 star and looked like he belonged.
And considering the road he had to take, what are the odds that his big moment would have come in the building he's probably been in dozens of times as a fan?
Over the last five seasons, Darling saw 13 different logos on his jersey from IceGators to Everblades to Nailers to IceHogs. When he looked down Sunday night, he was wearing one of the most famous logos in all of sports. The same logo he probably wore on a lot of his clothing as a kid in the Chicago suburbs and the one that now represents a dream fulfilled.

DID YOU KNOW: Scott Darling played in one game in the CHL with the Wichita Thunder on January 21, 2012 and was also called up during their championship run in May but did not play. The one game he did play was against the Texas Brahmas at NYTEX Center and he lost that game by a score of 5-2. There was an Allen Americans connection to that game as three players that scored goals in that game would end up in Allen. Ross Rouleau had two goals and Phil Fox one for the Brahmas and Daniel Tetrault had a goal for Wichita.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Allen Gets Much Needed Win, Martinson Post Game Comment & Parity in the ECHL

It is difficult to call the second game of the season an important game but after the disappointing home opener 9-6 loss to Tulsa the Allen Americans really needed a win last night in Wichita and that is exactly what they got. After traveling all night from Allen to take on a well rested Thunder team in their home opener the Americans came away with a 5-3 victory before 7004 disappointed fans at Intrust Bank Arena. The Allen Americans have a history of playing well on the road and bouncing back after tough losses and they showed both in Wichita.

- Steve Martinson's post game comment, "It was a better effort tonight than we had against Tulsa however, we are still not where we need to be. Our high end, established, experienced players need to lead by example and that is not happening."

- Allen has plenty of offensive power and that was again apparent as they were able to score five goals with two by Gary Steffes and one each by Tyler Ludwig, Brian McMillin and Ian Schultz. The difference in the game was the defense with Allen only allowing three goals and allowing no goals in the critical third period.

- In their first two games Allen has a shots on goal advantage of 71-53. Generating offense will not be a problem for this team. The key to success will be the dedication to defense.

- Special teams always play a key role in success and last night was no exception. Allen had two power play goals last night and after two games the Americans are 5/12 (41.7%) on the power play. After giving up two power play goals to Tulsa on Friday night the penalty kill unit was perfect last night as the Thunder went 0/5 with their power play chances.

- Greger Hanson continued his torrid scoring pace with two assists and is tied for second in the ECHL in goals scored (4) as well as points (7).  Costello, McMillin and Steffes also had two point nights.

- With his two goals including the game winner Gary Steffes was selected as the #1 star of the game. Chad Costello (two assists) was the #2 star.

- After two games there is only one player in the plus column for the Americans when looking at the plus/minus statistic. Captain Jamie Schaafsma is +1.

- It is only a week into the ECHL season and the Central Division started late but there are only three teams in the league that have not earned a point. Wichita and Brampton are both 0-1 while Missouri is 0-2. Missouri is the biggest surprise as they have a great line up, however, in their first two games they have only scored three goals while allowing eleven.

- The seven new teams have not fared too well thus far against the older ECHL teams. They are 1-4 with the only victory being the Rapid City 5-1 win over Colorado. Next chance for a victory is today (Sunday) as Toledo is in Brampton to take on the Beast.

- The Americans do not play again until next weekend when they head to Rapid City to take on the Rush in back to back games Friday and Saturday. The next home game isn't until November 8.

DID YOU KNOW: There are only three teams in the ECHL that are still undefeated, Fort Wayne (4-0), Evansville (2-0) and Tulsa (1-0).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Great Celebration & A Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Game

Jamie Schaafsma, Brian McMillin, Tyler Ludwig & Greger Hanson Raise The Banner

It was the perfect night at the Allen Event Center (AEC) last night with the league commissioner in the house, owners in the house, a better than expected crowd of 5006 in the house on Friday night football night, raising of the back to back championship banner, six returning players receiving their championship rings and then they dropped the puck. Not sure if watching the celebration inspires the opposition or it is something that happens to the home team but the Allen Americans followed the lead of two other champions from last year and lost their home opener. The Los Angeles Kings (NHL) lost their Stanley Cup banner raising celebration home opener 4-0, the Alaska Aces (ECHL) lost their Kelly Cup banner raising home opener 3-1 and last night Allen lost their CHL Presidents' Cup banner raising home opener to the Tulsa Oilers by a score of 9-6. Only twice in team history have they allowed more goals at home than they did last night. It was hard to find any bright spots in a game with so many defensive lapses but Allen did control puck possession for much of the game. During the later part of the second period when they came back from being down 5-1 to being down only 6-5 at the end of the period Allen dominated the game. At one point Allen only allowed one shot on goal in over ten minutes of play. The bottom line is you are not going to win hockey games if you allow eight goals (plus an empty netter).


-  That is an embarrassing start to the the season. We gave up way too many odd man rushes and had way too many defensive lapses. Our defensive game was nonexistent.

- I told the players it looked to me like the only thing they cared about was offense. Right now we are the worst defensive team in the ECHL. We have a lot of work to do.

-  I wasn't pleased with our penalty kill as even our experienced penalty killers had sticks in the wrong lanes time after time.

- It is going to be a long week next week as we will be working full time until we get this squared away. The good thing when you have a disappointing loss like tonight is getting to play again right away. It will be a long night looking at tape and then I will call on some guys to lead by example.

- We know we have a good offensive team and scoring six goals should be more than enough to win a game. We had a lot of puck possession but would then give up easy scoring chances. Defensively it was just a nightmare. There is no excuse for giving up eight goals (plus the empty net goal).

- You can't use the team needs time to jell as an excuse as Tulsa has a lot of new players as well.

- The key to being a good defensive team is simple, it is a matter of caring. Playing good defense is hard work and the number one factor is caring. It looked to me that we had too many guys that had offense as their number one priority. It is unacceptable to have that kind of effort and that kind of game with the experienced team that we have.

- Tomorrow night against Wichita is going to say a lot about our team. If we have another game like we did tonight I will have to look at making some changes. There is no way to sugar coat eight goals against. We need to either make some adjustments or make some changes.


- Greger Hanson had a great scoring night in his homecoming after being acquired through trade with Cincinnati. Hanson had a hat trick plus one assist for a four point night. He is tied for the ECHL lead in goals scored at four and he has only played two games.

- Allen scored three power play goals going three for five on the night but the penalty kill allowed two Tulsa goals in just four penalty play opportunities.

- Indianapolis routed Missouri 5-1 in coach Richard Matvichuk's debut as Maverick's coach. Indianapolis is coached by Missouri's prior coach, Scott Hillman.

- In the other "old' versus "new" match up Toledo beat Brampton 6-3.

- Allen has been traditionally a good road team. It will be a difficult task traveling to Wichita to play a well rested Thunder team but this experienced group has something to prove. Look for a much better effort tonight.

DID YOU KNOW: The most goals ever scored by an opposing team against Allen at home was 11. The Colorado Eagles beat Allen by a score of 11-6 on New Years Day in 2011.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Season Preview - Allen Americans 2014-2015

This year has proven beyond a doubt that if you write a season preview of the Allen Americans you better do it on opening day or you will miss some major components. In the last ten days seven contracted players have moved on and five new players have been brought in. The addition of these five new players has dramatically improved the roster. In the last forty eight hours, two players from last year's championship team, Greger Hanson and Spencer Asuchak have signed with Allen. During the summer when it looked like only three players were returning  this year many questioned what was wrong. The fact of the matter is after winning back to back championships players had the opportunity to get jobs in Europe or move to the ECHL where there was a better chance for the younger guys to get to the AHL. When the puck drops tonight to open the season the Allen Americans will have 20 players under contract with eight of them having played on one or both of the back to back championships. As with all Steve Martinson coached teams there will be changes to the roster during the year and for the playoffs. Allen recently affiliated with the San Jose Sharks (NHL) and Worcester Sharks (AHL) and San Jose has already talked to Martinson about the possibility of placing some of their young developmental players in Allen depending how the playoff picture pans out. San Jose doesn't want their young prospects sitting in the stands watching during playoffs so depending how the playoff picture looks for Worcester and San Jose it could give Allen the opportunity to get players assigned.


The 2014-2015 edition of the Allen Americans is unique in several ways that you may not see in most season previews but thought you would find some of these interesting.

- The team comes form a more diverse geographical background than any team in the past. Ten from Canada, nine from the United States and one from Sweden. The ten players from Canada come from four different provinces while the nine players from the US hail from six different states. Some years over half of the team has been from Ontario. Here is the breakdown:
Ontario - Jamie Schaafsma, Devin Di Diomete, Jesse Messier, Justin Baker
British Columbia - Brett Lyon, Spencer Asuchak, Kevin Young
Alberta - Ian Schultz, Aaron Dell
Nova Scotia - Garrett Clarke
Minnesota - Brian McMillin, Aaron Gens, Riley Gill
Wisconsin/Texas - Trevor & Tyler Ludwig
Michigan - Gary Steffes
Missouri - Jack Combs
Iowa - Chad Costello
Colorado - John Ryder
Sweden - Greger Hanson

- Ten of the twenty players on the roster have at least one game in the American Hockey League (AHL) with three players (Di Diomete, Schultz & Trevor Ludwig) having over a 100 games in the AHL. In total the ten players have 527 games in the AHL.

- Ten of the twenty players have a college degree and five others have some college background. At least four of the players (this is probably not a complete list) were on the all academic teams for their conference in college and graduated with honors (Aaron Gens, Trevor Ludwig, Brian McMillin, John Ryder). Makes one wonder why so many intelligent, college educated guys are playing hockey for a living. Just kidding as they play because they love the game.

- Most players playing professional hockey have won championships and awards in their amateur careers but this team has an impressive list of guys who have won leaguewide awards as professionals:
Chad Costello - ECHL MVP - 2011-2012
Aaron Dell - CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender - 2012-2013
Riley Gill - ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff MVP - 2012-2013
Tyler Ludwig - CHL Most Outstanding Defenseman - 2013-2014
Brian McMillin - CHL Presidents' Cup Playoff MVP - 2012-2013
Jamie Schaafsma - CHL Presidents' Cup Playoff MVP - 2013-2014
Kevin Young - CHL Most Outstanding Defenseman - 2012-2013 

- The oldest player on the team is Kevin Young who is 32 and the youngest player on the team at 21 is third year pro Garrett Clarke. The average age for the entire team according to elite prospects is 26.14 years which is the fourth oldest team in the twenty eight team league. Only Rapid City, Tulsa, and Wichita have older teams than Allen.

- The team has five birthdays in February and five in May but no birthdays in April, June, August, September, October & December. Not sure what that says, if anything,  about what happens in colder climates. 

- Leadership on a hockey team comes in many different forms both on and off this ice. All players that have reached the professional level have had leadership roles in the past. Coach Martinson announced at the media luncheon yesterday the selection of Jamie Schaafsma as the team captain for the upcoming season. He cited the fact that Jamie was unwavering in his desire to return to the team this year, his willingness to challenge the coaches when he felt something wasn't right and his positive attitude and hard work when things were not going well for him the beginning of last year. The complete on ice leadership team:
(C) - Jamie Schaafsma
(A) - Trevor Ludwig
(A) - Tyler Ludwig
(A) - Gary Steffes

- There has been no official announcement about an assistant coach however Erik Adams has been actively involved in all on ice activities during the preseason. Details must still be in the process of being hammered out. One would think if this is going to happen it would happen today if Erik is to be on the bench tonight. Stay tuned.


Had a chance to sit down with coach Martinson to discuss the team and the upcoming season. Here are some of his thoughts going into opening night.

- Being able to bring in players in the last ten days like Ian Schultz, Justin Baker, Jack Combs, Greger Hanson and Spencer Asuchak has really improved our roster. I am excited about the team going into the season.

- There are no questions marks in goal as we have two excellent goaltenders in Aaron Dell and Riley Gill who have both won professional championships. They both have the ability to play at the next level. Dell had six games in the AHL last year with a GAA of 2.29 and save percentage of .922. Gill had three AHL games with a GAA of 1.66 and save percentage of .948.

- We have great offensive players up front and on defense. Chad Costello and Jack Combs are one of the highest scoring duos in AA hockey and will be fun to watch. Tyler Ludwig and Kevin Young  were the top scoring defensemen in the CHL the last two years.

- We don't have the top young players like we had last year. Because the transition to the ECHL took place so late we lost some young players that we could have retained had the decision been made earlier. We also lost players from our affiliate that could have been assigned to Allen if the affiliation had been completed earlier.

- The biggest concern is our depth and the risk of losing players to injury and the AHL. We are relying heavily on our established, experienced players.

- With the lineup we have going into the season we should do well so that will help attract players if we need to replace players that get called up or are injured.

- While the team has a lot of offense you can expect the team to be tough, gritty, finish checks and be hard to play against. 


- For the game against Tulsa tonight Spencer Asuchak and Riley Gill will be on reserve and will not play. Remember, the only injured reserve in the ECHL is the 21 day injured reserve (Trevor Ludwig was placed on this effective October 17). Any other player (injured or not) that is not playing is placed in reserve status and there is no minimum time they stay on the reserve list.

- Raphael Girard has been signed and will be the back up goalie tonight.

- Based on observing practice Devin Di Diomete will be on the line with Chad Costello and Jack Combs to make sure nobody takes any liberties with the dynamic duo.

- Look for the top power play unit to consist of Schaafsma and Tyler Ludwig on the point with Costello, Steffes, and Combs up front.

- It will be a big night for Allen as owner Rodney Steven as well as ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna will be attendance as the Americans celebrate their Presidents' Cup championship by raising the championship banner to the rafters and handing out championship rings to the six returning players from the championship team.


It is a historic time for the seven new teams to the ECHL. Best of luck to all of them. Rapid City has already played a couple of games (they split with Colorado) and Wichita doesn't play until tomorrow but they all have something to prove to the rest of the league and that is they belong. While the seven new teams will spend the majority of time playing each other there are a number of games (over 40) between the seven new teams and the rest of the league. Brampton leads the way with 19 games against the older ECHL teams while Rapid City and Wichita have only two. Many are underestimating the new teams. Give em hell boys.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ch-Ch-Changes,The Comers and Goers, and Another Big Change Today?

- It is hard to believe it was just a week ago after the Allen Americans one and only preseason game which was a 4-2 loss to the Tulsa Oilers coach Steve Martinson sat in his office and expressed doubt as to whether he had a strong enough roster to compete in the ECHL. It didn't take long to make a decision and take action. In the last week he has released six tryout players which was not a surprise, released the two young goalies (Girard & Yanakeff), and also said goodbye to four contracted players he recruited during the summer (Jeremy Beaudry, Andrew Hamburg, Sy Nutkevitch, Travis Ouellette).

- Three new players have arrived in the past week and will be in the line up on Friday as Allen opens the season against Tulsa. Forward Ian Schultz (#25) and defenseman Justin Baker (#6) have had a few practices with the team while forward Jack Combs (#21) was just announced yesterday with a lot of fanfare.

- As of this morning the Allen Americans have nineteen players under contract and that number includes Trevor Ludwig, who was put on the 21 day injured reserve (effective October 17). Trevor doesn't count against the active roster which can be 21 players for the first month of the season. Allen could still sign three additional players and be within the roster limit. Allen will sign at least one additional player before Friday.

- The icing on the cake for roster moves would be to get Spencer Asuchak back in Allen. As everyone knows Spencer went to camp with the Boston Bruins (NHL) and then was sent to camp with the Providence Bruins (AHL). According to Elite Prospects, Hockeydb, and the AHL web sites he has not signed a contract with Providence. Spencer has said to this blog as well as many others if he did not get an AHL deal he would be interested in coming back to Allen. Last night after the Jack Combs signing was announced, Tommy Daniels, Director of Communications and Broadcasting, put out on social media the following, "If you think today was good hockey fans, just wait until tomorrow. #notdoneyet." So it sounds like another big signing will be announced today and Allen fans will be over the moon if it is Spencer Asuchak. We can only hope!

- The signing of Jack Combs which was announced yesterday is huge for Allen. It is well documented what Chad Costello and  Jack Combs have accomplished as line mates with different teams and different leagues. They are both outstanding players individually but together have something special. The problem in the past, when they have played together, is one or both gets called up to the AHL. If they play as expected hopefully Allen can get off to a fast start in league play if one or both gets promoted to the AHL. Combs has played in 118 ECHL games and has scored an average of 1.14 points per game. Costello has played in 93 ECHL games and has averaged 1.49 points per game. They should be fun to watch.

- Have had several questions about what time to arrive at the game on Friday to see all of the pregame activities (video, banner raising & championship ring presentation). The plan is to have the pregame activities start at game time (7:05) and delay the puck drop about fifteen minutes. The best advice however, is get to the game early to take it all in and make sure not to miss anything. By the way, I have some small pieces of the championship net from last season I will bring to the game on Friday. If anyone didn't get a piece after the championship game last year and would like one see me at the game.

- Friday will be a big night for Allen with the championship banner being raised, the first game in the ECHL and both the ECHL Commissioner, Brian McKenna and team owner Rodney Steven will be in attendance.

- No official announcement on an assistant coach has been made but Erik Adams has been on the ice each day at practice. Sure hope a deal gets done and announced before the season opener. Everyone who has dealt with Erik as a player or in the many front office duties he has had over the years is pulling for him. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, "Git-R-Done!"

DID YOU NOW: In the year Chad Costello won the ECHL MVP award (2011-2012) he had 76 points (29 goal 47 assists) in just 47 games with the Colorado Eagles.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Confession, Allen Americans Update - Scrimmage, Skills Challenge, New Players, & ECHL Opening Weekend


When I started this blog two seasons ago I got plenty of advice from bloggers, writers, and broadcasters to avoid using I, me or we when writing about the Allen Americans. Wanting to be a "pro" I tried to follow this advice but sometimes it is not so easy and today is one of those "violate the rule days." The relationship a writer has with their blog is a love/hate relationship. It is great when things are going well and all the feedback you get is how much readers enjoy reading the blog. This blog has gone from seventeen page views that first day back in 2012 to a point where as of this morning it has accumulated 284,963 page views from all over the world (yes there are Allen fans all over the world). The hate part is when you get a call from the front office, coach, player or fan that didn't like something you said. I always try to be fair and balanced but sometimes mistakes are made or there is just a difference of opinion.  The blog has never been about getting more eyeballs as I always say I am a one trick pony because the blog is just about the Allen Americans. To the extent others around the league find an interest in the blog that is great, however, there is no chance the name will change to incorporate a wider audience. In the early days it was all about getting the information out before anyone else so scooping the team was filled with satisfaction. Scouring social media, talking to others around the league and using any other means to be the first to put out information was the goal. Now that I have almost all of the information before it goes public it is no longer my goal to be the first. I now see my role to supplement the the information the team provides and that makes for a much better relationship with all involved.

It may be hard to believe but it is close to a full time job (I am retired) following the team by attending practices, talking to players, coaches and the front office, researching information and writing the blog. Yesterday was a good example of the love/hate I have with the blog. After the Friday night scrimmage/skills challenge I talked to some players, Steve Martinson and had some good material for a blog post. I got up early Saturday morning and spent three hours writing the post and just as I was ready to publish it somehow it all got deleted. After spending an hour trying several ways to retrieve the information I said "screw it" and the 'I hate doing this blog" came out. I told myself I was not going to redo the post again and headed over to the Allen Event Center to watch practice and pick up my season tickets. As you might have experienced yourself or heard about, the tickets for the full season ticket holders did not show up as there was a snafu with the delivery so only those with half season tickets or partial season tickets received their season tickets. As a bunch of us were milling around commiserating about driving to the AEC only to find out the tickets for the full season ticketholders were not available (one guy had driven 55 miles)  several fans came up to me and shared with me how much they appreciate my blog and the information and insight I provide. All of a sudden I loved the blog again and committed to spending Sunday morning rewriting all of the information that was lost.

I feel better, thanks for letting me vent. I guess you didn't have a choice. Let's get on with it.


- The red versus white scrimmage on Friday evening was fun to watch as it was a bunch of guys who love hockey having fun after a tough week of practice. You really couldn't draw any conclusions from the scrimmage but two things were noticeable that aren't a surprise. The Americans have two top notch goalies in Aaron Dell and Riley Gill and they have a defensive group that should provide a lot of offense.

- The skills challenge was made up of three events which were called something like rapid fire shooting, relay race and breakaway challenge. The teams were the red and white teams from the scrimmage. The first event consisted of four players from each team (one player at a time) taking five shots from the slot (no one timers) in quick succession after taking passes from both sides of the net. Each team could earn a maximum of 20 goals/points (four players x five shots) in the event. Both teams scored five goals so there was a tie after the first event. For the red team Travis Ouellette led the way as he scored three goals with his five shots. For the white team Brian McMillin and Aaron Gens were two for five. The second event was a timed relay made up of three players from each team. The first player had to maneuver through a bunch of cones with the puck, the second player had to make three shots into three different miniature nets and the third player had to score two goals from the far blue line. The red team (Trevor Ludwig, Sy Nutkevitch, Brett Lyon) won the relay with a time of 57 seconds. The final event was the breakaway challenge where all members of both teams attempted to score like they do in a shootout. The goalies (Aaron Dell for the red team and Riley Gill for the white team) dominated the breakaway challenge as only two goals were scored, both by the red team. The goals scorers were two recently signed players, Justin Baker and  Nolan Descoteaux (see below). It was all for fun and maybe bragging rights as the red team (Dell, Nutkevitch, Trevor Ludwig, Baker, Descoteaux, Ouellette, Lyon, Young, Schultz) came out victorious.


Had a chance to sit down with Steve Martinson after the scrimmage and get updated on a few items:

- Martinson is really happy about the affiliation that was just announced with San Jose (NHL) and Worcester (AHL). It is something he started working on as soon as he knew about the move to the ECHL. He does not anticipate getting many players assigned other than Aaron Dell who is already here. Because the affiliation happened so late several other players were assigned to other ECHL teams.

- Martinson has signed three new players that made their debut in the red versus white scrimmage. Two of the players (Justin Baker and Ian Schultz) have signed contracts while the third (Nolan Descoteaux) is on an amateur tryout agreement. See their hockeydb stats at the end of this post.

- There will be additional roster changes before opening night. If he gets a couple of the players he is pursuing it will really improve the roster.

- The players are suffering through the typical aches and pains of training camp. Several players did not participate in the scrimmage and have missed practice, however, they should be ready to go for the opener on the 24th.


- It was a good weekend for several of the players from last year's championship team that have signed with other ECHL teams. Jonathan Lessard scored a goal in both games as his Bakersfield team split with Stockton over the weekend.. Bakersfield won Friday night 3-1 with Lessard getting the game winner. Former Allen player Jim McKenzie also had a goal for Bakersfield. Greger Hanson had the game winning goal last night in Cincinnati's season opener as they beat Toledo 4-1. It was Allen alumni night as Evansville beat Gwinnett 3-1 in their season opener. Coached by Dwight Mullins all three Evansville goals were scored by Allen alums. Kale Kerbashian scored the first two goals of the game 26 seconds apart and was named the games #1 star. The third Evansville goal was scored by Jarrett Lukin.

- The rivalry that existed between Colorado and Rapid City when they were both in the Central Hockey League didn't take long to be rekindled as they played the first two games between one of the seven new teams in the ECHL and one of the older teams. The Rush handled the Eagles easily on Friday night with a 5-1 victory. All you have to say about the rivalry being rekindled is there were 14 fighting majors in the game and 112 total penalty minutes. Colorado came back last night (Saturday) and beat Rapid City 3-2. Too bad these two teams don't get to play each other a few more times during the season.

- Average attendance for the first 18  ECHL games has been great with an average of 5451 per game. Four teams had 8000 plus (Fort Wayne, Evansville, Orlando, Toledo) while Elmira is only averaging 2628 after two home games.

- A testament to the quality of players Allen had on their championship team last year is the fact that four of them have been selected to leadership roles for their new ECHL teams. Garrett Klotz (Indianapolis), Jarret Lukin (Evansville), Darryl Bootland (Colorado) and Daniel Tetrault (Rapid City) are all alternate captains. Bruce Graham is also wearing an "A" for his Nottingham Panthers and there may be more. Congrats to all!

-  Many people are predicting the seven new ECHL teams will struggle when going up against the other ECHL teams. Have to say Rapid City acquitted itself very well against Colorado this weekend though the record will show 1-1. The next opportunity to see how this works out comes on Friday when Missouri plays Indianapolis (and their old coach Scott Hillman) and Brampton plays Toledo.


-  Many of you may have seen the tweet Jamie Schaafsma put out after the scrimmage on Friday, "FYI Garrett Clarke is an Allen American now, he's not the enemy anymore! Let's stay classy, he was just doing his job last year." Apparently some fans were heckling Garrett based on some of his actions last year when he played for Arizona. Certainly fans who buy tickets have a right to heckle the players but I have to agree with Jamie on this one. Keep in mind Garrett's style of play has always been one of an agitator, a real get-under-your-skin type and in that role he has been very effective. There has never been any question about his skill, however when your style of play is on the edge it is easy to go over the edge. Garrett would be the first to admit that he has made some mistakes, took some stupid penalties and caused some problems. Remember, he is still a 21 year old kid. Who of us would want to be judged  forever by actions we took as a 20 year old. And if you respect Steve Martinson as a coach you have to support his decision to bring Clarke back to Allen. So my hope is fans can encourage Garrett to be the best he can be, judge him by what he does on this team not what he has done in the past and if all else fails cheer for the name on the front of the jersey not the name on the back. I am sure there will be bumps in the road but I for one am looking forward to watching his progress.

- Several fans mentioned to me on Friday that the leadership group (captain and alternate captains) has already been determined and announced. This was based on somebody seeing this on the official lineup card for the preseason game with the "C" & "A's" designated. This is required for each game but that should not be interpreted as some decision. No final decision has been made nor has anything been announced about who will have the leadership roles.

Here is some statistical information on the three new players that were in the red vs white scrimmage on Friday. Information courtesy of hockeydb:

Justin Baker

Defense -- shoots R
Born Jul 9 1991 -- Toronto, ONT
[23 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 190

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2007-08 Streetsville Derbys OPJHL 24 2 19 21 22  

2008-09 Streetsville Derbys OJHL 48 17 60 77 40  

2009-10 Streetsville Derbys OJHL 47 24 56 80 70 30

2010-11 St. Lawrence University ECAC 36 2 10 12 22  

2011-12 St. Lawrence University ECAC 31 3 8 11 29  

2012-13 St. Lawrence University ECAC 38 5 21 26 22  

2013-14 St. Lawrence University ECAC 38 9 24 33 32  

2013-14 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 1 0 0 0 0   ----------

Ian Schultz

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Feb 4 1990 -- Calgary, ALTA
[24 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 216 [188 cm/98 kg]
Drafted by St. Louis Blues
- round 3 #87 overall 2008 NHL Entry Draft
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2006-07 Calgary Hitmen WHL 1 1 0 1 0 1 ----------
2007-08 Calgary Hitmen WHL 67 15 15 30 128 10 16 2 7 9 19
2008-09 Calgary Hitmen WHL 58 15 26 41 127 19 18 5 7 12 24
2009-10 Calgary Hitmen WHL 70 24 31 55 150 6 23 8 7 15 26
2010-11 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 45 3 1 4 49 -5 15 2 0 2 15
2011-12 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 60 6 17 23 104 -3 ----------
2012-13 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 13 0 2 2 17 -1 ----------
2012-13 Utah Grizzlies ECHL 27 7 8 15 139 -2 ----------
2012-13 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 2 0 0 0 2 -1 ----------
2012-13 San Francisco Bulls ECHL 7 0 1 1 15 1 ----------
2013-14 Arizona Sundogs CHL 33 8 6 14 72 -2 ----------

Nolan Descoteaux

Defense -- shoots L
Born Oct 16 1989 -- Dallas, TX
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 215 

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2008-09 South Shore Kings EJHL 45 10 25 35 54  

2009-10 South Shore Kings EJHL 39 13 26 39 35  

2010-11 R.I.T. AHA 35 2 2 4 36  

2011-12 R.I.T. AHA 31 2 3 5 43  

2012-13 R.I.T. AHA 37 3 5 8 62  

2013-14 R.I.T. AHA 36 5 13 18 46  

2013-14 Gwinnett Gladiators ECHL 11 1 2 3 2 -3 ----------

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans are 4-1 in opening season games in their five years of existence. Their only loss game to the Tulsa Oilers at home in 2011-2012 by a score of 4-1. Allen opens  the season on Friday at home against the Tulsa Oilers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Final Roster Update, Eight Players Released, Dallas Morning News Writes About Steve Martinson

One of the difficulties of a short training camp as the Allen Americans have had this year is very little time to assess the players that are in camp. It makes the one and only preseason game critical in ascertaining if the guys you have will be competitive for the upcoming season. The results Tuesday night against Tulsa certainly had coach Martinson contemplating that very question.

For the record, after scoring two first period goals (Gary Steffes & Brian McMillin) the Allen Americans allowed the Tulsa Oilers to score four unanswered goals to win the game 4-2 before a sparse crowd at the Allen Event Center. While Allen did not play some key players (Tyler Ludwig, Chad Costello & Aaron Dell) the Oilers played without many more of their regulars in the lineup.

After an okay first period Martinson felt the team gambled too much which ended up with odd man rushes, was not very creative in the offensive zone and was not as poised as he would expect from the group.

The final roster that was submitted yesterday to the ECHL certainly reflects that Martinson feels he needs more parts to the puzzle and additional players will have to be brought in. Here are the numbers. In addition to releasing five players ( Daniel Barnes, Ryan Brain, Lucas Labelle, Myles McCauley, Dean Moore)  who were on tryout contracts, Jeremy Beaudry, Raphael Girard, and Andrew Hamburg, who were contracted players, were also released. It is a given that one additional goalie will be released so the roster currently stands at eighteen. So if no additional players are released (probably not a safe assumption)  you can expect three new players to be signed in the coming days to get the roster to twenty one by opening day. And don't be surprised if another veteran is signed as that is certainly a possibility. While only four veterans can be in the active lineup a team can carry five veterans as long as one is in reserve status.

- Yesterday was a difficult one for many players as final rosters were due to the ECHL headquarters. In this one day 38 tryout players were released and 36 contracted players were cut around the league. In addition many others had their rights traded so their future is uncertain. After working so hard to get ready for training camp to have it all end after only five days has to be a big disappointment. Some will be able to catch on with SPHL teams but it will be the end of the line for many more.

- Now that the nucleus of the final roster is in place practices between now and the season opener (October 24th) will focus on getting everyone in playing shape and working on the details of the system Allen uses.

- For those waiting for the ECHL.TV to be updated so fans from the seven new teams can buy various TV packages it is ready to go. If it doesn't get extended the earlybird pricing expires on October 19th so act fast. You can get to the site by going to echl.com.

- If you did not see the article written by Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin about Steve Martinson here it is. Rick Gosselin has been a big supporter of the Allen Americans and attends several games each year. He grew up playing hockey in Detroit. For a guy that is so busy covering the NFL for the Dallas Morning News, on radio and television it is nice to see him take the time to write about Steve Martinson and the Allen Americans. Only one slight correction in the article which probably prevents the ECHL from posting it on their web site is the reference to the "East Coast Hockey League" which was eliminated as the name of the league in 2003. It is now known as the ECHL.

Gosselin: The best coach in the Dallas area is someone you've never heard of:

ALLEN — Charles Haley owns five rings and there’s a drumbeat for his enshrinement in Canton.
If five rings can buy a ticket to the Hall of Fame, what can 10 rings buy a fellow?
That fellow is Steve Martinson, the head coach of the Allen Americans. He won two rings as a player and the last eight as a coach — all, albeit, at that minor league hockey level.
We’ve been blessed of late with some terrific coaches and coaching in North Texas. Stars coach Lindy Ruff is the sixth winningest coach in NHL history. Ron Washington took the Rangers to a pair of World Series and Rick Carlisle won an NBA title with the Mavericks.
But I’m not sure any of them did a better job with their teams than Martinson has done in his two seasons in Allen, winning a pair of Central Hockey League championships.
As a player, Martinson won championships in the International Hockey League and CHL. He also reached the Stanley Cup finals with Montreal and the American Hockey League finals with Hershey.
As a coach, Martinson has won titles in the West Coast Hockey League, the United Hockey League and the CHL. He has been a coach for 18 seasons now and taken his team to the playoffs in 17 of them. He has won 805 career games.
Sure, it’s the minor leagues. But that only heightens the challenge. Martinson didn’t have an Adrian Beltre year after year as Washington had. He doesn’t have a Dirk Nowitzki year after year as Carlisle has or a Jamie Benn year after year as Ruff has.
At the Double-A level, where Martinson has spent his entire coaching life, he essentially has to build his team from scratch every season. Players come and go on an annual basis. Sometimes on a nightly basis.
“With our leagues, contracts are 24 hours,” Martinson mused. “You don’t have players that play for you a real long time.”
Yet he wins.
His Americans won the final CHL title in the league’s history last season. The CHL disbanded and the Americans were added as an expansion team to the East Coast Hockey League, which offers a higher level of competition.
But Martinson has only four holdovers in training camp this week from the team that carried the CHL championship trophy around its Allen rink for the second consecutive May.
Martinson not only must coach his team in the winter. He must build it in the fall. That means finding players, recruiting them and signing them. But 40 years of cashing pro hockey paychecks have given him an idea of what a player looks like. In all, Martinson played in 15 cities, coached in five and made a lot of connections along the way.
As a teenager, Martinson skated on a team with the Hanson brothers of Slapshot fame (in real life, the Carlson brothers). As an NHL player, he skated on teams with Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy and Mike Modano. He scored a goal against Grant Fuhr and fought Bob Probert.
Martinson played at various stops with Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, Carolina Hurricanes president Don Waddell and former NHL general managers Bob Gainey (Stars) and George McPhee (Capitals). His path also crossed in Detroit with current Stars GM Jim Nill.
Martinson never intended to coach. He graduated from college with a business degree and, upon retirement as a player in 1995, went to work as a financial consultant in San Diego.
Martinson coached a roller hockey team in his spare time, but when San Diego brought minor league hockey back in 1996, Martinson was recruited to coach the Gulls. He won the WCHL championship each of his first two seasons.
His Gulls would go on to win five titles. Martinson moved on to Rockford, Ill., in 2004 and won another championship in the UHL. Then he coached four years in the ECHL at Elmira and Chicago before moving on to Allen, where he won his last two titles.
Unlike Charles Haley, though, his rings have gone unnoticed.
“I’ve been coaching long enough that if someone wants to call and talk to me, I’m here,” Martinson said. “For 18 years I’ve been one of the best out there. I’ve beaten guys in the minors that are now coaching in the NHL."
“So do I think I’d do well at the next level? Yes, I do. But I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. I made it to the NHL as a player. A very small percentage of people get to do that. I’m not sitting here wondering if someone’s going to call me next week.”
And the Allen Americans are lucky for that.

DID YOU KNOW:  Steve Martinson met his wife, Michelle, while playing for the Hershey Bears (AHL) from 1985-1987. Steve and Michelle have two children, Logan and Lily. Michelle's grandfather (Frank Mathers) was the President and General Manager of the Hershey Bears. Frank Mathers is a legend in AHL hockey history and Steve learned a lot about hockey and life from him. . For those of you not aware of Frank Mathers, he is often referred to as the Scotty Bowman of the American Hockey League.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Q & A's about the ECHL, Schedule, Allen Americans & More

Thought it would a good idea to take this morning to answer a bunch of different questions being asked on a variety of topics so here goes.

Q: What are the changes for the Americans between the original CHL schedule  and the one that was just released by the ECHL?
A: There was very little change to the home schedule. A game on February 11th against Wichita was switched to February 18th and three new dates were added because the ECHL plays 36 home games and the CHL had only 33. The three new dates are March 18th (Wichita) and April 10th and 11th (Rapid City). They new away schedule had many more changes but they were all after the first of the year. Instead of going to Brampton the end of January for three games the Americans will visit  three of the old ECHL teams on January 23rd (Indianapolis), January 24th (Toledo) and January 25th (Kalamazoo). Allen still has one trip to Brampton this year as two games against Quad City on February 6th and 7th have been dropped and the team will play in Brampton instead on February 5th and 6th. Allen makes a trip all the way across country to California after the two games in Brampton to play the Ontario Reign on February 10th and 11th. Would assume the trips to Brampton and California will be flying trips. An away game against Missouri scheduled for February 27th was changed to February 20th and a game was added at the end of the season as Allen will play their last game on April 11th in Wichita. Bottom line is the Americans will have five road games against the old ECHL teams but no home games. There is a slim chance that may change but it looks like Allen fans will have to wait until next year to see new teams. You can find the complete schedule for Allen and all of the teams at echl.com under the "Game Center" tab.

Q: How quickly will the seven new teams have to have equipment (sticks, helmets, visors, gloves, jerseys) from the ECHL exclusive sponsor of these items, Reebok/CCM.
A: The ECHL has asked the new teams to move quickly to replace all of the Easton equipment which the CHL used with CCM equipment. In the meantime you will notice the Easton logo on all equipment will be covered up by paint (on the sticks) and tape on the other equipment. It will most likely take until the end of the year to replace everything but you will see some CCM equipment start showing up soon. The players will be anxious to get the new sticks as they go from the two piece Easton sticks to the one piece CCM sticks.

Q: How come I can't sign up for ECHL.TV as I want to take advantage of the early-bird discounts but the seven new teams are not listed
A: The ECHL recently launched  ECHL.TV, powered by NeuLion, for the 2014-15 season. The new online streaming platform gives ECHL fans more access and options than ever before and games can be viewed on PC, iPhone and iPad all through a single user account. Per the ECHL headquarters office NeuLion started working with the new schedule as soon as it was released yesterday to get all of the games loaded into the ECHL platform and the new teams should be able to be purchased some time today (Tuesday).

Q: Coach Martinson has said many of the players from last year have expressed interest in returning to Allen once the move to the ECHL was announced. How likely is that to happen and what players might return.
A: No inside information on this and it gets tricky to get players back to Allen even if they want to return. The only player that has not signed a contract according to hockeydb.com and eliteprospects.com is Spencer Asuchak. He has been with the Providence Bruins (AHL). If Spencer doesn't sign with Providence he would be free to sign with any team and has said he would return to Allen if he doesn't get an AHL deal. He belongs in the AHL but what a boost it would give Allen if he returns. As for all of the other players signed in the ECHL the only way they could return is through a trade. Keep an eye on the ECHL transaction list as many good players will be cut today and tomorrow as contract players are retained. If any of the players from last year are cut Martinson could trade for their rights. Most of the players from last year's team have been having good ECHL camps (Klotz, Kerbashian, Hanson, Lavoie, Lessard) so it is hard to predict if any of them could be available in a trade. Stay tuned.

Q: What does ECHL stand for?
A:  The letters used to stand for the East Coast Hockey League but as the league expanded across the country the name was changed in 2003 to simply ECHL and the letters no longer stand for anything.

Q: What color jersey will the team be wearing for the home opener?
A: The ECHL rule is teams wear their white jerseys from October 17, 2014 to January 18, 2014 and their dark jerseys from January 22nd (after the all-star break) to April 11th. For the playoffs the teams return to home-white and road-dark  jerseys.

Q: How do the seven teams coming from the CHL compare in attendance to the other ECHL teams?
A: There are a couple of ways to look at this but the easiest is average attendance. The ECHL average last year was 4706. The seven new teams joining the ECHL had an average attendance last year of 4333 so very comparable. The other way to compare is where would the CHL teams have been in attendance if they played in the ECHL last year. There were 22 teams in the ECHL last year.
Missouri - The Mavericks averaged 5499 which would have been 5th in ECHL attendance
Wichita - The Thunder average was 5089 which would have placed them 8th in the ECHL
Tulsa - The Oilers averaged 4986 which would have placed them 10th
Rapid City - The Rush averaged 4497 which would have placed them 14th
Allen - The Americans  averaged 4216 which would have placed them 15th
Quad City - The Mallards averaged 3811 which would have placed them 18th
Brampton - The Beast averaged 2233 which would have placed them last in ECHL attendance.

Q: Will all the players in training camp play in the preseason game?
A: No, only 20 players will dress for the preseason game.

Q: When will the names of those that make the team be announced.
A: The final roster has to be submitted to the league office by 3:00 pm eastern time tomorrow (Wednesday) but don't forget that is just the starting point and you can be assured there will be changes to the final roster between tomorrow and the home opener on October 24th.

Q: Will the referees from the CHL move to the ECHL?
A: The ECHL has its own contracted referees so there will be no mass move of the CHL referees. When asked, the ECHL headquarters was not aware if additional referees will be added to the list below. They are checking and will update the list on echl.com if any are added. Here are the ECHL referees from echl.com. You will recognize a few of the names as former CHL referees.

3 - Chris Pitoscia
4 - Joe Sullivan
5 - Mike McBain
6 - Jeremy Tufts
8 - Brett Sheva
10 - Ryan Murphy
11 - Micheal Sheehan
12 - Dan Dreger
14 - Nic Leduc
16 - Ken Anderson
17 - Stephen Reneau
18 - Don Jablonski
20 - Pierre Lambert
21 - JM McNulty
22 - Andy Thackaberry
23 - Peter Tarnaris
24 - Andrew Wilk
25 - Frederic LaBlanc
26 - Peter MacDougall
27 - Steven Thomson
28 - Tyler Puddifant

DID YOU KNOW: This is the second time Steve Martinson has brought an expansion team into the ECHL. In 2003-2004 he was the coach of the San Diego Gulls when the West Coast Hockey League was absorbed by the ECHL. Martinson's team set two records that year that still stand. The Gulls had 100 points that year which is a record for an expansion team in the ECHL. Even more impressive is they had 30 home wins which is still the most home wins in a season by any ECHL team.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Training Camp Report, Schedule Release, Former Allen Players Excel in Preseason Games

It is finally hockey season and for the first time since the championship winning game on May 10 a full contingent of Allen American's players were on the ice yesterday afternoon as training camped opened for the upcoming season. A good turnout of fans showed up to watch the first ECHL practice in what will be a short training camp as final rosters are due Wednesday afternoon. So here is the first post about the ECHL Allen Americans hockey team with no guessing, rumors, or speculation (well, maybe a little).

- It was great to see all of the "regulars" at the rink yesterday. Those fans that follow the team very closely and route for the team no matter what the circumstances. Lots of smiles from these folks seeing the guys back on the ice. The comments ran the gamut from he's fast, he looks like Bruce Graham, what a great passer, he is cute, lot's of big dudes, who are the fighters, why so many guys with no number on their helmet and why no coaches on the ice.

- Practice consisted mostly of the players doing four on four and five on five drills while coach Martinson watched from the stands. He was joined by Thomas Speer who worked with the goalies last year and Erik Adams from the front office in observing the practice. With such a short camp this is a quick way to get an assessment on all of the players. Training camp continues today but it is a closed session. It is not closed for some secretive purpose it is simply a matter of not having AEC or Allen Americans staff available for security and safety reasons as they are closed on Sundays.

- There were only three goalies at practice as Aaron Dell was driving to Allen and arrived last night. You know they are back in Texas as Aaron's wife (Kelly) who is always very humorous, tweeted the following, "Omg, how are they not done with the construction on 75 in McKinney? They were working on that when we got here two years ago!" Aaron will be at practice today (Sunday).

- The players spend a lot of time together during training camp on and off the ice. Many fans don't realize the players do not get paid during camp but meals are provided so the guys are together for virtually all meals. The meals will either be catered in the locker room or they will head to one of the teams sponsors for a meal. Last night after practice is was off to sponsor Cowboy's Chicken for dinner.

- One good thing for the players with the move to the ECHL is they will start getting paid a week earlier because the ECHL schedule starts a week before the CHL schedule. So pay for all ECHL players starts on the official opening day of the season which is Friday (October 17th).

- Speaking of the schedule it is time for the rumor/speculation part of this post. The official release of the revised schedule will not happen until noon ET tomorrow (Monday) but there have been a lot of folks talking about the schedule changes. And because some changes impact opening games they have already been announced by team officials.  Rapid City has already announced they will open the season on October 17 & 18 at home against the Colorado Eagles and Brampton will no longer open up against the Missouri Mavericks per the CHL schedule but will now open against the Toledo Walleye on October 24th and will play Toledo again on October 26th. The Beast also announced they will play the Elmira Jackals, Reading Royals, and Wheeling Nailers during the season. As for the Allen Americans they may play as many as five road games against the the "old ECHL teams. Nobody from the team would comment on this so will have to wait until the schedule is released but one of the rumors on social media is Allen will play a weekend series in Kalamazoo. Don't expect a lot of home games with the old ECHL teams this year. Stay tuned!

- Several players from last year's Allen championship team had great performances last night in ECHL preseason games. Alex Lavoie had two goals including the game winner as his Florida Everblades beat the Orlando Solar Bears 4-1.  Kale Kerbashian had the goal to tie the game 2-2 as his Evansville IceMen beat the Fort Wayne Komets 3-2 in a shootout. Daniel Tetrault scored the only goal for the Rapid City Rush as they lost to the Colorado Eagles 2-1. Jonathan Lessard along with former Allen player Jim McKenzie both had fighting majors in the first period as their Bakersfield Condors team beat the Ontario Reign 3-1. In addition to their fights Lessard had an assist and Mckenzie had a goal in the game.

The Patrick J. Kelly Cup goes to the play-off champion of the ECHL. The Kelly Cup has been awarded to teams since 1997. Prior to 1997, the playoff winner was awarded the Riley Cup, named after former American Hockey League President Jack Riley. The current cup is named after Patrick J. Kelly, the league's first commissioner. The cup is loaned to the winning team for one year and is returned at the start of the following year's playoffs. Sixteen different teams have won the ECHL Championship, with six (Hampton Roads, Toledo, South Carolina, Cincinnati, and Idaho) winning multiple times. The Hampton Roads Admirals, predecessor of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, the Alaska Aces and the South Carolina Stingrays hold the record for most championships won with three. Current possession of the trophy belongs to the Alaska Aces, who won it in 2014 after a six game victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones in the Kelly Cup Finals.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Allen Americans 2014-2015 Training Camp Roster - Names, #'s & Details

It has been quite a week for the Allen Americans and the entire Central Hockey League as their journey to becoming part of the ECHL went from rumor on Monday to reality on Tuesday to training camp today. It will be a quick camp as final rosters need to be submitted to the ECHL headquarters office by 3:00 pm on Wednesday (October 15). For that reason the preseason game with Tulsa was switched from October 17 to October 14 (Tuesday).

- Training camp for the Allen Americans starts today with the first on ice session from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at the Allen Community Rink. The public is welcome at most training camp practices. Tomorrow (Sunday) is an exception as it is a closed practice. See the complete schedule at the end of this post.

- The training camp roster is below and is the latest information from the Allen Americans but if there is ever a year to expect changes to the roster this would be it. Now that the Americans are part of the ECHL there are plenty of possibilities for roster changes from players being assigned by AHL teams and yes, maybe even an affiliation, to players that have played in Allen in the past returning. Roster changes are inevitable and this year that is more true than ever.

- A few notable roster names added or removed from what had been announced earlier by the team include the signing of goalie Aaron Dell who was the starting goalie for Allen's first championship in 2012-2013 and the addition of  forward Chad Costello (former ECHL MVP). Two previously announced players that will not be coming to Allen are goalie Ben Meisner ( he has signed with Missouri) and Brandon Coccimiglio.

- There will be a couple players on the ice this afternoon not listed below. .

Here is the 2014-2015 Allen Americans training camp roster:

#3 Tyler Ludwig

Defense -- shoots R
Born -- Rhinelander, WI
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 205
Tyler returns for his fourth season with the Americans. He led all defensemen in the CHL in scoring last year with 55 points (20 goals 35 assists) and was named the Most Outstanding Defenseman in the CHL.

#5 Aaron Gens

Defense -- shoots R
Born Feb 24 1987 -- Baudette, MN
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 204
Aaron comes to Allen after playing in the ECHL the last two years (Evansville & Reading).
Aaron had a great collegiate career at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF) where he played for four years and had 72 points (12 goals 60 assists) in 140 games and was the club's leading scorer among defensemen his junior and senior seasons.  He was also successful in the classroom as he graduated with honors with a degree in Business Administration (marketing). 

After finishing his college career (2011-2012) he signed an AHL contract with the Lake Erie Monsters and played with them for seven games at the end of their season. The 2012-2013 season proved to be a special one for Aaron as he got to play with his brother (Matt) in Evansville (ECHL). Aaron comes from a musical family and is a talented musician who writes music, plays guitar and sings. He is also an avid hunter and fisherman.

#9 Brian McMillin

Forward -- shoots R
Born Feb 26 1988 -- Roseau, MN
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 200
Brian McMillin returns to the Americans for the fourth year and is the longest tenured player on the team. The 2012-2013 CHL Playoff MVP originally signed to play in the Netherlands this year but circumstances changed with that league so he returned to Allen.  Brian needs to play in 40 games this year to become the Allen Americans all time leader in games played. He had a great collegiate career at Colorado College where he was also on the NCAA (WCHA) All-Academic Team. Brian is also an avid hunter and fisherman.

#10 Brett Lyon

Left Wing -- shoots L
Born Jan 23 1991 -- Grand Forks, BC
[23 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 205
Brett joins the Americans having spent time in both the AHL and ECHL last season. This will be his third year as a professional. He has played in 97 ECHL games and 13 AHL games. He is the only player on the roster that attended an AHL training camp this year as he recently returned from camp with the Chicago Wolves. Brett will provide a physical presence for the Americans up front. Last year he had nineteen fighting majors in fifty three games.

#12 Gary Steffes

Center -- shoots R
Born May 20 1987 -- Grand Blanc, MI
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 210
Gary will be starting his fifth year as a professional having played for the Tulsa Oilers from 2010-2013 and for the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) this past season. Last year in Bakersfield he had 35 points (18 goals 17 assists) in 60 games. A 2012-13 nominee for the CHL’s Man of the Year Award when he was with Tulsa, Steffes gives his time and talents to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He works specifically with FCA Hockey, a group that travels the world sharing the gospel through hockey camps and clinics.  He played college hockey at Miami University (Ohio) and earned a degree in Kinesiology, Health and Exercise Science. Gary likes to keep a journal which helps him stay focused and deal with fears and anxieties.

#13 Chad Costello

Forward -- shoots R
Born Jul 22 1986 -- Johnston, IA
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 5.09 -- Weight 185
A prolific scorer and former MVP of the ECHL when he played for the Colorado Eagles, Chad joins the the Americans as one of their four veterans. Chad has 40 AHL games, 117 CHL games and 93 ECHL games under his belt. His 1.49 points per game average in his 93 ECHL games is one of the highest of all time. In 2012 playing for the Colorado Eagles Chad accomplished a rare feat in a 5-2 victory over the Las Vegas as he scored a hat trick and all three goals were short handed goal.

#15 Andrew Hamburg

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Jun 17 1989 -- Phoenix, AZ
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.03 -- Weight 203
Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona the first question you ask is how and why does a youngster get involved in hockey? Andrew and his brother, Anthony, who is two years younger actually got involved in hockey because of their mother. Here is how Anthony explained it in an interview,  "It's a funny story, actually. Our dad, is not a winter athlete at all. Can't ski, can't skate, nothing. So, my mother went to Denver University as an under graduate, and she hung out with all the hockey guys, because she was in a sorority and, of course, they were in a fraternity. So, she just took us skating one day when I was two and a half and Andrew was about four, and ever since then we've been in love with hockey. Andrew has spent time in Dallas in the past as he played midget hockey (2005-2007) for the Dallas Stars Midget AAA team and also played briefly for the NAHL Texas Tornado (2007-2008) before being traded to the St. Louis Bandits where he won back to back championships (Robertson Cups). Andrew had 103 points in 93 games playing for the Bandits. Andrew spent the next four years 2009-2013 playing Division 1 hockey at Colorado College (WCHA). In addition to being an outstanding hockey player at Colorado College, Hamburg excelled in the classroom as he was selected to the NCAA (WCHA) all-academic team his sophomore, junior and senior years and graduated with a degree in economics. Last year (2013-2014) Andrew played professional hockey in Norway and Slovakia.

#17 Trevor Ludwig

Defense -- shoots L
Born -- Rhinelander, WI
[28 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 210
Trevor starts his eighth professional season and fourth with the Americans. A former NHL draft choice of the Dallas Stars, Trevor has been plagued by serious injuries over the last few years. Last season a severe skate cut to his arm ended his season after 30 games. An experienced defenseman Trevor has 144 games played at the AHL level. To help change his luck with the injuries, Trevor asked the fans to help him pick a new number for the 2014-2015 and that is why he is wearing #17 this year.

#19 Sy Nutkevitch

Center -- shoots R
Born Jan 28 1988 -- Dollard-des-Ormeaux, PQ
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 189
Sy is a familiar name to Allen fans having played parts of two seasons with the cross town rival Texas Brahmas in 2011-2013. Sy led the Brahmas in assists and was the second leading scorer in 2012-2013 with 46 points (13 goals 33 assists) in 61 games. Last season he played 37 games for the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL, totaling seventeen points. Sy has a younger sister, Lauren, who played college hockey (defense).

#22 Jamie Schaafsma

Center -- shoots R
Born -- Chatham, ONT
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 190
Jamie is back for his third year with the Americans. He is starting his eleventh year as a professional and has played hockey all over Europe as a pro and as a member of the Netherlands national team. A proven winner, Jamie has been to the championship finals for the last six years, playing for four different teams. Jamie won the MVP award in the CHL playoffs last season. Jamie, who has three older brothers returns each summer to the area where he grew up in Ontario. He has an interest in becoming a firefighter after his playing days are over and is taking courses and working on certificates to help him in that endeavor.

#24 John Ryder

Defense -- shoots L
Born Mar 6 1989 -- Colorado Springs, CO
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 200
John is from Colorado Springs, Colorado and played college hockey at the University of Denver. Last year he split time between the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Ryder is a stay at home defenseman who has been described as a big time check waiting to happen, who has perfected unpenalized checks on the puck carrier in the neutral zone or inside the blue line to the point you pay attention to him as if he was the best offensive player on the ice. He led the University of Denver in each of his last three seasons, racking up 802 hits in 102 games from 2009-2012. He recorded over 1000 hits in his college career. The 25 year old, who majored in fiance and management, was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team for four consecutive years (2008-2012) while at the University of Denver. John is a voracious reader who reads a book every 2-3 days.

#25 Jeremy Beaudry

Defense -- shoots R
Born Dec 13 1993 -- Montmagny, PQ
[20 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 193
Jeremy Beaudry  just finished his junior career with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He had 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 60 games. The 19 goals were the most scored by a defenseman in the history of the team. Jeremy's  hockey hero is his older brother because he is a real example of determination and perseverance. Jeremy wears #25 because that is the number is brother always wore. Jeremy plans on coaching when his playing days are done. Besides the ritual of taking a pregame nap he always eats a can of tuna as his pregame meal.

#27 Jesse Messier

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Mar 5 1988 -- Keswick, ONT
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 195
Jesse joins the Americans for his first full year of professional hockey. He played 18 games last year with the Toledo Walleye after he finished his collegiate career at York University which is in Toronto. A natural leader, he was captain of his college team his junior and senior year and led the team in scoring for three straight year. He had 129 points (55 goals, 74 assist) to go along with 305 penalty minutes in his 131 game college career. And to answer the question he gets asked all of the time, he is not related to NHL great Mark Messier.

#29 Aaron Dell

Goalie -- shoots L
Born May 4 1989 -- Airdrie, ALTA
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 209
Aaron rejoins Allen after splitting time last year with the ECHL Utah Grizzlies (29 games) and AHL Abbotsford Heat (6 games). Aaron's games played (35) was rather low last season because he spent many games as a back up in the AHL. During the season he was on loan to the Norfolk Admirals and Manchester Monarchs in addition to Abbotsford. After a collegiate career at the University of North Dakota, Aaron joined Allen as a rookie in 2012-2013 and what a rookie year it was. He was named to the CHL all rookie team, the CHL all-star team, and was selected for the CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender Award. And he led his team to the biggest award of all, the Presidents' Cup where he played in all nineteen playoff games. Though his coming to Allen has been in the works for a while it was just completed and announced yesterday. His number assignment (#29) is based on he number in the past and has not been confirmed. He is headed to Texas but will not be at training camp today but should arrive in time for Sunday's practice. A little known fact about Aaron is that he was home schooled.

#30 Riley Gill

Goalie -- shoots R
Born Jan 1 1985 -- Northfield, MN
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.01 -- Weight 211
Riley is starting his sixth full year as a professional after a successful collegiate career at Western Michigan University where he finished with the highest career save percentage in school history at .915.  Last year he played for the Reading Royals (ECHL) and Hershey Bears (AHL). Riley was the 2012-2013 ECHL Kelly Cup MVP as he led his Reading Royals to the championship. In the playoffs (17 games) he had a GAA of 1.91 and a save percentage of .930. His teammates should be careful on the golf course as Riley is a scratch golfer.

#37 Willie Yanakeff

Goalie -- shoots R
Born Apr 30 1992 -- Jerome, MI
[22 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 185
Willie returns to Allen having signed last year after finishing his collegiate career at Michigan State University. He played in just three games before getting hurt which ended his season but in those three games (just 64 minutes) he had a GAA of 1.88 and save percentage of .920. With four goalies in camp and only five days before the final roster is in place, it will be a tough situation for the rookie.

#39 Raphael Girard

Goalie -- shoots L
Born Jan 24 1991 -- Saint-Hyacinthe, PQ
[23 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 185
Raphael joins Allen for his first professional season after finishing his collegiate career at Harvard University. Though he is from Canada he attended two years of high school at Northwood Prep School in Lake Placid, New York before enrolling at Harvard. When he was playing midget hockey back home in Quebec (2007-2008) he was awarded the Ken Dryden Trophy as the most valuable goaltender in the Quebec midget AAA league after tying Patrick Roy's record for wins in a season. Riley played in eighteen games for Harvard last year and had a GAA of 2.52 and save percentage of .924.

#43 Kevin Young

Defense -- shoots R
Born Jul 16 1982 -- White Rock, BC
[32 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 196
Kevin joins the Allen Americans for his tenth professional season after playing for the Colorado Eagles (ECHL) last year. He was the CHL's Most Outstanding Defenseman  in 2012-2013 when he played for the Wichita Thunder and led all defensemen in scoring with 59 points (24 goals 35 assists).  His mom, Lynne, passed away four years ago and Kevin now wears #43 in honor of his mom who was born in 1943. Kevin became engaged earlier this summer and has been working hard on his golf game. Kevin is from White Rock, British Columbia. White Rock is located on the ocean in the southwest corner of British Columbia, 30 miles south of Vancouver and is flanked on the south by the US/Canadian border and Blaine, Washington. And yes the name comes from a 400 ton white rock that is on the beach in the town center. Kevin describes White Rock as the perfect place to live that is never too hot, never too cold, with mountains and the ocean.

#61 Geoff Irwin

Forward -- shoots L
Born Jun 7 1985 -- Victoria, BC
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 195
Geoff joins the Americans having played for the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL last year). He turned professional with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) after finishing his collegiate career at Minnesota State University (Mankato) in 2009-2010. Another leader, Geoff was captain of his college team and was also the captain when he played with the Ontario Reign (ECHL) in 2011-2012. Back in his junior days he won the Canadian Junior A National title playing for the Burnaby Express. Geoff took a year off from hockey (2012-2013). As he said, "I wanted to see if there was something else I wanted to pursue with my life. I started up a business with a buddy of mine and worked an office job and realized that was not by calling."  By the way the business Geoff started with his buddy is an online company (thegamergloves.com) that sells gloves to gamers to prevent sweat from getting on their controllers. You know he is a serious gamer. His Las Vegas coach describes Geoff as a guy who is hard to play against, is full of energy, can play in any situation, can score goals, gets to the hard areas on the ice and he will run you through the boards. Geoff has played in 167 ECHL games and has 99 points (39 goals, 60 assists).

#71 Travis Ouellette

Forward -- shoots R
Born Feb 17 1989 -- Windsor, ONT
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 5.09 -- Weight 165
Travis was one of the first players signed by Steve Martinson for the upcoming season. Last year Ouellette spent time with the Arizona Sundogs, St. Charles Chill, and the Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL). He had a combined point total of 27 points (11 goals 16 assists) in 34 games. Each year Steve Martinson finds a couple of young players that have not gotten a real chance to show what they can do who end up thriving in his system. Travis Ouellette could be one of those players this year. He is in the mold of Anthony Maiani and Alex Lavoie in both size and style of play.

#79 Garrett Clarke

Defense -- shoots L
Born Nov 3 1992 -- Windsor, NS
[21 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 197
Garrett rejoins the Allen Americans where he played his rookie season (2012-2013) after playing last year in Arizona. A tough gritty player who also has a lot of skill Garrett will most likely see time at both defense and forward during the season. An agitator extraordinaire, Clarke has led his team in penalty minutes in both years as a professional. Fitting of his role as a tough guy with skill Garrett has worked as a bear hunting guide back home.

#84 Devin DiDiomete

Defense -- shoots R
Born May 9 1988 -- Stratford, ONT
[26 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 201
Devin, who was drafted by the NHL Calgary Flames in 2006 joins the Americans after playing last year in Sweden and Italy. He has played in 196 AHL regular season games. Devin has played for Steve Martinson in the past in the ECHL (Chicago Express 2011-2012). He is a tough winger who plays with lots of grit and energy who loves to hit and is strong along the boards. Not afraid to drop the gloves, he should be a fan favorite.

Fans are encouraged to attend training camp practices, scrimmage and game to show support for the team. Here is the schedule from the press release on the team's web site:

October 11 (Today) - 3:00 - 5:00  at the Allen Community Rink
October 12 (Sunday) - 11:30 - 1:30  Allen Event Center (closed session)
October 13 (Monday) - 10:00 - 12:00  at the Allen Event Center
October 14 (Tuesday) - 7:05 pm will be a preseason game against the Tulsa Oiler at AEC
October 15 (Wednesday) - 10:00 - 12:00 at the Allen Community Rink
October 16 (Thursday) - 10:00 - 12:00 at the Allen Community Rink
October 17 (Friday) - 7:00 pm Red vs White scrimmage at the AEC (doors open 6:00 pm)