ALLEN, TX – The best thing about practice yesterday for the Allen Americans was the return of Zach Hall. He wasn’t wearing a no-contact jersey, he was a full participant in practice and looked good. Hall will be ready to go when the Americans take on Utah tomorrow night in game three of their playoff series.
– One of coach Martinson’s many quotes over the years is you can’t control what the other team does, all you can do is control how you react to what the other team does. Practice yesterday seemed to be focused on a lot of system issues and drills. Lot’s of trips to the white board hanging over the glass at center ice followed by drills to practice what was discussed. Adaptability is one reason Martinson has been so successful in the playoffs over the years.
– The practice yesterday was key as the team will not have any ice time today and tomorrow will be a short pregame skate. With three games in the next four days, coach Steve Martinson felt it was best not to have practice either before the team leaves for Salt Lake City or after they arrive.
– Not sure if the travel logistics changed this year because of new ownership but they seem to be much better than last year. Here is what I wrote one year ago as the team was headed to Idaho for game three of their first-round series:
“It is get away day for the Americans as they fly to Boise in two groups. The majority of the team left very early this morning with a smaller group having flights this afternoon. I am sure everyone is thankful and grateful they didn’t have to take “Big Red” on a 30-hour bus trip even if they had to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 am this morning.”
This year the Americans are traveling all together as a team and their flight is just after noon.
– Everyone on the playoff roster will be traveling with the exception of Tanner Eberle who is still recovering from his injury. From what I understand, Eberle still has another week before his cast will be removed and then will have some rehab time before he is cleared to play.
– The other teams in action tonight are Manchester at Adirondack with Manchester leading the series 2-0, Toledo at Kalamazoo with Toledo leading the series 2-0 and Reading at Brampton with the series tied 1-1.
– The ECHL announced yesterday that Kalamazoo captain Ben Wilson has been suspended indefinitely for an incident in the Wings game against Toledo on Saturday. Wilson repeatedly cross-checked Walleye defenseman Simon Denis seven times in an incident that has received nationwide attention. Wilson played briefly for Allen in 2011-12 and has been with Kalamazoo since 2013. This was his first season as captain of the team.
– It is still very early in the playoffs with no team having more than two home games and many to still have their first home playoff game. With that said there are three teams averaging less than 3000 per game (Reading, Florida, South Carolina) and three teams averaging over 5000 (Toledo, Fort Wayne, Colorado). Allen averaged 4673 for their first two home dates.
DID YOU KNOW: Derek Mathers played in 59 games for the Allen Americans this season and set the all-time single-season penalty minute record with 274 minutes. Did you know Derek is now fourth on the franchise career penalty minute list?
Here are the top five:
432 – Garrett Clarke
326 – Trevor Hendrikx
280 – Darryl Bootland
274 – Derek Mathers
273 – Aaron Gens