ALLEN, TX – Another player is on the way to Allen’s training camp as the San Jose Barracuda assigned goalie Stephon Williams to the Americans yesterday. Williams is a Fairbanks, Alaska native and a fourth-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2013 NHL draft. He played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota (Mankato) where he was part of two league (WCHA) championships. This will be Stephon’s third professional season.

Photo Courtesy: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Including five games at the end of his college eligibility in 2014-15, he has played in 59 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and 15 games for the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL). Williams played against Allen three times last season when he was assigned to Missouri. Allen won two of the games (3-1 & 3-2) and Missouri won the third 3-2 in overtime. Here are the details on Williams courtesy of hockeydb:

Stephon Williams

Goalie — shoots L
Born Apr 28, 1993 — Fairbanks, AK
[24 yrs. ago]
Height 6.03 — Weight 196

Drafted by New York Islanders

– round 4 #106 overall 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Season   Team                        Lge    GP   Min    GAA   W   L   T   Pct
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010-11  Sioux Falls Stampede        USHL   35  2042   2.59  20   7   6  .909
2011-12  Waterloo Black Hawks        USHL   19  1054   2.79  10   6   2  .896
2011-12  Sioux Falls Stampede        USHL   21  1113   2.70   6   9   2  .913
2012-13  Minnesota State U - Manka   WCHA   35  2043   2.00  21  12   2  .924
2013-14  Minnesota State U - Manka   WCHA   12   594   3.23   5   6   0  .862
2014-15  Minnesota State U - Manka   WCHA   35  1999   1.65  25   6   3  .925
2014-15  Bridgeport Sound Tigers     AHL     5   255   2.12   3   1   0  .936
2015-16  Bridgeport Sound Tigers     AHL    29  1605   2.77  15  13   1  .899
2015-16  Missouri Mavericks          ECHL    7   412   2.91   2   3   2  .892
2016-17  Bridgeport Sound Tigers     AHL    24  1265   3.08   6  13   0  .891
2016-17  Missouri Mavericks          ECHL    8   424   2.69   3   4   0  .916

– Willams could be at practice as early as today as he was flying to DFW last night. He would make four goalies in camp. Makes you wonder if one of the two tryout goalies will be released.

– As for practice yesterday it was the first opportunity to see Peter MacArthur on the ice. It was obvious after watching just one practice what a skilled player he is. Listed by Adirondack last season as 5′ 10″ and 180 pounds he is not a big guy by any stretch. More in the mold of Chad Costello. I mentioned yesterday the possibility MacArthur might wear jersey #16 (Arseneau) but that jersey would look like a dress on Peter given the size discrepancy between the two men. My reporting says Arseneau stays with #16 and Peter will wear #14.

– It was more of the same at practice yesterday with a lot of skating and not much instruction. The practice was almost two hours long though the team did take a break at the midpoint to redo the ice. You could notice many of the drills had players in tighter spaces where decisions had to be made quicker than the drills the first day. Expect more of the same today and then a lighter practice tomorrow. Many have asked who will be on the lines for the weekend preseason games. It appears to me coach Steve Martinson is trying to approach these first few days of practice by not establishing set lines and mixing it up, so everyone gets to play with a lot of different guys. Tomorrow when the team starts working on special teams you may get a better idea of where all of the players fit in.

– If you have been following NHL and AHL training camps, you may have seen some rule changes and areas of emphasis for the upcoming season. Because the ECHL is a development league for the AHL & NHL, the ECHL tries to follow the lead of the NHL on changes. This year, there NHL adapted three rules changes:

The first rule change is there will be no timeout allowed for the defensive team following an icing. The ECHL has already implemented this rule so no change here.  The second rule change is related to high sticking the puck and the location of the faceoff. I assume the ECHL will be adopting this new interpretation. The third NHL rule change relates to coach’s challenge and that will obviously not be adopted by the ECHL as they are just starting to experiment with instant replay in some preseason games. The part of this video that will have the biggest impact on the ECHL is a stricter enforcement of the slashing rule. Martinson has been advocating for this for a long time. The Americans lose players every year with broken fingers as a result of slashes and an injury of this type can be 4-6 weeks on the injured reserve.

The video below has several examples of what will be called a slash this season that may have been let go in the past. This isn’t a rule change but an emphasis of an existing rule. It may cause some defensemen, in particular, to change how they play. Another area that will be more strictly enforced this season is on faceoffs, specifically the markings inside the faceoff circle. In the past, players were allowed to have their skates over or touching the ice markings. That won’t be allowed this season. This will impact the centers on the team and their approach to faceoffs.

Finally, a couple of equipment reminders in the video including the prohibition of tucking the jersey into the pants (ala Greger Hanson) so the top of the padding is exposed. There is also a reminder on visors. So take a look at this video as is does a great job of going through all of the rule changes and areas of emphasis. If you attend the preseason games this weekend, pay attention if the linesmen are enforcing the area of emphasis on faceoffs and the referee is calling more slashing penalties.

DID YOU KNOW: One save that newly assigned Allen goalie Stephon Williams is known for is from his USHL days back in 2012 when he was playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks. It is known as the ‘bare hand” save.

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