ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans are back home for the week as they prepare for three games this weekend against Wichita. It will a busy week of practice for coach Steve Martinson and also a busy week for general manager Martinson. With no games until Friday, some days will be full practices and some will have some downtime this week for most of the players. Martinson will work on areas that need improvement and will also experiment with some new line combinations and defensive pairings. Spencer Asuchak and Dyson Stevenson will be back at practice this week and are expected to be available for the game on Friday.
General Manager Martinson has also been busy. The top collegiate goalie he recently signed and will to be announced today has already been signed by an AHL team so Martinson has found another goalie to replace Zach Sawchenko if/when he gets recalled by San Jose for their training camp. Martinson has also signed another player that will be announced today. With so many rookies and contracted players, Martinson doesn’t have a salary cap problem but could have a budget problem (salaries, housing, etc.) that will require him to trim the roster as he is adding new players.
San Jose and Iowa have not announced when their AHL training camps will start but it has to be in the next 10-14 days if they plan to begin play in early February. With eight NHL/AHL contracted players on the Allen roster (5 Iowa, 3 San Jose), it is one more thing Martinson has to consider.
Former Allen Players in Europe
If you are wondering how former Allen players are doing in Europe this season, here is an update on some of them. The years they played in Allen are in parenthesis:
Alex Breton (2018-20) – Alex is playing in Slovakia for HC Banksa Bystrica. He has played in 24 games and has 22 points (6G, 16A). Alex leads his team in points as a defenseman. His team is in 11th place in a 12 team league.
Kale Kerbashian (2012-16) and Rylan Schwartz (2014-15) are teammates on Lausiter Fuchse, which is a team in Germany’s second level pro league (DEL2). Kerbashian leads the team with 23 points (8G, 15A) in 18 games and Schwartz is second with 18 points (9G, 9A) in 14 games. Their team is in eighth place (the last playoff spot) in the 14-team league.
Dante Salituro (2018-19) – Dante plays in the top league in Norway for Narvik which is a town that is above the Arctic Circle. Salituro leads his team in points with 20 (12G, 8A) in 27 games. His team is in ninth place in a 10 teams league and has lost 23 of 27 games.
Daniel Leavens (2017-18) and Travis Brown (2016-17) play in the same league as Salituro for Stjernen Hockey. Their team is in sixth place in the 10 team league. Leavens is second on the team with 34 points (11G, 23A) in 24 games. Brown is fourth in points among defensemen with seven points (3G, 4A) in 23 games.
Stepan Falkovsky (2018-20) – Stepan plays for his hometown pro team, Dinamo Minsk, in the KHL which is considered by most the second-best hockey league in the world after the NHL. Stepan is the second leading scorer among defensemen on the team with eight points (4G, 4A) in 20 games. Stepan’s teammate, defenseman Brennan Menell. who like Falkovsky was in the Minnesota Wild organization the last three seasons has 28 points (5G, 23A) in 35 games and is the second-leading scorer in the KHL among defensemen. Dinamo Minsk is in fifth place in their 11 team division. The KHL has two divisions and a total of 23 teams.
A who’s who of former Allen Americans play for SC Csikszereda which is a professional team in Miercurea-Ciuc, Romania, Colton Yellow Horn (2009-12), Jack Combs (2014-15) and Judd Blackwater (2010-11). Blackwater leads the group with 18 points (5G, 13A) in 13 games. Yellow Horn has 15 points (6G, 9A) in 12 games. Combs arrived later and has nine points (5G, 4A) in just five games. Their team record is 8-5-2.
Wichita beat Kansas City 6-2 yesterday to improve their record to 6-2-1-0. Allen and Wichita have been the class of the Mountain Division so far and the three-game series they play this weekend at the Allen Event Center will determine first place.
The season always seems to move quickly once it starts. After this weekend, the Americans will have already completed 22% of the home season.
After the three home games this weekend against Wichita the Americans play five straight road games:
January 23 – at Kansas City
January 24 – at Tulsa
January 29,30,31 – at Utah
NHL taxi squads begin tomorrow. Every NHL team must have 4-6 players on the taxi squad and carry a minimum of three goalies between their active roster and taxi squad.
Did You Know?
ECHL teams that score first win close to 80% of the points (wins plus OT & SO losses). Here are the teams with the best record this season when scoring the first goal of the game:
5-0-1-0: South Carolina
Here are the teams with the best record last season (2019-20) when scoring first:
30-4-2-0: South Carolina
Allen has always done well when scoring first but the 2016-17 season was extraordinary. The Americans scored first in 45 of their 72 games (63%) and had a record of 40-2-2-1.
For all things Allen Americans, follow Barry Janssen on Twitter @AllenAmericans1. For the latest stats and trends in the ECHL, follow @ECHLStats. And for the latest news on your favorite AHL & ECHL team, “Like” The Sin Bin on Facebook!