ALLEN, Texas – It’s a new week and a new opportunity for the Allen Americans as they prepare to host the Utah Grizzlies on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Americans are in third place in the Western Conference with a points percentage of .622, Utah is in fourth place with a points percentage of .563.
There has been little practice time the last few weeks so having three straight days to work on system drills and special teams are critical. Nine players at practice today were not with the team at the beginning of the month, four players haven’t been with the team for a week and two will be practicing with the Americans for the first time.
Coach Steve Martinson is always straight and to the point when you ask a question. Here is his quote when I asked him what the team needs to work on after losing two of three games against Rapid City:
“We need to decide if we want to play as a smart team or a dumb team. Right now, we are making too many dumb decisions.”
It easy to forget how young the Allen Americans are this season. There are 11 rookies on the roster right now including three goalies. In total, 19 rookies have played in Allen this season. The average age of the current roster is 25.25 which makes Allen the second-youngest team in the ECHL. Adding two collegiate players today will make the team even younger.
Allen has missed the on-ice leadership of the three experienced players sidelined with injuries. Dyson Stevenson, Jake Paterson, and Jesse Mychan have missed a combined total of 21 games in the last two weeks. Paterson has started skating so is closest to returning to the lineup. Stevenson’s injury is typically a four-to six-week recovery and he was injured two weeks ago. Mychan’s return date is opened ended at this point.
Allen has a better record against Utah than any of its other conference opponents. Here is the list:
5-3-0-0: Rapid City
2-2-0-0: Kansas City
Did You Know?
Some interesting stats on hardest shots by league:
ALL-STAR SKILLS COMPETITION HARDEST SHOT RECORDS (MPH):
102.7 mph – Josh Godfrey (South Carolina, 2011)
102.2 mph – Jon Awe (Gwinnett, 2007)
101.9 mph – A.J. Thelen (Florida, 2010)
101.5 mph – Sasha Pokulok (Bakersfield, 2010)
101.0 mph – Isaac Smeltzer (Colorado, 2013)
109.2 mph – Martin Frk (Ontario, 2020)
105.5 mph – Colin Miller (Manchester, 2015)
108.8 mph – Zdeno Chara (Boston, 2012)
108.5 mph – Shea Weber (Nashville, 2015)