ALLEN, Texas – Not much new to report from Allen practice yesterday. There are some bumps and bruises but it looks like everyone will be available for the weekend. There was plenty of time spent on drills to reinforce getting pucks in deep and avoiding turnovers in the neutral zone. Coach Steve Martinson said after the win on Saturday (despite being outshot 42-26,) the team needed to be in better shape. Martinson lived up to those comments with plenty of skating without the puck at the end of practice.
– After practice I have been asking players about their jersey number, their nickname and what advice their father gave them when they were starting out playing organized hockey that they still remember today.
Shawn O’Donnell #92 – I picked the #92 last year because nobody had it so I just stuck with it this year. There is nothing behind it other than it is a number not many people wear. Odie has been the most common nickname I have had but sometimes people also call me Donny. My dad played hockey and he always said get your speed up, take lots of shots, have fun and enjoy the game. It is funny he gives me the same kind of pointers when I talk to him today.
Jake Paterson #35 – I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and our local junior team was the Mississauga IceDogs. They had a really good goalie by the name of David Shantz and he wore #57, so growing up I always wore #57. When I got to Toledo I don’t think we were allowed to pick a high number so I went with #35. It worked for me then so hopefully #35 will work for me in Allen. My nickname has always been Patty or Patter and that is what the guys call me here. The biggest thing my dad always told me was to work hard, in hockey and just in life in general. I try to bring that to the rink every day.
– Former Allen forward Jack Combs is headed to Wichita to play for the Thunder. It hasn’t been on transactions but Jack retweeted this tweet from his trainer:
Jack spent 32 games with Allen in 2014-15 and the goalies really didn’t have a chance as he had 56 points (22G, 32A) in those 32 games. What remains to be seen is whether Jack has made a season-long commitment to Wichita or will he make the jump to Europe in a couple of months.
Did You Know?
The Allen Americans have a combined PP% and PK% of 100.9%. If you add together PP% and PK% and it exceeds 105% it is considered exceptional. It is early in the season so these numbers will come down but here are the teams off to the best start:
120.0% – South Carolina Stingrays
119.9% – Indy Fuel
118.3% – Newfoundland Growlers
118.2% – Worcester Railers
115.7% – Atlanta Gladiators
115.6% – Rapid City Rush
115.5% – Utah Grizzlies