ALLEN, TX – It is official, the 30th ECHL season is now underway. For the Allen Americans, it will be a small group for a few days with five players still in San Jose along with some late arrivals. I had the chance to stop by Steve Martinson‘s office yesterday, and he shared the following:

– The Americans will start camp with 16 players, and that number includes three tryout players.

– The players will be on the ice on Saturday as Martinson has scheduled a fun practice for the guys and fans are welcome to come and watch. I am sure the team will issue complete details but here is what coach shared with me.

“With only a dozen skaters we felt a fun three-on-three tournament would be a great way to kick off the season. It is also an opportunity to showcase the new North Dallas Pond Hockey Training Center in McKinney. Small area games (the ice surface is 100′ x 42′) are a fun development tool for kids, but they are also good for the pros. I am a pretty knowledgeable parent, and this facility is something the area has desperately needed.”

Practice is at 10:30 am on Saturday at the pond hockey facility which is just east of Interstate 75 and north of Highway 380. The address is 2140 Redbud Blvd Suite F, McKinney, TX 75069. If you need more info, their website is dallaspondhockey.com.

This three-on-three tournament will be a round robin between three teams. There was a draft yesterday in coach’s office and the team captains, who conducted the draft, are the three Allen Americans veterans (Joel Chouinard, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Mathieu Aubin). There will be three goalies in camp so Martinson will draw names out of a hat to assign one to each of the three teams.

There will also be a shootout drill at the end, and they are always fun to watch.

Fans are encouraged to attend. The timing works out well so you can attend practice at 10:30, grab lunch and then head over to Fan Fest at the Allen Event Center (AEC) in time to listen to coach Martinson talk about the upcoming season and take questions from the audience. Martinson is scheduled at 1:00 pm but activities will take place from 11-3. Here are the details on the Fan Fest: https://allenamericans.com/americans-hold-fanfest-select-seat-event-september-30th/

– General Manager Martinson made the first trade of the season yesterday trading Kyle Neuber for future considerations. It was just a numbers game as Neuber was moved to make room for some new players that have been signed but not yet announced. Not sure where Neuber is headed but as tough as he is, I doubt Martinson would trade him to a Mountain Division team.

– Casey-Pierro Zabotel has been selected as player/assistant coach for the upcoming season. Coach Martinson had this to say about Casey in the team’s press release.

“He is one of the smartest players I have ever had. He has the experience of playing in all situations, power play and penalty kill, and he can help the younger players.”

OTHER COMMENTS

– It was a rough night for the Barracuda as they lost their first preseason game in Bakersfield last night, losing to the Condors by a score of 6-0. Haven’t seen a box score so not sure how Allen’s five tryout players fared but getting shutout and giving up six goals it is probably best not to look at a box score. Two players with Allen ties tried to get the Barracuda going after they the fell behind 5-0 in the second period. Bryan Moore took on a guy that is 6-foot-5 and Josh Thrower also dropped the gloves. Here is the complete story from the San Jose Barracuda: https://www.sjbarracuda.com/news/detail/barracuda-blanked-5-0-in-preseason-opener

– The Barracuda play their second and final preseason game tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 1:30 local time. From what I understand all of the Allen tryout players are staying for that game. I would assume most will return to Allen after the game on Saturday.

– If you are an Allen Americans season ticket holder you should have received an email from the team about purchasing tickets for the two preseason games which will be Friday, October 6th at 8:45 pm and Saturday, October 7th at 5:45 pm. The cost is $15 per ticket and you can purchase up to four tickets per game. Only 300 tickets are available for each game as the games will take place in the community rink. If you didn’t get an email, I suggest you call the Americans front office (972-912-1000) and make sure they have the correct email in the system for your account. If you want to order any preseason tickets here is the link: https://allenamericans.com/preseason-game/. If you have any problems or questions, you can contact Robert Fatta at 972-912-1024.

DID YOU KNOW: The 18 players that have been signed and announced by the Allen Americans have an average age of 25.11. The youngest player is Josh Thrower who turned 21 in March and the oldest player is Riley Gill who will be 33 in January.

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