ALLEN, TX – Not much new to report about the Allen Americans as they prepare for games against the Colorado Eagles on Friday and Sunday.

Jarod Palmer was officially released yesterday, which leaves an opening at forward that should be filled today.

The Americans have 12 games left this month and nine of them are against Colorado, Tulsa and Wichita, teams that you would consider tough teams that aren’t afraid to drop the gloves. Colorado is ranked #1 in the ECHL in penalty minutes, Allen is #3 and Tulsa is #4. Wichita is ranked #14 but is always willing to stir things up when they play the Americans. With Vincent Arseneau injured and Dyson Stevenson being told to not fight by coach Martinson you can expect the forward that is signed to replace Jarod Palmer will be a tough guy willing to drop the gloves if necessary.

The January schedule is certainly unique. After this weekend, the Americans will play three games in three days every weekend the rest of the month and all three games will be against the same team. Three games in three days against the same team almost always creates hard feelings. All of these series should make for some hard nosed hockey. Here is the January schedule.

January 8, 10: Colorado at home
January 16, 17, 18: Cincinnati at home
January 22, 23, 24: Wichita away on Friday & Saturday, home on Sunday
January 26 ,29, 30, 31: Four straight games with Tulsa (away, home, away, home)

– There was just one game in the ECHL last night which had league leading Missouri traveling to Tulsa. The last time Missouri lost a game (they have won 22 of 23) was at Tulsa. The Mavericks took a 2-0 first period lead but the Oilers had a big second period out shooting Missouri 20-6 and scoring three goals. The game ended up going to a shootout and Missouri prevailed on a goal by Andrew Courtney.

– The magnitude of what Missouri is accomplishing this season is unprecedented. With the season almost at the half way point, the Mavericks have a winning percentage of .887. The next highest winning percentage is Adirondack at .690. In the 28 year history of the ECHL only one team has ever finished the season with a winning percentage above .800 and that was the Louisiana IceGators in 2001-2002 who finished at .806 (56-12-4).  Unless injuries and call ups decimate the Mavericks they have a great chance to set a new record for winning percentage.

If you have been following the drama surrounding the lease negotiations between the Evansville IceMen and the city of Evansville you know today is supposedly the final day to reach an agreement. You can follow along with the live blog, here: http://thesinbin.net/live-blog-of-evansville-lease-deadline/ Here’s hoping the best for all of the Evansville fans who deserve to have the IceMen stay in town.

– Congrats to Ice Angel Amy Kelly who announced yesterday that she and Jared Inman are now engaged.

– Loveland Reporter-Herald (reporterherald.com) beat writer Cris Tiller write about the journey Colorado goalie, Eric Levine has taken in his professional hockey career. You can read it here: http://www.reporterherald.com/sports/ci_29347700/eric-levine-making-most-chance-colorado-eagles

When Eric was just starting his professional career (2013-14) after completing his collegiate career at Robert Morris University,  he came to camp with Allen but was cut before the season started. His attitude and work ethic is what stuck with me and it resulted in coach Martinson bringing him back to during the season as the back up goalie behind Bryan Pitton. It didn’t work out and he was released but he was the type of kid you that you hoped would succeed. It is great to see how Eric has persevered and is finally getting rewarded.

DID YOU KNOW: The Louisiana IceGators set the all time ECHL record for winning percentage in a single season of .806 in 2001-2002. The IceGators not only didn’t win the Kelly Cup that year, they lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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