ALLEN, Texas – I am sure you have heard by now the Allen Americans three-game series this weekend against Wichita has been postponed because of COVID safety protocols. Wichita had a COVID outbreak this week and was missing a number of players. The games will be made up later in the season. While disappointing to have games postponed, the safety of everyone involved is paramount.
Third Chunk of ECHL Schedule Coming
In the press release issued by the Allen Americans announcing the postponement this weekend, they also included 11 additional home games through April 3. The complete schedule (home and away) through April 3 for the entire league will be released this afternoon. Here is the link to the press release on the postponement and additional home games: https://allenamericans.com/news/press-release/weekend-games-vs-wichita-postponed-by-echl-11-additional-home-dates-announced-through-april-3/
With the addition of 11 more home games the Americans now have 22 of their 36 home games scheduled. The schedule for the remaining 14 homes games will come out later. I will have an analysis of the new schedule tomorrow when the away games are released but here is the breakdown of the number of times the Americans play each team at home through April 3. This includes games already played and those upcoming:
6 – Wichita (includes 3 games just postponed)
5 – Rapid City
5 – Utah
4 – Tulsa
2 – Kansas City
With the postponement of the three games against Wichita, the Americans will go the entire month of January without playing at home. Even more ironic is Allen’s last home game (December 31) was against Wichita and their next home game (February 3) is against Wichita.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The third chunk of the 2020-21 schedule is out: https://www.echl.com/news/2021/1/echl-announces-schedule-through-april-4
San Jose Players Recalled
Zach Sawchenko, Joe Garreffa, and Jake McGrew have been recalled by San Jose and will be leaving on Sunday for the Barracuda training camp which is being held in Arizona. The good news is they are all qualified for the ECHL playoffs if they don’t return during the season. I know coach Steve Martinson will have the option to get players from San Jose later in the season.
With two weeks between games because of the postponement and Allen not playing again until next Saturday in Kansas City the team will have some days off and also some fun practices. I know Martinson plans a scrimmage of the Western League vs World tomorrow. These have always been fun games in the past and I have seen these scrimmages be divided into teams such as Canada vs US and rookies vs oldtimers. Many times lunch is on the line and it is always a fun practice for the players.
Allen signed goalie Justin Kapelmaster yesterday in anticipation of Sawchenko being recalled by San Jose. Justin is a rookie who played for Robert Morris University in 2019-20. He set school records for save percentage (.930), GAA (2.48), saves per game (30.4), and was selected as the team MVP. Kapelmaster, 25, transferred to Robert Morris after three seasons at Ferris State University.
Did You Know?
Three players signed by Allen this season were nominees for the 2020 Hobey Baker Award (hockey’s Heisman Award), Phil Beaulieu, Frank Marotte, and Justin Kapelmaster. It made me wonder about the award process. As it turns out there were 78 nominees as the first step. Here are all of the details on the Hobey Baker selection process:
The selection process for the award is in three parts. First, the head coaches of NCAA Division I schools nominate the top three players in their league and the top three players in the nation. College hockey fans can also vote online at this time—and fan voting can be an important factor in the balloting outcome. Price Waterhouse Coopers tabulates the votes and the top 10 candidates are announced.
Voting then commences for the “Hobey Hat Trick,” which is a narrowing of the field from ten players to three, from which the winner is selected. The primary voting in this part of the process is by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Selection Committee, a geographically balanced group of 29 individuals representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts. Fans may also vote online for their favorite candidate during this phase of the process.
After the three finalists for the award are announced (“Hobey Hat Trick”), the countdown begins toward the announcement of the award winner in a nationally televised ceremony.
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