ALLEN, TX – Want to start with a couple of follow ups from yesterday’s article.
It seems there might be a chance ownership will approve the team flying to Idaho rather than taking Big Red. At least the team is trying to make the case to fly. If you consider a long trip like the one to Boise (1600 miles) there are additional expenses from the normal road trip. You must have a second driver, you have to leave earlier so there is additional per diem expense, traveling through the mountains creates more risk of a breakdown with a 20 year old bus and most importantly it is the right thing to do for the team to help them be successful. For the team’s sake, hope they can find a way to make flying happen.
The playoff roster was submitted yesterday afternoon. The official ECHL release of all 16 playoff rosters will be out this afternoon but teams have been given permission to release them so you might see releases from some teams being issued before the official ECHL release.
It is always difficult when the playoff roster is released and someone is left off the roster. If new players are signed or a playoff roster spot is reserved for players that are currently in the AHL, it means someone who has been with the team gets left off. Adding up the numbers and making some assumptions the best guess is one player currently with the team will not make the playoff roster.
Congrats to the many former Allen Americans who will be in the Kelly Cup playoffs. When #1 seed Missouri takes on #8 seed Quad City there will be five former Americans on the ice. Scott Howes, Trevor Ludwig and Bryce Aneloski play for Missouri, Tanner Eberle and Kyle Follmer for Quad City. Others in the playoffs include Kevin Young whose Reading team is the #8 seed, Jamie Schaafsma in Fort Wayne as the #2 seed in the West, Darryl Bootland in Colorado as the #3 seed (also in the West) and Corbin Baldwin will be in Allen with Idaho.
The Allen Americans game operation staff did a nice deed on Saturday. They arranged for the Evansville fans that came to Allen to support the IceMen in their last game ever to greet the team as they left the locker room for the last period. Heard there were more than a few tears. The fans were also taken in the back to take pictures with the team after the game.
I had the chance to spend a few minutes with Jarret Lukin before the game on Saturday and reminisced about the early days of the Allen Americans. Jarret was the first player signed by the team, the first team captain and really is Mr. Allen American. He has many friends in Allen and went out of his way to say hi to everyone and take pictures. Class act!
Chad Costello has played just two seasons in Allen but is already on the career leader board in several categories. Chad is first all time in assists with 163 (Bruce Graham is second with 138). Chad is second all time in points with 228 (Graham leads with 235). Chad is fifth all time in goals with 65 (Graham leads with 97). Pretty impressive stats in two seasons.
There will be a complete series preview tomorrow in the match up between Allen and Idaho but head to head they played four times this season, all in a 10-day period in December. They split in Allen with the Americans winning 4-0 on December 9 and Idaho winning 3-2 in overtime on December 13. They also split two games in Idaho with the Steelheads winning 6-2 on December 18 and Allen getting a 3-2 shootout win on December 19.
DID YOU KNOW: Since 1998 (18 years) only two teams have won the regular season championship (Brabham Cup) and gone on to win the playoff championship (Kelly Cup). The Alaska Aces accomplished the feat three times (2014, 2011, 2006) and the Cincinnati Cyclones won both in 2008.