ALLEN, Texas – The big surprise at the Allen Americans practice yesterday was the absence of goalie Jake Paterson who has been loaned to the Iowa Wild. Minnesota Wild top goalie, Devan Dubnyk, was injured and when that happens the dominoes begin to fall. Minnesota recalled Iowa’s top goalie, Kaapo Kahkonen, which left Iowa needing a goalie. With their contract goalie, Dereck Baribeau, assigned to Allen and on the injured reserve list they asked for Jake Paterson who is a free agent when it comes to the AHL. The word out of Minnesota is Dubnyk will not be out long and is listed as day to day but it is unknown how long Paterson will be in Iowa.
If you wonder why Iowa would ask for Jake Paterson when they could have found other free agent goalies around the ECHL with much better stats than Jake’s 4.76 GAA and .856 save percentage there are a couple of reasons. First, Paterson’s stats are much better than they appear. He has played well with the exception of the one game he relieved Dereck Baribeau after an injury. In the three games Jake has started he won all three (two in overtime) and had a cumulative save percentage of .905. Secondly and probably, more importantly, Paterson was in training camp with Iowa and they liked how he performed.
Coach Martinson has signed another goalie who arrived last night and will be at practice today. The Americans will not have to use an EBUG (emergency back up goalie) this weekend.
After practice, the team heard from the Allen Fire Chief about the “Fireman Intern Program” that coach Martinson and the Americans set up for players back in 2014. Here is a story I wrote about the program which provides the details along with some photos of the first class (Chad Costello, Jamie Schaafsma, Kevin Young, Ian Schultz). This is a great opportunity for the players.
Another speaker in the locker room after practice was Gary Steffes, who has volunteered to hold chapel services for those players interested. As you all know, Gary is the perfect person for this role with his hockey background and the way he lives his life.
The last event after practice was a presentation to the players by Dr. Rick Royston he titled, “Hockey Nutrition Program.” Dr. Royston is a Chiropractor who is the head doctor and owner of the MaxLiving Health Center in Plano. His undergraduate degree is in Sports Medicine/Athletic training. He has worked with elite athletes in many sports including multiple World Team and Olympic athletes. Dr. Royston covered nutrition with specific suggestions of what and when to eat and drink to get peak performance and recover quickly. Everything from daily hydration, to meal planning on practice days and game days to recovery after games. The players got a handout with a lot of do’s and don’ts about eating quality, nutrient dense food which is free of chemicals.
If you track AHL transactions you noticed yesterday that in addition to Jake Paterson signing a PTO with Iowa, defenseman Nick Boka has been loaned to Allen. Nick has been recovering from an injury and has not played in a regular season game thus far. Nick played four games in Allen at the end of last season and in those four games had a plus/minus of +6, which led the team for all of last season.
After practice, I have been asking players about their jersey number, their nicknames and what advice their father gave them when they were young that they still remember today. Here is the latest:
Tyler Sheehy #8 – There is nothing special about wearing #8 as it was just the number given to me. I usually wear #22. I wore #22 in high school and it was available in juniors and again in college so I just stuck with it. I have worn #22 for the last seven years. No nicknames that stand out, it usually has been “Shees.” I don’t know how it came about but when I got to Iowa at the end of last season guys started calling me “She Cat.” I don’t know where that came from or why. A few of the Iowa guys call me that here in Allen. The one thing my dad would always say to me is if you are going to do something make sure you do it the right way whether it is playing hockey or life in general. My dad was my coach in every sport growing up so his advice has carried over to my mentality and work ethic.
Alex Guptill #27 – I had #27 in college and I picked that number because it is the date of my parent’s wedding anniversary. So I have stuck with that number and like it. As for my nicknames, it has always been Guppy, Gupper or Gup. I won’t go into why but Marty came up with Eddie Haskell. The biggest thing my dad has told me is work hard and have fun. Hockey is an easy game to get down on yourself, especially at the professional level. Those are the times you rely on your family to bring you up a little bit as they are always supportive.
DID YOU KNOW: The most 20+ goals scorers the Allen Americans have had in one season is six and that has happened twice, in 2010-11 and in 2013-14:
34 Bruce Graham
34 Nino Musitelli
33 Colton Yellow Horn
21 Jarret Lukin
20 Dave Bonk
20 Judd Blackwater
28 Jonathan Lessard
25 Alex Lavoie
21 Spencer Asuchak
21 Greger Hanson
21 Jamie Schaafsma
20 Tyler Ludwig
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