ALLEN, Texas – Today’s article is wide-ranging, including a new ECHL team, and some tidbits for Allen’s weekend set with Utah.
Alex Lavoie – Alex has signed with HC Vita Hasten of the Allsvenskan League which is the second-highest professional league in Sweden. Alex is familiar with this league as this will be the third team Lavoie has played for in the Allsvenskan since 2016-17. In the press release from his new team it says, “Lavoie is a player who has shown that he can produce in both Karlskoga and Timra (the other Allsvenskan teams Alex played for) but also in Norway. The papers are ready, he will come here on Thursday and will be able to join the team on Friday.”
His new team will look for Alex to help them make the playoffs as they are currently on the outside looking in. The Allsvenskan is a 14-team league and Vita Hasten is in 11th place with a record of 12-15-5. However, 10 teams make the playoffs, and Vita Hasten is only two points out of a playoff spot. The regular season goes to the middle of March.
Alex’s team is located in Norrkoping, Sweden which is about 100 miles southwest of Stockholm. It is Sweden’s 10th largest city and with the suburbs has a population of about 140,000. It traces its history back to the 12th century. A river (Motala) winds through the city and the average temperature in February is a low of 25 and a high of 35.
The name of the arena that Lavoie’s team calls home is a mouthful, “Himmelstalundshallen” which opened in 1977 and has a capacity of 4280. The last I saw Sweden’s capacity restriction as strange as it sounds was a maximum of eight.
Tyler Sheehy – Tyler was recalled by Iowa yesterday and has joined the Wild training camp. The reigning ECHL Rookie of the Year is off to a good start with the Americans, leading the team with 10 assists in 13 games. The Wild have 18 forwards in camp so plenty of competition to make the opening day roster (February 5) but he certainly has proven during his time in Allen he deserves a chance.
Braylon Shmyr – Braylon has been on injured reserve after being injured in a scrimmage at the end of training camp. He wasn’t able to skate because of the nature of his injury but is back on the ice and practicing with the team wearing the no-contact jersey. He is not scheduled to go on the trip to Utah but should be available when Allen plays Wichita at home on February 3.
Jesse Mychan – Jesse got hurt in the game last Saturday against Kansas City and missed the game in Tulsa on Sunday. He is fine and back at practice. Jesse is in a seven-way tie for the ECHL lead in goals with seven but does not have a goal in his last five games.
As I have said many times, roster changes both additions and subtractions will be off the charts this season so cheer for the name on the front of the jersey not on the back of the jersey if you don’t want to be disappointed.
New ECHL Team:
ECHL officials will be in Savannah, GA today to announce an expansion team coming to town but they will not start playing until the 2022-23 season. The franchise will be owned by Andy Kauffman, a Jacksonville businessman who is the majority owner of the Jacksonville Icemen. The president of the Icemen, Bob Ohrablo, will also serve as the president of the new Savannah franchise. Here is the story on the new franchise: https://fieldpasshockey.com/city-of-savannah-ga-and-echl-announce-expansion-franchise/
Allen has an important three-game series this weekend against Utah. Another of what has become commonplace this season, three games in three days. The Sunday game starts at 1:10 MST so that means these teams will play three games in less than 45 hours.
Utah won four of their first five games but have lost six of their last eight. Four of the six losses came in extra time. Just like Allen and many other ECHL teams, Utah has been impacted when players were recalled/loaned to the AHL. In one day last week, the Grizzlies lost five players, including both of their goalies, to their AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles.
Former Allen forward, J.C. Campagna, signed with the Florida Everblades yesterday. He was with Norfolk last season and had signed a tryout deal with Toledo for this season before they recently opted out.
California has lifted their stay-at-home orders for much of the state but the San Jose Barracuda remain in Arizona. Santa Clara County does not allow their facility to be open, so for the foreseeable future, the Barracuda will play in Tucson. They have a home game scheduled in San Jose on February 27, so they are still hoping they can get back to play there.
Did You Know?
It seems like the Americans have used a lot of players already this season and they have. However, the Americans have used the fewest players of any team in the league. Allen and Wheeling have used 29 players thus far. Indy, Kansas City, and Rapid City are tied for the most players used at 35.
For all things Allen Americans, follow Barry Janssen on Twitter @AllenAmericans1. For the latest stats and trends in the ECHL, follow @ECHLStats. And for the latest news on your favorite AHL & ECHL team, “Like” The Sin Bin on Facebook!
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