Record-breaking goaltender Whitley back in net for Allen
ALLEN, Texas – Netminder Chris Whitley called in to a live show today at the Allen Event Center to announce his much-anticipated decision to re-sign with Allen for the 2010-11 season.
“Allen was always the team I was going to return to if I didn't pursue my teaching career. I had a few offers in Europe, but I didn't get an offer that was better than Allen in my opinion,” Whitley said. “The decision was also made easy when some key guys re-signed like Graham, Yellow, Nino and Tobias, so that was another thing that factored into my decision.”
The backstop returns from an exceptional rookie year with the Americans. Whitley set CHL playoff records, played in the American Hockey League, earned numerous accolades and took the Americans all the way to the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals.
During the regular season, Whitley went 31-8-1, only two wins shy of the record number of victories for a rookie goaltender in the CHL. His goals-against-average and save percentage were 2.60 and .914, respectively. The netminder started in all 20 Americans playoff games and posted a 10-10 record. The 27-year-old broke three playoff records for a single postseason: most saves (636), most appearances (20) and most minutes (1205).
The backstop is anxious to get back between the pipes for the Americans. “I'm hoping to complete what we almost did last year, which is win a championship. We were so close, and I still think quite often how close we were to winning in our first year as a team.”
Whitley was called up to the American Hockey League twice, earning ice time in one game. In his first AHL contest Feb. 28 with the Lake Erie Monsters, he made 37 saves in a 6-5 shootout win over Grand Rapids.
The netminder was named Goaltender of the Week three times (Nov. 23, Jan. 4 and Jan. 22). He was also a finalist for Rookie of the Year and Most Outstanding Goaltender.
“Chris's return is really important to our team. He's an All Star on and off the ice,” Americans Head Coach and General Manager Dwight Mullins said. “I know he feels we have some unfinished business to take care of.”
Hailing from Oshawa, Ontario, Whitley stands at six-feet-one-inch and weighs 215 pounds. He attended the Detroit Red Wings rookie development camp and training camp last year, and he hopes to receive an invitation to the Lake Erie Monsters training camp.
Whitley also points to Allen’s fan base as a reason for his return. “I feel really comfortable with the City of Allen. The city really took us in with open arms last season and showed tremendous support through the season and especially the playoff run we had. I know this season will be better than last and can't wait to get back on the ice at the AEC.”
Season tickets for Allen’s second season are on sale now. Ticket prices start as low as $9 per game with free parking at the Allen Event Center. For more information, call 972-912-1000.
Photo by Amy Gutierrez.