After three days off to take their delayed All-Star break the Allen Americans will be back at practice today preparing for three games in three days this weekend. The Americans will host Worcester on Friday, and Reading on Saturday and Sunday. It is the beginning of a daunting task for Allen who can’t afford to lose any games if they are to move up in the standings.
– The long awaited alumni game will take place on Saturday (4:00 pm). Many players from the past can’t make the alumni game because of work and/or family commitments. Many are still playing hockey or involved in hockey so getting away in February is impossible. With that said many of the former players that will participate represent Allen Americans royalty from the past. Here is a brief synopsis of the former Allen players expected to be in attendance. I am sure this list is somewhat fluid and changes could take place but this is the latest info. In addition to the former Allen Americans, former NHL players Craig Ludwig, Bob Bassen, Brad Lukowich, Andy Wozniewski, Gerald Diduck and Steve Duchesne are also expected to participate. This game should be a lot of fun and there will be plenty of opportunity for fans to interact with the players, get an autograph or just say hell-o. You don’t want to miss this and there is no cost. Your ticket for the game with Reading (7:05 pm) gets you access to the alumni game.
Gary is the only player to have his jersey (#12) retired by the Allen Americans. If you count his brief return last season (six games, four goals) he played four seasons for Allen (2014-18) and was a member of two Kelly Cup championship teams (2015 & 2016). In 2014-15 Steffes had a career year setting the Allen single season record with 44 goals in 63 games. Gary had a shot at 50 goals but missed the last nine games of the season when he was loaned to Milwaukee (AHL). Gary led Allen in goals (13) in the 2015 playoffs. Between the regular season, his stint in the AHL and the playoffs, Gary’s goal total for the season was 61. The Allen Americans were so fortunate to have a player like Gary represent the team with fans and in the community. Whether it was in a formal setting such as his talks after Faith & Family night games, interacting with young fans or chatting with folks one on one he was outstanding. A positive attitude type of guy who always saw the glass half full.
Riley Gill played four seasons with Allen (2014-18) and led the Americans to two Kelly Cup championships. The future Hall of Famer was always at his best in the playoffs. He has three Kelly Cup championships (two in Allen, one in Reading) and is the ECHL’s all-time leading goalie in playoff wins with 53. Gill’s best season in Allen was 2016-17 when he led the ECHL in save percentage (.935) and shutouts (7). For his efforts he was selected as the ECHL Goaltender of the Year. Riley is still recovering from an injury he suffered at the beginning of the 2017-18 season and will be one of the coaches for the alumni game.
Aaron played for Allen from 2014-2017 and was part of two Kelly Cup championships. During the 2014-15 season Gens led all ECHL defensemen in assists (48) and points (56). Aaron is #8 all-time in games played by a defenseman (155), #6 in goals (19), #4 in assists (73) #5 in points (92) and #5 in penalty minutes (273). Aaron’s career was cut short from a head injury he suffered in December of 2016. He will be a behind the bench as a coach on Saturday.
Darryl “Booter” Bootland is one of the most popular players ever to play in Allen. He played two seasons for the Americans (2012-14) and won championships both seasons. He went on to win a third championship with the Colorado Eagles. Bootland retired after last season, his 16th as a pro. Over his career he played in the NHL (32 games), AHL (382 games), ECHL (329 games) and CHL (156 games). Always the entertainer and as tough as nails, he had close to 300 fights over his hockey career. Bootland’s trademark beard was something he started when playing in Allen. As the story goes his wife, Sarah, was pregnant and was concerned how she would look so Booter grew the beard so as he would say, he wouldn’t look so good. The rest is history.
Bruce had two stints in Allen, playing from 2009-2012 and then returning for the 2013-14 season. Bruce played 184 games (13th all-time) in Allen and is #3 all time in goals (97), #2 in assists (138) and #2 in points (235). He won a championship in 2014.
Jarret Lukin was the first player ever signed by the Allen Americans and was the first captain of the team. He is one of just three players that spent at least five season (2009-14) with the team. Jarret is #3 all-time in games played (238), #6 in goals (74), #9 in assists and #8 in points. Lukin won one championship in Allen (2013).
Brian McMillin is also one of three players that spent five seasons in Allen (2010-15). Brian is #6 all-time in games played (215), #10 in goals (53), #14 in assists (73) and #12 in points. A rare stat about Brian is in his 215 games as an Allen American he had more goals (53) than penalty minutes (45). Brian was part of three championships (2013, 2014, 2015) and was the playoff MVP in Allen’s first championship in 2013.
Tyler spent four seasons in Allen (2011-2015) and is #2 all-time in games played. Tyler is #1 all-time among defensemen in points (172), assists (121) and is tied in goals (51) with David Makowski. Tyler also is #1 among defensemen in playoffs games (61) and points (37). Tyler was part of three championships in Allen (2013. 2014, 2015).
Trevor spent four years in Allen (2011-15) and is #14 all-time in games played (171). It seemed like every season Trevor would sustain a significant injury that kept him out of the lineup for long periods. Among all Allen defensemen Trevor is #6 in games played, #6 in points (62), #5 in goals (20) and #8 in assists. Trevor was part of three championships in Allen (2013, 2014, 2015).
Justin Bowers spent just one season in Allen (2009-10) but what a season it was. In 49 games (he spent time in the AHL) Justin had 73 points (23G, 50A) with a plus/minus of +21. His points per game (1.49) was by far the best on the team. Bowers led Allen in a playoff run that ended with the first year Americans losing in the championship finals. Justin had 30 points (12G, 18A) in 20 playoff games which led the CHL in playoffs scoring.
Tobias played two seasons in Allen (2009-11) and was the captain of the team. In those two seasons Tobias played in 117 games and had 86 points (35G, 51A) and had a plus/minus of +23. A great defensive player and penalty killer, in the 2011 playoffs Tobias had three shorthanded goals in 13 playoff games.
Erik played three seasons in Allen (2009-12) as a player but was also a long time front office employee and served as the Americans assistant coach in 2014-15 when they won their first Kelly Cup championship. In his Allen playing career Erik’s totals were 107 games played, 53 points (10G, 33A) and a plus/minus of +26.
Jason played two seasons in Allen (2011-13) and served as captain of the team both seasons. He arrived in Allen after playing for their crosstown rival, Texas Brahmas. Jason is #20 all time in games played (132) and #16 in points (100) which is amazing giving he only played two seasons with the Americans. The reason is because he never missed a game in his Allen career playing in 132 of 132 games. Jason was part of the 2013 championship team. He is now serving as the assistant coach for the Allen Americans.
Mike was a tough nosed defenseman who played just one season in Allen (2009-10). He led the league (CHL) during the 2010 playoffs with 82 penalty minutes.
Aubin spent part of one season (2017-18) with Allen after a long and successful ECHL career which included two Kelly Cup championship in Cincinnati (2008 & 2010). Since 2006-07 when Mathieu entered the ECHL he is ranked #4 in games played (592), goals (192) and points (487).
David played five games in goal for the Americans in the 2009-10 season. After attending Cornell University David had a six year pro career playing in the CHL, ECHL, AHL and even had a stint as a backup goalie for the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. While he didn’t get in a game he is in the NHL data base. McKee played one year of junior hockey for the Texas Tornado in 2002-03 where Tyler and Trevor Ludwig were his teammates.
Josh served as the emergency backup goalie (EBUG) many times for Allen. So when it was natural to think of Josh when the team was having trouble finding goalies for the alumni game. Josh did play in one game with the Americans. On February 6, 2015 in Brampton with the Americans leading 5-1 and 2:03 remaining in the game, Riley Gill’s back mysteriously tightened up and Josh had to finish the game. It was a nice touch by the Americans and Trimberger is forever in the record book. His career totals show one game played, 2:03 minutes and no saves. Looks like he will be the starter in the alumni game.
DID YOU KNOW: Well over 300 players have played for the Allen Americans in the past 10 years but just 30 have played in more than 100 games.