The day has arrived for the blog to say goodbye to the 2022-23 season and go into the summer hiatus. One year ago (May 2, 2022) when I wrote my thank you blog after Allen lost in the first round of the playoffs to Rapid City the title was, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You – Uncertainty Abounds.” I cast doubt on what would become of the blog if Steve Martinson did not return. My doubts were well founded because the blog was born when Martinson arrived in 2012 and thrived because of his trust in me and willingness to share information knowing I would use it wisely. Letting me hang out in his office after practice and games to be a fly on the wall was invaluable in gaining information, knowledge and perspective.
– All of the doubts about the future of the blog disappeared two weeks later (May 18, 2022) when Chad Costello was named coach and general manager. In our very first conversation, Chad made it clear he valued what I did covering the team on a daily basis and his office was open to me at any time. He also encouraged me to call/text him whenever I needed information. He even went the extra step to take me in the locker room to introduce me to the players and share his support for the blog. Bottom line is nothing has changed in my access from prior seasons.
– Thanks to Chad Costello and his staff (coaches Aaron Gens, Gary Steffes, Chris Meriney, Chris Johansen, equipment manager Tony Deynzer and trainer Jordan Dutton) for always taking the time to talk to me, share information and educate me. A special thanks to coach Costello for allowing me to stop by his office after every game and every practice to ask questions and talk about the team. It is his openness and trust that has allowed the blog to have information you can’t find anywhere else. Thanks also to the players who have never said no to a single request I have made of them for a chat, an interview or a question.
– A special thanks to team president Jonny Mydra for his support this season. He reaches out all of the time to share information for the blog related to the front office and helps publicize the blog along with his staff (thanks Eilsabeth Brown). Jonny both seeks and listens to feedback which is often rare when everyone is so busy. He is available early in the morning when I am writing the blog and late at night when I am planning the blog. It is nice to know the president of the team supports and reads the blog and lets you know it is appreciated.
– While many ECHL teams will declare the season a success if they make the playoffs that is not the culture or expectation in Allen. Here are a couple of Costello quotes about one year apart that capture that sentiment:
May 18, 2022 – “I have high expectations. Here in Allen, it is championship or fail and that expectation will not change. That is something coach Martinson has left. Looking forward, I will strive to keep that expectation in Allen”…..Chad Costello
May 5, 2023 – “I feel the same way now as when I took this job, it is championship or fail. That is the culture in Allen and that is how I feel going into this series against Idaho. That is the expectation. It doesn’t mean if we don’t win the championship the season is a failure. But it means we will die trying to win the championship and in no way are we satisfied with what we have accomplished thus far.”…..Chad Costello
– When the final chapter of the 2022-23 season is written given some time to reflect, from my perspective is it will be seen as a huge success. Chad Costello was plucked out of the locker room and promoted to the coach’s room into a job he didn’t even apply for. While he was very familiar with the coaching part of the job, the general manager part of the job he pretty much started from ground zero. When you add the challenges of being a first-year coach with all of the obstacles Costello faced this season, both on and off the ice, it was off the charts. I am sure Chad would be the first to say he grew and learned a lot this season and with hindsight would make some decisions differently. However, it was his leadership that brought the team from last place to the final eight in the Kelly Cup playoffs. There are 20 ECHL teams that would have died to make it as far as Allen in the playoffs. When you consider this first year coach and team made up of the fewest NHL/AHL contracted players in the league made it further in the playoffs than just four teams, that is a great season. The foundation Costello has built and experience he has gained this season will make the Allen Americans expectation of championship of fail more likely in 2023-24.
– My utmost thanks go to you, the readers of the blog. As most everyone knows the blog is a labor of love for me, not a business. The only reason for its existence is to share stats information about the Allen Americans with an insider’s perspective. Information that is hard to get elsewhere. From a meager start in 2012, the blog passed 2.25 million unique page views this season. The blog reaches people all over the US and Canada as well as the hockey hotbeds in Europe. It proves fans of the Allen Americans are all over the world.
– It is quite an undertaking to write about the team seven days a week during the season and it does indeed take a village to make it all possible. It seems like as the years go by more and more blog readers help me out with information, ideas for stories, ask questions and let me know they appreciate the work I do. It is hard to put into words my appreciation whether you read the blog every day or are a casual fan that stumbles across my daily musings. It has been my pleasure to meet many of you and your words of encouragement in person, comments at the end of each blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, message boards, in email and texts have been very satisfying and inspiring. Thanks to you, the readers!
– During the off season I will still publish a blog on an as needed basis as new information becomes available. I plan on sitting down with coach Costello sometime this week for a Q & A on the 2022-23 and recruiting for the 2023-24 season. I will write the story about the entire “eating crow” promise for predicting the Americans would not make the playoffs as soon as my feast of crow is served. I also have a bucket list of stories to choose from when I get the itch to write over the summer. Everything from the obstacles Costello faced this season, the story of affiliations, it’s time to put Riley Gill and Chad Costello in the Hall of Fame, meet the CUTX Event Center staff, and Allen Americans connections to 3ICE are on that bucket list.
– If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can see whenever there is a new post on the blog by liking my page on Facebook at “Allen Americans Blog” or following me on Twitter at @allenamericans1. If you are not on social media, make sure you bookmark Allen Americans Blog and check in periodically.
DID YOU KNOW: I always end the last blog of the season with this list. Lots of memories good and bad when you look at the games on this list. If you consider only one team wins the last game of the season each year, Allen fans are fortunate to have had that experience four times and they all happened at home. Here is the date of the last game played in each season of the Allen franchise along with the results.
- May 4, 2010: 4-3 loss at Rapid City in the CHL Presidents’ Cup finals
- May 8, 2011: 5-3 loss at Bossier-Shreveport in the CHL Berry Conference finals
- April 10, 2012: 4-2 loss at Texas Brahmas in the CHL Berry Conference semi-finals
- May 11, 2013: 4-3 OT home win over Wichita in the CHL Presidents’ Cup finals
- May 10, 2014: 5-2 home win over Denver in the CHL Presidents’ Cup finals
- June 14, 2015: 6-1 home win over South Carolina in the Kelly Cup finals
- June 9, 2016: 4-2 home win over Wheeling Nailers in the Kelly Cup finals
- May 9, 2017: 4-3 home loss to Colorado, Mountain Division finals
- April 25, 2018: 4-1 loss at Idaho, Mountain Division semi-finals
- April 6, 2019: 4-1 loss at Wichita, out of playoffs
- March 7, 2020: 4-2 home loss to Tulsa, no playoffs, season canceled
- June 22, 2021: 3-2 OT loss at Fort Wayne, Western Conference finals
- April 30, 2022: 6-3 home loss to Rapid City, Mountain Division semi-finals
- May 14, 2023: 6-0 loss at Idaho, Mountain Division finals
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