What a crazy week it has been here in Allen. We go from playing 3 games in a row against a rival team, to the games getting canceled last weekend and playing an Old guys vs Young guys scrimmage against each other! 

 

 Last time I played 3 games in a row in a Allen vs Wichita series, I was playing for the enemy (Wichita Thunder), and I didn’t make it past the blue line in warm ups before getting my mouth cut open and “starting a pregame warm up brawl, depending on who you ask. 

 

I’ll save that warm up brawl talk for a different blog, as I’m going to talk about how Covid has affected the league, players and staff. Also looking forward to explaining how a late night out in God’s Country my hometown Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, was the reason for picking number 71 this year! 

 

 I think we can all agree that 2020 was a crazy year, and the start of 2021 hasn’t been to much better. As a player it was a very hard off season for everyone. So many jobs lost in the hockey world and a lot of time sitting at home not knowing how the year is going to play out, or if we even are going to play. 

 

 I think as hockey players, we can’t complain too much about how the Covid situation affected us, as there are many people who have lost a lot more. Businesses shut down from a lack of money due to COVID, people losing jobs everywhere and a possible civil war. That being said, there are lots of players that make a good income from playing the game, and lots of players who have been forced to retire from hockey due to the lack of jobs for players. 

 

As an Allen American, I think we are very fortunate to be playing and our office staff, coaches and training staff have done a great job making sure we are safe and able to play at the best of our abilities! We also have to be very happy at our 8-3 start as we expect nothing less but to win another Kelly Cup here in Allen. I think players, coaches and fans believe we have the lineup to do just that. 

 

Having all the time off with the season being delayed led to a couple different opportunities that players are not use to. For example, I went hunting white tail with my Grampa this year, this usually isn’t an option for me, because when the hunting season opens up, we are at training camp. I was also fortunate enough to get a few games in with my buddies while playing for my hometown Senior Hockey Team the Shaunavon Badgers! 

 

 It’s always nice getting to spend more time at home with your family and friends. Being a professional hockey player, you are away from home for approximately 8 months, and with my town rink not open until early October, I had to travel to a city 3+ hours away for training. 

 

 I spent the majority of my weekends this summer at the lake with my family, buddies and girlfriend. I was also fortunate to play on our local fastball team this year before everything was shut down due to Covid. In 9 games we were undefeated winning the championship.  

But the best news of the summer was two of my best friends Kaelyn and Jordi getting engaged, which led to me landing the number 71 this year. 

 

 I knew right away that Spencer Asuchak was going to be wearing my go to number 26 this year, so that was out of the question. When Timmy Abbott, our Head Equipment Manager asked what number I wanted to wear, I went a different route on picking my number.  

 

 Celebrating my friend’s engagement led to a very late night, after going out for a couple celebration drinks we decided it was a good idea to have an after party at 2am. Usually those lead to nothing but a terrible headache the next morning. 

 

This time it was different after pulling out some terrible cigars from the freezer and lighting them around the table, I thought there was no better time to pick my number for the season. I told my buddies Jordi and his brother Derek that they had free reign to pick the number. I gave them one rule and that was it needed to be high and that 99 was out of the question. They narrowed it down to a couple numbers before deciding that I was going to be 71. I’m not quite sure who had the final say in the number as it was starting to get very late into the night, and I was exhausted to remember! 

 

I messaged Timmy (Abbott) pretty that night and his response in the morning was pretty comical knowing that I’m not much of a goal scorer and I’d be trying out the goal scorer number this year!  

Hope everyone is staying safe and having a good start to 2021.