Have you ever been curious as to what your favorite Allen Americans players do off the ice? One of our players switches out of his hockey uniform and into something that is rather special.
I had the chance to speak with a long time Allen Americans hockey player, Spencer Asuchak. Asuchak will be starting his eighth year with the Americans for the coming 2020-21 season. We discussed playing with the greatest ECHL team and how it was to pass, Allen Americans goal scorer, Chad Costello, for most games played by any Allen American. I was curious why he chose to become a local volunteer firefighter. Yes, you read that correctly, Spencer Asuchak is an Allen volunteer firefighter. We also discussed his recent engagement and how the North Texas lifestyle compares to that in British Columbia and what he likes most.
Asuchak spent three games with the Ontario Reign (2011-12) of the ECHL before heading to Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta for one year. The following year he signed to the Allen Americans. Little did he know he would become a fan favorite and one of the most accomplished players this team has ever had.
In the time Asuchak has been with the Allen Americans he has been a 2013-14 President Cup Champion, two time Kelly Cup Champion, 2015 and 2016 . His total stats in the ECHL, including his three games in Ontario: Total games played 347, total points scored 273 (102-G, 171-A) and my personal favorite, 377 penalty minutes. His playoff stats solely with the Americans: 83 games played, 58 points (24-G, 28-A) and 132 penalty minutes.
What most people do not know about Spencer Asuchak is that he spent one game in the National Hockey League in the 2015-16 preseason with the St. Louis Blues. His only recorded goal in the NHL, though a preseason goal, was assisted by former Americans teammate Jacob Doty.
To find out more I contacted Spencer Asuchak to answer a few questions.
1: I saw on your Instagram recently that you proposed to your girlfriend, Cass. How was that? Were you nervous at all?
A: It was pretty amazing. I think I ended up being a lot more nervous being 3,000 feet off the ground in a balloon than anything. Didn’t really give her much of an escape route being up there.
2: I know that you are a volunteer firefighter, what made you decide to become a First Responder?
A: It was a great great opportunity to help others and eventually be a nice career transition to continue being in that team environment. I’ve yet to meet a fireman who doesn’t love their job. The Allen Fire Department and Chief Womack have been unbelievable in helping me get experience.
3: What would you say the biggest thing you’ve learned from your fellow firefighters that you could bring over to the Allen Americans and pass onto your teammates?
A: I would say just teamwork and communication. Everybody has a role.
4: Besides the heat and lack of snow, how different would you say your life in North Texas is compared to your life in British Columbia?
A: The food… the food in Texas is amazing. Overwhelming at times having to choose where to go for dinner. Also, all the man made lakes are different as BC is filled with freshwater lakes, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean.
5: I know you and former Americans captain, Chad Costello were good buddies during his time here. How was it to play and learn from him?
A: I was very lucky to play with Costy. He’s the best passer I’ve ever played with at any level. He sees things nobody else can see. To see him lead the DEL in scoring now which is filled with ex NHL and AHL players says a lot. I learned a lot from playing with him. Mostly using my size and speed to make room out there and always be around the net ready for the puck.
6: You had passed Costello for most games played and most goals scored by an Allen American in franchise history, what was it like to accomplish that? How did it feel?
A: I think it took me a little longer than him to get to that point. It obviously felt pretty cool to be up there with Costy and Hanson. Playing on a line with those two was pretty special. I think we were the highest scoring line in hockey the one year. Hanson had NHL speed and shot. It was a blast playing with them.
7: Most people don’t know this but you spent one preseason game in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues. You scored one goal in that game that was assisted by former Americans teammate, Jacob Doty. What was it like getting to reconnect with him when he was signed to the team last year?
A: It was pretty surreal to get that opportunity and I’ll never forget every second of it. After Blues camp Doty and I were linemates in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves where he set me up for a hat trick. Two of my best hockey memories. We’ve remained good buddies ever since and text regularly. He’s the toughest player I’ve ever played with. I’ve never seen him lose a fight. And he’s a lot more skilled than he gets credited for. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to play together again.
8: Lastly, as we all know, you are one of the most successful players this franchise has ever had, how does it feel to be a fan favorite and to be so supported by the fans?
A: It’s been an amazing ride. The best decision I’ve ever made was signing with Allen when I was 20 years old. The fans are the best in hockey and I couldn’t imagine having played or lived anywhere else for the majority of the last eight years. My teammates, the fans, the championships, the city of Allen. Nothing compares to it. I can’t wait to get back and bring the Kelly Cup home where it belongs.
Dog dad, soon to be husband, talented athlete and volunteer First Responder, Asuchak shows that he is here to help. Asuchak’s experience as a volunteer firefighter taught him the value of teamwork. Not only is Asuchak excited to start the new season but he is also excited to start his new life with his fiancé Cass and their two dogs. His goal this year is to add another Kelly Cup to the team’s name and bring it back where it belongs, right here in Allen, Texas.