Allen Americans goaltender Rejean Beauchemin is on a two game shutout streak. Photo courtesy of CHL photos blog (www.chlphotos.com)
At the lower levels of hockey, a consistent lineup seems to be quite elusive. As injuries occur in leagues above, it affects the lower leagues just as much with guys getting called up. At the CHL level, when callups for extended periods of time occur for key players, it opens the door for other talent to be brought in to help fill the gap. It's a testament to the coaching skills of head coach and general manager Dwight Mullins and assistant coach Bill McDonald that they can keep the Allen Americans at a high competitive level with a fluctuating lineup.
The Past Two Weeks
The Allen Americans saw several key players get called up to the AHL level, with Scott Langdon and Mike Berube on defense along with James Reid and Marco Cousineau in goal on extended callups. The Americans continue to win, accumulating a 23-9-7 record and 53 points. They defeated the Wichita Thunder last night 5-0 to take possession of first place in the Berry conference, and are only one point behind the league leader. Their powerplay has improved to 23.29% for tops in the league. Their penalty kill, which at times gets them into trouble when they take more than 3-4 penalties in a game, is second in the league at 84.66%.
The Allen Americans will face the Rio Grande Killer Bees Saturday and Sunday nights at home. February and March see the Americans at home more often than on the road, a nice change from the road heavy schedule they had to start the season. The Americans will look to make the playoffs for their third time in their three season of existence. Rejean Beauchemin, who was the backup to Marco Cousineau, will look to continue his stellar play of late as the number one in Allen. He's currently riding a two game shutout streak and leads the league in both goals against average (2.03) and save percentage (.934) Beauchemin will start for the Americans again tonight, and coach Mullins said if he had his way he'd play him Sunday also, but that they would evaluate after the game tonight. Americans forward Bruce Graham leads the league in points with 54, and is second in the league in goals scored with 23.
Along with their standard cost effective ticket prices (between $12 - $32), the Americans will be welcoming back the $2 beer and hot dog special this weekend at the Allen Event Center.