One of the biggest decisions was decided for the Americans over the off-season was one of relief for Allen as standout goalie Chris Whitley has decided to stay with the Americans for the 2010-2011 season.
After a strong expansion season that saw them finish 2nd in the Southern Conference during the regular season, a trip to the CHL Presidents Cup Championship capped off an incredible season for the Stars CHL Affiliate.
Now with many of the important pieces still intact, they hoping that a 2nd helping will be just as good as the first as the 2010-2011 CHL Season will get underway in mid-October.
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Netminder Chris Whitley called into a live show today at the Allen Event Center to announce his much anticipated decision to re-sign with Allen for the 2010-2011 season.
"Allen was always the team I was going to return to if I didn't persure my teaching career. I had a few offers in Europe, but I didn't get an offer that was better then Allen in my opinion," Whitley said. "The decision was also made easy with some key guys re-signed like Graham, Yellow, Nino, and Tobias, so that was another thing that factored into my decision."
The backstop return from an exceptional rookie season with the Americans. Whitley set CHL Playoff Records, played in the American Hockey League, earned accolades and took the Americans all the way to the Ray Morin Presidents Cup Finals.
During the regular season, Whitley went 31-8-1, only two wins shy of the rookie record for wins in a season in the CHL. His GAA and SV% were 2.60 and .914, respectively. The netminder started all 20 playoff games and posted a 10-10 record. The 27 year old broke three playoff records for a single postseason: most saves 636, most appearances (20) and most minutes (1205).
The backstop is anxious to get between the pipes for the Americans. "I'm hoping to complete what we almost did last year, which is win a championship. We were so close, and I still think quite often how close we were to winning in our first year as a team."
The netminder was also named the Goaltender of the Week three times (11/23, 1/4 and 1/22). He was also a finalist for Outstanding Goaltender and Rookie of the Year.
"Chris' return is really important to our team. He's an all star on and off the ice," Americans head Coach and GM Dwight Mullins said. "I know he feels we have some unfinished business to take care of."
Hailing from Oshawa, Ontario, Whitley stands at 6'1" and weighs 215 pounds. He attended the Detroit Red Wings rookie development and training camp last year, and he hopes to receive an invite to the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) Training Camp.
Whitley also points to Allen's fan base as a reason for his return. "I feel really comfortable with the city of Allen. The city really took us in with open arms last year and showed tremendous support through the season and in the playoff run as well. I know this season will be better then last and can't wait to get back on the ice. at the AEC."
Season Tickets for Allen's second season are now on sale. Ticket Prices start as low as $9 per game with free parking at the Allen Event Center. For more info, call 972-912-1000.
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