Allen's Improvement Boosting UAA's Offense
by Kelly Erickson/CHN Reporter
When the 2012-13 season began, Scott Allen saw an opportunity.
After skating with Alaska-Anchorage for a year — putting up three goals and six assists for nine points in that showing — Allen felt it was time to step into a bigger role.
“We haven’t been known to score a lot of goals so there’s always that opportunity to fill that void,” Allen said. “We had a bunch of guys that have left since last season so I knew that were would opportunity to fill in. I’ve worked hard to be that guy and I’ll be that guy every time that I can, but I’ve been pretty fortunate so far.”
Through six games, Allen leads the Seawolves with four goals. He’s also added an assist to his stat sheet for five points on the season.
Finding a way to score has recently been an issue for Alaska-Anchorage. Last season the offense finished last in the WCHA as the only team to score less than 100 goals — the Seawolves only managed 85 through 36 games for an average of 2.36 goals per game.
Through their six games the Seawolves have notched 15 goals for an average of 2.5 goals per game. Head coach Dave Shyiak will be the first to admit that his squad needs to score by committee in order to find success, but Allen’s new source of goals is an added benefit.
Both Shyiak and Allen noted the sophomore’s difference in productivity comes down to his work in the offseason.
“I think the common thread for any freshman coming in as a sophomore is just the training in the offseason,” Shyiak said. “You’re going to see these players leaps and bounds as far as their strength and speed and conditioning because they really don’t know when they get into their freshman year … with Scotty he’s a big guy that’s got a pretty good knack around the net and he’s been getting a lot of puck luck goals because he is going to the hard areas.”
Allen parroted the added benefit of experience and the higher level of training.
“Playing in the league for one full season and then going back over the summer and going to my training, regrouping, just put it into perspective,” Allen said. “I tried to put my game plan into what the coach is saying and things have been working so far.”
But not only has the 6-foot-3, 201 pound forward found a knack for scoring this season, he’s also playing a disciplined game, serving zero penalty minutes so far this season.
While he feels certain that discipline won’t hold forever, he is one of six skaters on the 24-man roster to stay out of the sin bin — but the only one to have scored a goal.
“I find myself a pretty gritty player,” Allen said. “I’m a big body out there but I’ve been smart with the stick and not taking any stick infractions, that’s for sure. I’ve got my nose dirty, that’s for sure, so it’ll be about time I get a penalty.”
That penalty could come sooner than later as the Seawolves welcome the No. 2 Golden Gophers to Sullivan Arena. Coming off a bye week, Alaska-Anchorage is feeling refreshed but know it has a tough test this weekend.
“We’re not going to change,” Shyiak said. “We’re still trying to create our identity and be consistent about having a team that pressures the puck, is good in all three zones and is fundamentally sound. I think we’ll have to keep our game very simple on Friday here just to get our timing and legs back. We’ll see how it goes. Minnesota is one of the most talented teams in the country. It’ll certainly be a challenge, but it’ll be nice to have them come into our barn.”
With a week off, Allen knows he has to keep producing goals, to show he can consistently be relied upon — Minnesota poses the perfect challenge.
“Now that I’ve been scoring there’s pressure to keep it going,” Allen said. “To prove to everybody that its not just a fluke that it happened. Every day in practice I’m trying to get better and working on what I can control, and keep it going throughout the season because I don’t want it to slow down.”