November 27, 2013

Rochester Brings Back Mac Allen

from Press Release

The Rochester Knighthawks have signed Mac Allen to a one-year deal, bringing the defenseman back for his second tour with the team.

"When I was given the opportunity to sign with another team, Rochester was at the top of my list. There were so many reasons to sign with the Knighthawks, from the owner, the coaches, the back-to-back championships, the pedigree of their roster, and a chance to return to the city of Rochester where I've had my best seasons," said Allen. "Make no mistake though, I think playing in Rochester gives me the best chance to win a championship, and I've been in this league too long without one."

The Knighthawks signed the Colorado Mammoth restricted free agent to an offer sheet last week and he officially joined the team on Saturday. The veteran Allen returns to Rochester where he played two seasons. Allen spent the last three seasons in Colorado, heading to the Mammoth, along with forward John Grant Jr., via a blockbuster trade with the Knighthawks in October 2010.

The defenseman played two games for the Mammoth last season, recording seven penalty minutes and six loose balls. Over his seven-year career, he played in Edmonton, Rochester and Colorado, and registered 22 points (6+16), 283 loose balls and 174 penalty minutes in 62 regular season games. He also has three Mann Cup titles to his credit with the Peterborough Lakers.

"We weren't sure what to expect coming off his injuries, but he looked real good," said Head Coach Mike Hasen. "We know he is a competitor and know he is going to give 110 percent when he is on the floor. He is going to come in here and push some guys for a few spots that are available."

Allen attended Knighthawks Training Camp this past weekend. It was a chance for Allen to test out his offseason conditioning after suffering an injury last year in Edmonton. The 28-year-old underwent two days of practices in East Rochester, and was encouraged by his progress.

"It has certainly been a change since the last time I played here. Everyone came in shape and this is as close to the team as they are going to run with so it's good to start building chemistry," he said. "It is the first time since my last ACL tear – which was January 19th – that I took contact. I am pretty confident I will be ready to go on December 7th."

December 7th is the first of three preseason games for the Knighthawks, who will host Minnesota at The Blue Cross Arena that evening. Rochester will also take on the Toronto Rock and Calgary Roughnecks the weekend of December 14th to 15th.

Assistant Coach Pat O'Toole, who was the Knighthawks goalie from 1999-2010, was impressed with Allen's fitness level and recognized his style of play, which he witnessed first hand as his teammate in Rochester from 2009-10.

"Just watching him today nothing has changed. He's just a fast-paced, hard-nosed guy who will work tirelessly for that loose ball," said O'Toole. "He hits hard and he's a guy you want on your team and you hate playing against. He never gives up and is a great player."

"He is obviously in good shape. He is fast, smart and fit in well right away," added Assistant Coach Jason Johnson. "If he keeps it up, it will be a bonus (for us)."

Allen played in 25 games with the Knighthawks from 2009-10, while adding 124 loose balls to go along with three goals and five assists. After going to Colorado in the deal that brought Matt Vinc and Brad Self to the Knighthawks, Allen continued his success and earned a spot in the 2011 NLL All-Star Game. He hopes to get back to that level this season in his return to Rochester.

"I had a great couple of years when I played here. I was here for one season with Curt (Styres) as an owner and he was great to everyone," said Allen. "I definitely wanted to come back here and it doesn't hurt that they are the back-to-back champions."

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