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BY DON SCOTT

Hershey assistant coach Scott Allen finished last year, his initial season with the Bears, with a total of 62 games behind the benchm before the American Hockey League ended its season in mid-March, due to the COVID-19 virus. His second season will be an even shorter one for the same reason.

That’s a long time to be off, so when asked what he did with all that extra time his response was a straight forward, “I let my hair grow and have yet to cut it.”

Pressed for details on this unique activity, Allen said, “Bob Goodman, who everyone knows is an AHL linesman, and I were texting, and he mentioned he was letting his hair grow, and it just happened I had decided to do the same thing. I was almost ready to get a haircut before the playoffs started, so I made a deal with myself not to do it until we went back to work, never thinking it would last this long.”

“When Dr. Bob suggested we make a competition to see who cuts his hair first with the loser making a $100 donation in the name of the other guy to a children’s charity, I willing accepted,” added Allen. “A couple months later, Bob said he caved, and a short time later I received a letter from the Shriners Hospital for Children indicating they received a donation in my name.”

So when is Allen planning to actually ‘make the cut’?

“I know it is about 10 inches long, because I thought about making a donation to organizations that take hair to make wigs for kids, and most of them want at least 10 inches for them to accept it, so I’m about a week away from that length,” said Allen. “I also found some places that will take a couple inches shorter, so either way I’ll cut it soon before getting back to work.”

Scott could refrain from cutting his hair until after the first day of practice, so all the guys could see what he looked like during the lengthy off-season.

“That’s a great idea,” said Allen, with a chuckle, “but with different protocols set in place because of COVID-19, I will probably cut it and donate it prior to the start of our camp.”

Allen will be starting his 25th year as a coach, a career that began as an assistant in 1996-97. The next season he became the head coach in Johnstown. His teams also won back-to-back Kelly Cups, with Carolina in 1989 and Greensboro in 1990.

Prior to coming to Hershey, Allen was an assistant coach with the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL, and before that he held the same position with Florida (2016-17) and the New York Islanders (2009-12). Some of his AHL stops included Portland, Lowell and Chicago.

“Obviously, it took no effort for me to let my hair grow, but I still followed my usual off-season routine, while adhering to the guidelines in order to remain healthy and not have a problem heading into the season,” said Allen.

Despite never playing in the AHL, Allen said he was well aware of what hockey means to Hershey, because of his time in Johnstown when he had his initial contact with (former general manager) Doug Yingst, who was very good to the Chiefs. Because of that, he traveled to Hershey a few times when the Bears were playing in the old arena and was very familiar with the team’s history.

“This was a fun thing to do and we all got some laughs out of it which is something we all needed during all the rules and regulations that affected everyone’s life in so many ways,” said Allen. “I just want to give credit to Dr. Bob for his idea and putting the challenge in place, because he is a ‘Good Man’”.

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