The best and brightest stars in the AHL were on display Monday night at the All-Star Classic, held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. The Toronto Marlies’ (Toronto Maple Leafs) Ryan Hamilton shone the brightest, scoring the game’s final goal with 11.2 seconds left, completing his hat trick for the game and propelling the West to a 7-6 victory over the East. He was named the game’s MVP for his efforts.
Chad Kolarik (pictured above) of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) had two goals to lead the offense for the East. He had spent the season with the Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers) before a recent trade, meaning he represented a team at the All-Star Classic for whom he has only played two games. Kolarik has 17 goals and 36 points between the two teams this season. Hamilton is trying to work his way back to the NHL, and has 18 goals and 27 points in 38 games. He is on pace for a career season and definitely turned a few heads Monday night.
Petr Mrazek of the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) played the third period, stopping six of the eight shots he faced and getting the win. Curtis McElhinney of the Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets) had the best statistical performance among netminders, stopping 15 of 16 shots for the East.
Also scoring goals for the West were Jason Zucker of the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild), Matt Fraser of the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars), Brad Hunt of the Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canucks) and Drew Shore of the San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers). The East got additional goals from Springfield’s Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Bracken Kearns of the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks), Tyler Toffoli of the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings) and Trent Whitfield of the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins). AHL regular season action resumes Thursday, with three games on tap.