|The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' All-Stars representing their home rink at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook
ALLENTOWN - Typically at an All-Star event featuring the league's top scorers and prospects in the American Hockey League, it's not a goaltender friendly event.
That wasn't the case Sunday at the PPL Center as the goaltenders stole the show, especially the Western Conference goalies - Anton Forseberg (Cleveland), Michael Leighton (Charlotte), Troy Grosenick (San Jose) and Jack Campbell (Ontario) - who combined for a 20-save shutout in the final event of the night in the breakaway relay to help the West All-Stars win the Skills Competition 15-11 in front of a sellout crowd of 8,424 fans.
The AHL All-Star Challenge is set for Monday night at 7:00 p.m. ET and will feature 3-on-3 mini games among the four division's teams. At the end of the round robin tournament, the two teams with the best two records will face head-to-head for the championship.
Skills Competition Awards
Fastest Skater - Bridgeport defenseman Devon Toews with 2nd fastest all-time AHL time of 13.478 seconds
Top Goalie - Rochester goaltender Linus Ullmark
Hardest shot - Tucson forward Kyle wood with a shot of 99.3 mph
Accuracy shooter - Rochester's Cole Schnieder hit all four targets in just five shot attempts.
Team Award - presented to Western Conference All-Stars captain Ryan Craig (Cleveland)
Phantoms' All-Stars Have Tons Of Fun At Skills Competition
Phantoms' Skills Competition Recap
Event 1: Sherwood Puck Control Relay
Race #3 - Taylor Leier vs. Jordan OesterleThere was a bit of a mishap in the first 1-on-1 race. The two skated to the opposite end only to find out there wasn't a puck there waiting for them. On the reset, Leier came up just short on Oesterle.
Race #4 - Jordan Weal vs. Brandon Montour (Edit: Oliver Bjorkstrand filled in. Montour had flight delays and missed tonight's skills competition)The final one-on-one race was the Eastern Conference's first win of the night, as Weal edged out Taylor Leier's former linemate in juniors to get East on the board.
Event 3: AHL Live Rapid Fire
Round 7 - Taylor Leier & T.J. Brennan vs. Michael LeightonLeier and Brennan had a tough go in the rapid fire, scoring just two goals on 10 shots on the former Flyers goaltender Leighton.
Event 5: Giant Food Stores/Velaspan Accuracy Shooting
T.J. Brennan shoots last for Eastern Conference to conclude the accuracy shooting event. He managed to hit three of the four targets - ringing several of his shots off the crossbarEvent 6: Giant Food Stores/Velaspan Pass & Score
Round 8 - Jordan Weal, Chris Bourque & David Warsofsky against Michael Leighton
This trio got the best of the veteran to end the 6th event with a bang. These three actually scored all three times, but one of the goals was taken away as not all three players touched the puck on the rush into the zone before the goal was scored. Still, the Pass & Score helped East take their first lead of the night at 11-10.Event 7: ExteNet Breakaway Relay
The goalies stole the show in the breakaway relay, especially the Western Conference netminders who stopped all 20 East shooters to help the West win the Skills Competition 15-1.
Round 6 - T.J. Brennan
Round 8 - Taylor Leier kicks off the final round & Jordan Weal ends the night
Leier misses. pic.twitter.com/4H3fwwvCTY— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) January 30, 2017
Here's Weal's shootout attempt to end the night. Lost the handles but still nearly scored. #LVPhantoms pic.twitter.com/xURDBvm6R9— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) January 30, 2017