Goalies Steal the Spotlight at 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition

Sunday, January 29, 2017
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' All-Stars representing their home rink at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Western Conference takes the Skills Competition 15-11

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 Oesterle
There 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 Leighton
Leier 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 crossbar
Event 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


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