The Western All Stars narrowly defeated the East 12-11 in last night’s AHL All Star Skills Competition in Providence, R.I.
Milwaukee’s own Victor Bartley played a nice role in that effort. The Admiral’s lone All Star competed in both the Pepsi Accuracy Shooting competition and H&R Block Breakaway Relay.
San Antonio’s Drew Shore, Grand Rapid’s Chad Billins and Lake Eerie’s Andrew Aggozino picked up the West’s only goal in the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay, with the East taking the event and a 3-1 lead.
Portland’s Chris Summers won the CCM Fastest Skater award for the East. The East also took the EA Sports NHL 13 Rapid Fire contest, despite a nice showing from Charlotte’s Justin Peters in net.
Rochester’s Brayden McNabb claimed the Hardest Shot title for the West with a blazing 101.8 mph slapper. The East still gained a goal for the higher average speed among its four players.
Facing a 7-2 deficit the West finished strong, taking the last three events en route to the overall win.
Bartley was first up in the Accuracy Shooting contest where he impressively collected four hits in just six attempts. Texas’s Matt Fraser hit four in five attempts to lead the event and lock down two goals for the West with the win.
Abbotsford’s Barry Brust and Peters were both perfect stopping all three shot attempts they faced in the Pepsi Pass and Score event, leading the West to the 2-1 victory.
Finally it came down to the Breakaway Relay where despite Bartley’s miss on his attempt, the West recorded a 6-3 victory to complete the comeback.
McNabb, Fraser, Charlotte’s Michal Jordan, Toronto’s Ryan Hamilton, OKC’s Mark Arcobello and Rockford’s Martin St. Pierre all scored for the West, while Peters and Grand Rapid’s Petr Mrazek were perfect stopping six shots each.
With the AHL going outdoors for the second time this week (Providence will face Connecticut at UConn’s football stadium on Saturday), I thought it might be a decent time to gauge the interest of Admirals fans in watching their team play a game outdoors.
The state of Wisconsin is certainly no stranger to showcasing outdoor hockey, with Lambeau Field having played host to Wisconsin and Ohio State in 2006, while Camp Randall Stadium saw Wisconsin and Michigan compete last year.
Rumors around Madison last spring (I haven’t heard anything recently on this) is that the parties that were involved with the previous two outdoor games would be interested in having the Badgers play in a third outdoor contest at Miller Park sometime in the near future.
It would only make sense for the Milwaukee Admirals to have a game at Miller Park as well, perhaps as part of a double header (seems logical for something taking place at a baseball field).
Despite scoring eight goals in his first 11 games with Milwaukee, Admirals forward Linus Klasen is hardly content with his performance so far.
“Of course I am happy with my production so far, but I am never satisfied,” Klasen said. “I am going to keep working every day to try to keep producing even more. If you get satisfied, that’s when it can turn around on you really fast.”
The gifted Swede, who is scoreless in his last two games, hopes to reignite his offense this weekend against Lake Erie, a team that is missing its top goaltender. Longtime NHL veteran John Grahame is currently up with the Colorado Avalanche with starter Craig Anderson injured for an indefinite period of time.
Speaking of the Monsters, this weekend Milwaukee will see a team that has a lot of similarities to themselves. Lake Erie is a young and dynamic squad that is growing in confidence with every game.
“Grand Rapids and Lake Erie are both very good teams and fast teams, so we will be challenged (this week),” Milwaukee coach Lane Lambert said.
Several names on the Monsters should be familiar to Wisconsin hockey fans. Lake Erie’s fifth leading scorer is former Badgers forward Matthew Ford. At least three other Monsters played for the University of Minnesota, including R. J. Anderson, Ryan Stoa and Mike Carman.
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