Some of the top players in the American Hockey League will face off in Providence, Rhode Island in just about 24 hours, taking the ice in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 28.
After competing in the skills competition on January 27, the players – who have already been split into two teams according to their respective conferences- will face-off in the game on January 28, at 7 p.m. EST. Broadcast information can be found at the AHL’s website or by clicking here.
Each team in the Eastern Conference has at least one representative in the game, with several teams – including host Providence – boasting a pair of players. Goaltenders on the Eastern Conference squad hail from Binghamton, Springfield and Providence and are all among the top netminders in the league.
• Robin Lehner (Binghamton Senators) — Lehner is the top goaltender in the Eastern Conference with a 1.80 GAA in 23 games played this season with the Senators. He is top in the league in save percentage (.948) and has played nearly 1,364 minutes. Lehner has 16 wins and just 41 goals against on the season.
Lehner has been Binghamton’s number one netminder this season; the 21-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden native joined Binghamton in the 2009-10 season after signing an amateur tryout contract. After playing two games that year, Lehner returned to Binghamton for his first full year of professional hockey in 2010-11.
He made his NHL debut on October 16, 2010 and eventually became the youngest goaltender in Ottawa Senators history to start a game. Last season, he appeared in 40 games with Binghamton, winning 22 and playing 2,192 minutes. He had a 3.26 GAA and .907 save percentage through the regular season.
• Curtis McElhinney (Springfield Falcons) — McElhinney is in the top ten league-wide in goals against average and save percentage, with a 2.28 GAA and .926 save percentage. He has won 17 of 27 games played this season, notching over 1600 minutes of ice time and stopping 758 of 819 shots faced.
The 29-year-old was originally drafted by the NHL’s Calgary Flames in 2002 with the 176th overall pick; since then, he’s played with three NHL teams (Calgary, Anaheim, Ottawa) and four AHL teams (Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Quad City Flames, Portland Pirates, Springfield Falcons). He was also property of the Tampa Bay Lightning for four days in 2011 before being claimed off waivers, and signed a one-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to the start of the NHL lockout.
Last season, McElhinney played 25 games with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, garnering a 3.04 GAA, .907 save percentage and 10 wins.
• Niklas Svedberg (Providence Bruins) — Despite his rookie status, Svedberg is among the top 15 in nearly all goaltending statistics in the AHL. The Sollentuna, Sweden native has a 2.34 GAA and a .921 save percentage, with 18 wins and 62 goals against. He also has one shutout and is 3-2 in shootouts.
The 23-year-old spent last year with Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish elite league. Svedberg had a .912 save percentage and 2.47 GAA in 29 games during his second season with Brynas. He signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on May 29, 2012 and made his AHL debut on October 19, 2012.