One day after defeating the Eastern Conference squad in the skills competition, the AHL Western Conference all-stars took a 7-6 win in the 2013 AHL All-Star Game on January 28.
Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton led the way for the Western Conference team. Hamilton had a pair of goals in the first 46 minutes of the game before adding a third with just over 11 seconds remaining to give the West the win.
He was named player of the game after the 7-6 win, a victory in which the Western Conference team never fell behind but instead maintained a lead nearly the entire game.
Houston’s Jason Zucker opened the scoring with a goal at 7:39 of the first period, giving the West an early lead. Just under four minutes later, newly acquried WBS Penguins forward Chad Kolarik tied the game at one.
The Western Conference squad rallied back to score the next three goals, all within a span of less than two minutes. Texas’ Matt Fraser and Chicago’s Brad Hunt scored 1:10 apart, with San Antonio’s Drew Shore adding a third goal 36 seconds later as the West took a 4-1 lead into the second period.
After five goals scored between the teams in the first period, the second period was bound to be an exciting one – and that it was. First, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored 4:57 in to give the East a little break; 1:34 later, Bracken Kearns made the gap even smaller, putting the game at 4-3.
Hamilton scored his first of the game for the Western Conference at the 16:43 mark, regaining the two-goal lead - but not for long, as Kolarik scored his second of the game less than thirty seconds later.
Less than six minutes into the third, Hamilton would notch his second goal of the night to once again regain a two-goal lead for the West, making it 6-4 with plenty of time remaining on the clock.
As any well-versed hockey fan knows, a little bit of time is all you need.
The East took advantage of some of this time, first scoring at 7:33 on a goal by Tyler Toffoli to cut the lead to just one goal. As the clock ran down, a comeback still seemed possible – and it was. Trent Whitfield tied the game with 2:30 left in regulation, putting the teams gridlocked in a 6-6 tie.
Time continued to count down, and it seemed as though the regulation session would end in a tie – but remember, all you need is a little bit of time.
That’s all Ryan Hamilton needed, anyways, as the left winger scored his third goal of the game with just over 11 seconds remaining to give the West a 7-6 lead.
Hamilton was named player of the game.
All six goaltenders played one period each for the teams. Justin Peters kicked things off for the West, stopping 12 of 13 shots faced, while Niklas Svedberg allowed four goals on 18 shots for the East in the opening period.
In the second period, Barry Brust stopped 13 of 16 shots for the West, while Curtis McElhinney allowed just one goal on 16 shots faced for the Eastern Conference squad.
Finally, Petr Mrazek allowed two goals on eight shots in the final period for the West, while Robin Lehner allowed two goals on ten shots for the East (in 19:48 of ice time – he was pulled after Hamilton’s leading goal).
One penalty was called during the game – the first penalty called in an AHL All-Star Game since 2005. Mark Cundari was called for tripping at 13:31 of the third period.
AHL teams return to action on January 31, with a trio of games being played across the board (PRO vs. BRI, ABB vs. LE, CHA vs. OKC).