PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Chad Kolarik's first and second period goals in the All-Star Classic in Rhode Island weren't enough to lift his Eastern Conference team against the Western Conference team as the West beat the East Monday night, 7-6.
The first period also saw goals for the West from Houston's Jason Zucker on a backhand, Texas' Matt Fraser on a breakaway, Chicago's Brad Hunt on a hard shot that trickled through starting Eastern Conference goaltender Niklas Svedberg and San Antonio's Drew Shore, which he collected off the back wall and stuffed in the net.
The second period offered a bit of a pushback from the Eastern team.
Springfield's Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored off a nice pass from Syracuse's Tyler Johnson and then Worcester's Bracken Kearns scored on a pass from Albany's Bobby Butler.
Then Springfield goaltender Curtis McElhinney was involved in two memorable plays. The first, he stopped a two on none. The second, he went out to play a puck out of his net and was screened into the boards, and the West scored on the open net. Referee Ryan Fraser allowed the goal to stand, much to the dismay of the 10,846 in attendance.
Was upset at first, but it's just an All-Star game, Kolarik said of the call. (Fraser) was trying to let everything go. He made up for it though in the third calling the penalty on them.
Then Kolarik scored his second goal of the night by batting the puck in and over the shoulder of Abbotsford's Barry Brust.
In the final frame, the East tried to mount a comeback with goals from Manchester's Tyler Toffoli and Providence's Jamie Tardif but Toronto's Ryan Hamilton stole the show, with two goals in the period, the latter coming with 11.6 seconds left on the clock.
Hamilton was named MVP of the game.
Kolarik said of the game: Had fun. Was enjoyable to be out there with guys that you usually don't play with and with guys that you usually battle against.
First Period: 1, West, Zucker 1 (Shore, Peters), 7:39. 2, East, Kolarik 1 (Tardif, Gudas), 11:14. 3, West, Fraser 1 (Bartley), 13:25. 4, West, Hunt 1 (Nyquist, Cundari), 14:35. 5, West, Shore 1 (Zucker, McNabb), 15:11.
Penalties - none
Second Period: 6, East, Audy-Marchessault 1 (Johnson, Panik), 4:57. 7, East, Kearns 1 (Butler, Niederreiter), 6:31. 8, West, Hamilton 1 (Arcobello), 16:43. 9, East, Kolarik 2 (Gudas, Toffoli), 17:11.
Penalties - none
Third Period: 10, West, Hamilton 2 (Agozzino, Arcobello), 5:41. 11, East, Toffoli 1 (Taffe, Meech), 7:33. 12, East, Whitfield 1 (Barberio, Gryba), 17:30. 13, West, Hamilton 3 (Arcobello, Oleksiak), 19:48.
Penalties – Cundari, West (tripping), 13:31.
Shots on Goal: West 18-16-10-44. East 13-16-8-37.
Power Play Opportunities: West 0 / 0; East 0 / 1.
Goalies: West, Peters 0-0-0 (13 shots-12 saves); Brust 0-0-0 (16 shots-13 saves); Mrazek 1-0-0 (8 shots-6 saves). East, Svedberg 0-0-0 (18 shots-14 saves); McElhinney 0-0-0 (16 shots-15 saves); Lehner 0-1-0 (10 shots-8 saves).
Referees: Ryan Fraser (14). Linesmen: Joe Andrews (32), Bob Paquette (18).
AHL President David Andrews held his yearly State of the League press conference.
• 126 players who played in the AHL during the lockout were recalled to the NHL once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached.
• Ticket sales are up 13 percent in revenue throughout the league.
• The AHL had about 1,000 transactions last week with the lockout ending for player movements up and down. About 180 players were invited to NHL training camps.
• No immediate plans to reduce or expand the schedule. If anything, the schedule would more likely reduce.
• One or two affiliation agreements expire at the end of this season, and two or three building leases are expiring.
• The AHL believes that expansion to the Lehigh Valley will be a success, simply due to the close proximity to Philadelphia, and natural rivals in Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
• The league has seen a lot more replays that it had expected. There have been a total of 111 replays, and 80 percent of the calls made by the officials have been correct.