New format AHL All-star festivities draw to a close
The American Hockey League all-stars showed Farjestad BK who’s boss Wednesday night, lighting up the Swedish Hockey League club 7-2 in an unofficial North American-Europe hockey challenge at Mile One Centre.
AHL All Star player Mike Hoffman (27) scores a goal against Farjestad BK goaltender Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel (35) during the AHL All Star game Wednesday night. At left is Farjestad BK player Oliver Kylington. The AHL squad downed their Swedish counterparts 7-2. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Brandon Pirri and Ryan Strome both had two goals, and Mike Hoffman had a goal and two assists in what was otherwise the 2014 Assante Wealth Management AHL All-Star Classic played before a sellout crowd of 6,287 in downtown St. John’s.
In addition to Pirri, the game’s MVP, and AHL player of the game Hoffman, Ben Street and Travis Morin also scored the AHLers.
Magnus Nygren and Rickard Wallin had the Farjestad goals.
The game was a change in format for the American Hockey League, which traditionally went with a Canada vs PlanetUSA or East vs West inter-league all-star format.
It also ended three days of all-star festivities in St. John’s, which began Monday night with the Taste of Newfoundland food, beverage and entertainment event at the St. John’s Convention Centre, and continued Tuesday with a skills competition before a full house at Mile One.
Earlier Wednesday, the AHL inducted four people — Bill Dineen, Al MacNeil, Bob Perreault and John Slaney of St. John’s — into its Hall of Fame at the Convention Centre.
It was all AHL in the first period Wednesday as the host team poured in four goals past Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel.
Hoffman started the onslaught 8:43 in on only the AHLers’ fourth shot on goal, finishing off a nice three-way passing play with Joe Whitney and Pirri. Strome, the fifth overall NHL draft pick in 2011, was alone in front at 10:08, and made no mistake converting a Brian Gibbons pass into the back of the net.
Street and Morin also scored in the first period, giving the AHLers a big lead they would not relinquish.
Pirri netted the only goal in the middle frame, a period in which both teams switched goaltenders. Dustin Tokarski came in to replace Jake Allen, the former St. John’s Fog Devils goalie who stopped all 14 shots he faced.
Pettersson-Wentzel turned aside 13 of 17 shots.
Nygren finally got Farjestad on the scoreboard 25 seconds into the third period, but it was too late as Pirri and Strome each scored their second goals, sandwiching Wallin’s marker.
Tokarski finished with 20 saves. Pekka Tuokkola made 10 saves.