Hamilton ambassadors show well at AHL all-star showcase

Hamilton Bulldogs forward Corey Locke posted a goal and two assists and a plus-3 rating to help lead the Canadian All-Stars to a 9-8 shootout win over PlanetUSA in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok on Monday night. The game was Locke’s second American Hockey League All-Star appearance, having skated for the Canadian squad in the 2006 showcase in Winnipeg.

Manchester Monarchs rookie Teddy Purcell scored three times in regulation and netted the decisive shootout goal to give the Canadian AHL All-Stars a come-from-behind win. Purcell, the AHL’s third-leading scorer with 54 points in 41 games, notched just the fourth hat trick in event history to earn Reebok All-Star Game MVP honors.

The game was witnessed by a capacity crowd at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena as well as national television audiences in Canada on Rogers Sportsnet and in the United States on a series of regional networks. The broadcast was also heard on XM Satellite Radio.

Martin St. Pierre of the Rockford IceHogs recorded a goal and two assists for the Canadians, tying an AHL record with eight career All-Star Game points, and the Manitoba Moose’s Drew MacIntyre stopped 15 of 16 shots in the third period and four of five attempts in the shootout as the Canadians rallied from an 8-6 deficit to earn their seventh win in the last nine years.

Rookie T.J. Hensick of the Lake Erie Monsters led PlanetUSA with a four-point night (2-2-4). Toby Petersen of the Iowa Stars had three points (1-2-3) for PlanetUSA, including a goal on the first penalty shot attempt in event history. Hamilton-native Joey Tenute of the San Antonio Rampage answered Petersen’s marker eight seconds later for the fastest two goals in All-Star Game history.

As the defending Calder Cup champions, the Bulldogs’ head coach, Don Lever, assistant coach Ron Wilson and Hamilton’s entire training staff, represented the Bulldogs behind the bench of the Canadian AHL All-Star squad.

The Bulldogs return to action on Friday (Feb. 1) at 8:30 p.m. when they visit the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg. Fans can listen to every Bulldogs game on 820 CHAM.