Cannone MVP of AHL All-Star Challenge; Central wins title

Pat Cannone was named game MVP as the Central Division defeated the Atlantic Division in the AHL All-Star Game.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Chicago Wolves captain Pat Cannone scored three times as the Central Division won the inaugural American Hockey League’s All-Star Challenge on Monday night.

The AHL’s all-star event, like the NHL, was a 3-on-3 tournament between the league’s four divisions.

Cannone clinched the most valuable player honours during the Central Division’s 4-0 title-game victory over the Atlantic Division.

Goalie Michael Leighton stopped all nine shots he faced to earn a shutout for the Central Division, while Cannone, Jeff Hoggan, Derek Ryan and Xavier Ouellet scored.

Mike McKenna turned aside 2-of-5 shots he faced for the Atlantic, while Anthony Stolarz made saves on all four shots he faced.

Both teams went 2-1-0 in the round-robin played among All-Stars from the league's four divisions; round-robin games were nine minutes in length split into halves of 4-on-4 and 3-on-3. The North Division and Pacific Division both finished 1-2-0.

Cannone also scored in the Central's 4-2 win over the North and its 2-1 shootout win over the Atlantic in the round-robin section of the tourney.

Cannone and the Rockford IceHogs' Jake Dowell each finished with three goals and an assist, Grand Rapids Griffins defenceman Ouellet scored twice and added two assists and T.J. Tynan of the Lake Erie Monsters finished the night with five assists to pace the Central Division's offence.

Leighton led all goaltenders with a .929 save percentage, turning aside 13 of 14 shots in his two appearances.

Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears and Rob Schremp of the Portland Pirates finished with two goals and two assists each to pace the Atlantic Division.

Derek Grant of the Stockton Heat and Nick Ritchie of the San Diego Gulls notched two goals and an assist each for the Pacific Division, while Josh Leivo of the Toronto Marlies had two goals and an assist for the North Division.