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Rookie Purcell leads Canada to AHL All-Star win

Tuesday, 01.29.2008 / 9:23 AM / AHL Update

By Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

AHL All-Star MVP, Teddy Purcell, signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Los Angeles Kings on April 27, 2007.
Manchester Monarchs rookie Teddy Purcell’s splashy AHL start keeps making more and more waves.

Purcell was named MVP of the AHL All-Star Game Monday night in Binghamton after scoring three times in regulation and potting the winning shootout goal to pace the Canadian team to a 9-8 win over PlanetUSA.

Purcell’s hat trick was just the fourth in the history of the event.

"You just go out there and have a good time," said Purcell, who is third in the AHL in scoring with 54 points. "It just seemed like things were going my way tonight. It was a good night for me. It was a fun night.’’

Moose goalie Drew MacIntyre was a supporting star, stopping 15 of 16 shots in the third period and four of five attempts in the shootout for Canada.

Toby Petersen of Iowa converted on the first penalty shot attempt in event history. Referee Brian Pochmara got into the offensive spirit of the game by handing Petersen the penalty shot after Canadian defenseman Derrick Walser lightly hooked him on a breakaway.

"I’m sure it was easier for the ref to call it knowing it was an all-star game,’’ Petersen said. "You have to give him credit for making the decision.’’

But it was no biggie from the Canadian side. Joey Tenute of the San Antonio Rampage answered.

Petersen’s goal eight seconds later for the fastest two goals in all-star game history.

James Murphy
This season, Lindsay Kramer, NHL.com's AHL correspondent, profiles an up-and-coming player each week. Lindsay's AHL notebook appears each Thursday on NHL.com.
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All-Stars show skills -- The All-Star Classic’s skills competition, usually a lighter affair, took on tones both humorous and historic on Sunday.

Canadian forward Mark Mancari of the Rochester Americans shattered the AHL record in the hardest shot event with a rip clocked at 102.8 miles per hour.

Mancari leads his team in both points and assists. When asked by an on-ice television reporter why his hard shot hasn’t translated into the lead in goals, too, Mancari deadpanned; "I don’t have great aim.’’

Later, Mancari added: "I had no idea I could get one that hard. I’m in shock right now. I’m pretty excited about it."

Manchester’s Gabe Gauthier posted just the second 4-for-4 effort ever in the accuracy shooting competition.

"I was pretty amazed myself,’’ Gauthier said. "I thought I’d freeze, you know, because of the whole atmosphere. I just took my time and let the puck do the work.’’

Toby Petersen of the Iowa Stars took the fastest skater title with a time of 14.001. That mark was the best since Barry Richter’s 13.8 in 1998, and was one that Petersen said he saw coming.

"I can’t say I was surprised. I was pretty confident. I was looking to win,’’ Petersen said. "I watched the guys (before him), see where they were struggling. The one thing I learned was keep your speed through your turns. My philosophy is once you start feeling confident with your speed through the corners, you start crossing over and moving your feet again.’’

Portland’s Bobby Ryan didn’t win anything, except the award for the driest one-liner. During an on-ice interview, the television host noted that Ryan is the answer to a trivia question as the player picked No. 2 after Sidney Crosby in the 2005 draft.

Retorted Ryan: "That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that question.’’

Later, Ryan said that’s become his stock answer.

Bobby Ryan

"It’s one of those questions you’ll get your entire career, so you take it with a grain of salt, and laugh about it,’’ Ryan said.

All-Star notes -- The AHL is in the process of deciding whether less is more. The issue at hand is the schedule. At a question-and-answer session during a break in the league’s All-Star Classic Monday in Binghamton, AHL President Dave Andrews said the AHL is strongly considering whether to cut its regular season from 80 games to 72.

"We’re going to pursue it, see how much support we might get from the National Hockey League to move in this direction,’’ Andrews said. "I wouldn’t say it’s imminent. But I would say it’s on the top of the list of issues right now. We’ll see where it ends up.’’

In another development, and one that could stand in direct contradiction to the above endeavor, Andrews said he’s pushing to examine the possibility of each team playing every other team in the league at least once in a certain time span. Andrews said when he goes to games, the topic of bringing in fresh opponents is the No. 1 issue broached by season ticket-holders.

"I think we need to address that within our board, and soon,’’ he said. "Our league has grown to the point where travel costs aren’t what they were 10-15 years ago.’’

Andrews said the next league expansion probably won’t take place until 2009-10, when there’s a chance Austin, Texas, could come aboard. He said he could envision a scenario where the Dallas Stars, currently affiliated with Iowa, could buy an inactive franchise now held by Edmonton. The Stars then would start up their new farm team in-state, while Iowa would remain in the league with a new parent club.

Andrews also calmed concerns surrounding two current franchises. Philadelphia is in danger of having its building, The Spectrum, torn down in favor of a hotel at that sports complex. That, of course, would boot out the Phantoms.

"What happens, happens. It will be the right thing for the Phantoms, the Flyers and the American Hockey League,’’ Andrews said. "I just hope it will be the right thing for Phantoms’ fans.’’

Also, Andrews was certain that the Rochester Americans, in turmoil and headed for a divorce from parent club Buffalo, will take the ice next season.

"The Rochester Americans, they’re not going away,’’ Andrews said. "We’re going to work this through.’’

Andrews also said the notion of playing an outdoor AHL game is gaining some momentum among owners.

"When we should be talking about scheduling issues, half our teams are talking about doing outdoor games,’’ he joked.


Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players