MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs and the American Hockey League announced today center Gabe Gauthier and defenseman Peter Harrold are two of 24 players named to the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team roster for the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok, to be played later this month at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York.
Gauthier, 23, ranks second on the Monarchs squad and is tied for seventh place overall in the AHL with 39 points (13-26=39) in 34 games. The second year center from Torrance, California, is also tied for the team lead in assists with Harrold who each have 26 assists. At 5-foot-9, 193-pounds, Gauthier has eight power play goals (tied for seventh in the AHL), 16 power play assists (tied for fifth place) and will be appearing in his first AHL All-Star Classic.
Harrold, 24, leads Monarchs blueliners with 33 points (7-26=33) in 36 games this season. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound native of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, also leads AHL defensemen in points and assists. Harrold's 22 assists on the power play also lead AHL defensemen and rank third overall. This is his second trip to the AHL All-Star Classic as he participated in the 2007 AHL All-Star Classic and collected two assists for PlanetUSA.
The team comprises 24 players – 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders – born outside of Canada; the Canadian team was announced on Wednesday. AHL fans determined the starting lineups via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the rosters.
All 29 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
Among the members of the PlanetUSA team are 16 first-time AHL All-Stars and six former first-round draft picks, including standout rookies Tuukka Rask of the Providence Bruins, Bobby Ryan of the Portland Pirates and Brian Lee of the host Binghamton Senators. Brett Sterling of the Chicago Wolves, the MVP of the 2007 AHL All-Star Game and the AHL's rookie of the year in 2006-07, was voted into the PlanetUSA starting lineup for the second year in a row.
Albany River Rats forward Keith Aucoin was selected to captain the PlanetUSA team, his third consecutive and career AHL All-Star Classic appearance.
The PlanetUSA coaching staff will come from the AHL team with the best points percentage at the end of play on Sunday, Jan.13. The Providence Bruins (.824) currently lead the Toronto Marlies (.771) for that honor.
The 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League competing in the 2008 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 27 (7 ET), and the 2008 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 28 (7:00 ET). The event will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada.
Of the 427 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Daniel Briere, Zdeno Chara, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Ray Emery, Jiri Hudler, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Steve Sullivan.
2008 PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team
Keith Aucoin, Albany ("C")
Gabe Gauthier, Manchester
T.J. Hensick, Lake Erie
x-Joakim Lindstrom, Syracuse
Greg Moore, Hartford
Joe Motzko, Hershey
Toby Petersen, Iowa
Jared Ross, Philadelphia
x-Bobby Ryan, Portland
Rob Schremp, Springfield
x-Brett Sterling, Chicago
Jeff Taffe, W-B/Scranton
Petr Vrana, Lowell
Jonathan Ericsson, Grand Rapids
Peter Harrold, Manchester
x-Matt Lashoff, Providence
Brian Lee, Binghamton
x-Erik Reitz, Houston
Brian Salcido, Portland
Anton Stralman, Toronto
Clay Wilson, Syracuse
Jimmy Howard, Grand Rapids
x-Tuukka Rask, Providence
Pekka Rinne, Milwaukee
Head Coach: TBD
Assistant Coach: TBD
Athletic Therapist: Domenic Nicoletta, Binghamton Senators
Equipment Manager: Tom Severance, Binghamton Senators