Brandon Pirri and Ryan Strome each scored two goals to lead a team of American Hockey League All-Stars to a 7-2 win against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League on Wednesday at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's, Newfoundland. The game was played before a sellout crowd of 6,287 at Mile One Centre and was the first international game in AHL All-Star history.
Pirri, Mike Hoffman (Binghamton Senators) and Joe Whitney (Albany Devils) combined for eight points for the AHL All-Stars.
"We're all offensive-minded players so when you throw us guys together we can usually [play well] together quickly," Hoffman said. "It's nice to play in an All-Star game."
Pirri, a second-round pick (No. 59) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009 NHL Draft who last season led the AHL in scoring with 75 points, also had an assist and was named the game's most valuable player. He has five goals and 10 assists in eight games with the Rockford Icehogs and six goals in 28 games with the Blackhawks this season.
AHL all-stars celebrate. (Click to enlarge)
"It was a lot of fun tonight," Pirri said. "My linemates played a big part in it. It was a lot of fun and a great experience. It was about fun today and keeping up with good habits. We had a lot of speed there and it worked out well, we found chemistry early."
Hoffman, who had a goal and two assists to earn AHL player of the game honors, opened the scoring at 8:43 of the first period after receiving a backhand pass from Whitney across the crease and tapping it into a wide-open net. The winner of the fastest skater competition the night before, Hoffman is second in the AHL in scoring with a career-high 58 points (25 goals, 33 assists) in 46 games. He's appeared in three games this season with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him with the 130th pick of the 2009 NHL Draft.
Strome concluded the scoring with his second of the game at 18:07 of the third. The New York Islanders' first-round selection (No. 5) in the 2011 NHL Draft has four points in 15 games for the Islanders and 43 points in 32 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Pirri assisted on Hoffman's goal and scored in the second to give the AHL a 5-0 lead. Travis Morin (Texas Stars) and Ben Street (Abbotsford Heat) also scored for the AHL All-Stars. St. Louis Blues goaltending prospect Jake Allen (Chicago Wolves) stopped all 14 shots he faced and Dustin Tokarski (Hamilton Bulldogs) made 20 saves.
Whitney, a recent call-up of the New Jersey Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brian Gibbons each had two assists for the AHL.
Magnus Nygren and Rickard Wallin scored for Färjestad, the nine-time Swedish league champions who became the first SHL club ever to play in North America.