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Girardi, Callahan to play in AHL All-Star Classic

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


Two Rangers prospects from the Hartford Wolf Pack will be representing the organization at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, to be played Jan. 28-29 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.

On Tuesday, the American Hockey League announced rosters for the Canadian and PlanetUSA All-Star teams, which will face off in the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29. The Canadian team comprises players born in Canada, while the PlanetUSA team is made up of players born outside of Canada.

Representing Canada will be Wolf Pack defenseman Daniel Girardi, who was chosen by fans as one of six Canadian starters in the game. Girardi's rookie teammate, Ryan Callahan, will join him in Toronto as a member of the PlanetUSA roster. Both players will be making their All-Star Classic debuts.

An AHL All-Rookie Team selection last season, Girardi has tallied 21 points in 38 games for Hartford so far this season. He is ranked third on the Wolf Pack club in points and leads the team in assists. The blueliner ranks second among AHL defensemen with 20 assists, and is tied for 7th in the league among defensemen in scoring. Girardi registered a Wolf Pack season-high six-game assist streak (0-9-9) between November 18 and November 26.

The 22-year-old signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2006, after playing under an AHL contract with Hartford in 2005-06. Prior to turning professional, the 6-1, 205-pound native of Welland, Ontario appeared in 231 career games with Barrie, Guelph and London of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), totaling 21 goals and 96 assists for 117 points, along with 137 penalty minutes. He won the Memorial Cup with London in 2005.

Callahan's outstanding rookie season was also recognized on Tuesday, when he was also chosen to play in the All-Star Classic.

The 21-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y., has posted a team-best 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points in 35 games thus far in his rookie season. Callahan is currently ranked second in the league in rookie goals scored, sixth in the league overall in goals and fifth in the league in power play goals with 10. The right wing set a Wolf Pack all time team-record and then-AHL season-high streak when he registered goals in eight consecutive games between November 22 and December 15, netting 10 goals and 4 assists for 14 points in that time period.

Drafted by the Rangers in the fourth round, 127th overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Callahan completed his major-junior career last spring and signed with the team on May 10. He has already been called up to the Blueshirts twice during the 2006-07 season and has played in two games, including his NHL debut on Dec. 1 in Buffalo.

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.

The 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic will take place at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, home of the AHL's Marlies. The event features the 2007 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 28 (7:00 ET) and the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 29 (7:00 ET), and will be televised live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and on a network of regional broadcast partners in the United States.

Girardi, Callahan and their Hartford teammates return to action on Wednesday night, hitting the road for their first look at the Albany River Rats at the Times Union Center in Albany (7:00 PM faceoff). The Pack then head north for stops in Portland Saturday (7:05) and at first-place Manchester on Sunday (4:05).

Individual tickets for Wolf Pack games are on sale now at the Hartford Civic Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may also be charged by phone at (860) 525-4500, (203) 744-8100, (203) 624-0033 or (413) 733-2500 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com. Season tickets, five, 10 and 20 game packages and group tickets are also available. Contact 860-548-2000 for more details.
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