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Binghamton duo earns honours from AHL

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Corey Locke of the Binghamton Senators, the AHL's scoring leader, has been named to the league's first all-star team. Teammate Andre Benoit made the second team (Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).

Corey Locke's standout season has earned him some season-ending recognition from the American Hockey League.

The Binghamton Senators centre, who leads all AHL scorers with 85 points, has been named to the league's first all-star team, which was released earlier today.

In his first season with the B-Sens, the former Ottawa 67's star and Canadian Hockey League player of the year proudced 21 goals and 64 assists in 66 games. His point total matches a career high and is 14 better than Alexandre Giroux of the Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL's first-team all-star left winger.

Locke, who has led a different team in scoring for four straight seasons, contributed an AHL-high 30 assists to Binghamton's league-leading power play (22.1 per cent).

Rounding out the first all-star team are right winger Mark Mancari (Portland), defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani (Portland) and Maxim Noreau (Houston), along with goaltender Brad Thiessen (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton).

The B-Sens' top-scoring defenceman, Andre Benoit, earned second-team all-star honours following a season in which he produced 10 goals and 43 assists in 70 games. The point and assist totals are career bests for the native of nearby St. Albert, Ont., who ranks in a tie for second among blueliners in AHL scoring. Benoit is joined on the second all-star blue line by Viatcheslav Voynov of the Manchester Monarchs.

Up front, the second all-star team includes centre Keith Aucoin (Hershey), left wing Nigel Dawes (Hamilton) and right wing Darren Haydar (Chicago). The goaltending spot is filled by Curtis Sanford (Hamilton).

Binghamton hits the road Friday to face the Syracuse Crunch before returning home to tangle with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday at Broome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The weekend wraps up for the B-Sens with a road test against the Albany Devils on Sunday evening.

Rundblad, Skelleftea reach Swedish final

With Senators defence prospect David Rundblad contributing a goal and an assist, Skelleftea dumped Lulea 4-3 today to close out their best-of-seven Swedish Elite League (Elitserien) semifinal in six games.

Skelleftea now faces Farjestad in the league's championship series.


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