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Extensive coverage set for AHL All-Star Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross is just days away, and the two-day event at PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., will reach millions of hockey fans worldwide through extensive television, internet streaming, radio and social media coverage.

Hosted by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, this year’s showcase, with the 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan set for Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET) and the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge to follow on Monday (7 p.m. ET), will be produced by Service Electric TV Sports and will be televised to some 100 million households throughout North America, including national audiences on Sportsnet and Sportsnet ONE in Canada and more than 20 regional networks across the United States.

Three alumni of the AHL’s broadcasting and playing ranks will be on the call of the event. John Bartlett, play-by-play announcer for the Montreal Canadiens on Sportsnet, will handle play-by-play duties; former NHL and AHL forward Alan May, now an analyst for Washington Capitals games on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, will provide color commentary; and Brendan Burke, the TV voice of the New York Islanders on MSG Networks, will be rinkside. Click here for a complete schedule of stations and air times for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic on the AHL All-Star TV network.

AHL Live is also offering a free on-line video stream of the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic to AHL fans worldwide. Simply log in at ahllive.com from a desktop or laptop computer, select the All-Star broadcasts and enter the promo code 2017ASC, then watch the AHL All-Star Classic live on ahllive.com or through the AHL Live mobile app.

In addition, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (channel 91) will air Monday night’s All-Star Challenge with Bob Rotruck of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Mike O’Brien of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on the call. Both nights’ events will also be heard locally on 790-WAEB (Sunday) and 1470-WSAN (Monday) as well as online on the Phantoms Radio 24/7 channel on TuneIn and the Phantoms 365 mobile app.

And throughout the weekend, the American Hockey League will be taking fans behind the scenes of the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic on its social media platforms. Follow the AHL on Twitter (@TheAHL), Facebook (fb.com/TheAHL) and Instagram (@TheAHL) and use #AHLAllStar to be part of the conversation. Fans can also visit theahl.com to enter the 2017 AHL All-Star Sweepstakes for a chance to win an All-Star team-autographed jersey, team-signed stick or team-autographed banner.

The 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan on Sunday will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.

In the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, the four teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.

Starting at just $26 each, a limited number of single-event tickets are on sale for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, featuring the AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan and the AHL All-Star Challenge. To purchase event tickets, please visit phantomshockey.com, call 610-347-TIXX or visit the PPL Center box office.

The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will be preceded by a Phan Fest on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a Tailgate Party beginning at 6 p.m. Both events will take place at the PPL Center and tickets for both the Phan Fest ($5) and Tailgate Party ($10) are also available now at phantomshockey.com.

The All-Star Classic festivities also include the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, to be held at Miller Symphony Hall at 11 a.m. on Jan. 30. The ceremony will feature the induction of Billy Dea, Bryan Helmer, Rob Murray and Doug Yingst as the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and will also celebrate honorary All-Star Classic captains Daniel Briere and Terry Murray.

The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello, as well as former Lehigh Valley Phantoms representatives Nick Cousins, Brandon Manning and Anthony Stolarz.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, trainers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players last season were AHL graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.