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Late goal gives West an All-Star sweep

PROVIDENCE, R.I. … Toronto Marlies forward Ryan Hamilton completed a hat trick with 11.2 seconds remaining in regulation, breaking a tie and sending the Western Conference to a 7-6 win over the Eastern Conference in the 2013 American Hockey League All-Star Game before a capacity crowd of 10,846 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center tonight.

Hamilton, who was named the Dunkin’ Donuts All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, scored the final three West goals of the night to record the seventh hat trick in All-Star Game history. Mark Arcobello of the Oklahoma City Barons tallied three assists and rookie forwards Drew Shore of the San Antonio Rampage and Jason Zucker of the Houston Aeros notched a goal and an assist each for the West.

The victory gave the West a second consecutive sweep of the two-day All-Star Classic, repeating the feat they accomplished in Atlantic City last year. And for the second consecutive night, the event came down to the final shot after the West’s dramatic 12-11 triumph in the Pepsi AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday.

Chad Kolarik of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins led the Eastern Conference offense with two goals, while Manchester Monarchs rookie Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist and Syracuse Crunch defenseman Radko Gudas recorded two assists for the East.

Curtis McElhinney of the Springfield Falcons was the top goaltender in the game, stopping 15 of 16 shots for the Eastern Conference while working the second period.

The road to the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs continues when the American Hockey League’s 77th season resumes on Thursday.