MVP Batherson leads North to All-Star victory

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Belleville Senators forward Drake Batherson scored five times on the night to earn Most Valuable Player honors, helping the North Division to a 1-0 shootout win over the Atlantic Division to win the 2019 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday night.

The AHL All-Star Challenge is a round-robin tournament among the league’s four divisions, played at 3-on-3. The evening capped the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield at a sold-out MassMutual Center.

Batherson, one of the 24 AHL All-Stars this season who have been recalled to the National Hockey League already in 2018-19, accounted for five goals in the North Division’s three preliminary games before converting on his shootout attempt after a scoreless championship match. Toronto’s Trevor Moore scored the deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout.

Utica’s Reid Boucher and Cleveland’s Nathan Gerbe each scored twice and Toronto’s Calle Rosen recorded five assists for the North, which successfully defended its 2018 All-Star Challenge title. Hartford’s John Gilmour (3g, 1a) and Charlotte’s Andrew Poturalski (1g, 3a) notched four points each to pace the Atlantic offense.

Texas’s Denis Gurianov tallied two goals and two assists for the Central Division, and Ontario’s Sean Walker led the Pacific Division with three goals.

Hershey’s Vitek Vanecek was the top goaltender on the evening, stopping 18 of the 20 shots he faced in 21 minutes of work for the Atlantic Division.

The road to the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs continues when the American Hockey League’s 83rd season resumes on Thursday.

2019 AHL All-Star Challenge Results
Game 1 – Atlantic Division 3, Central Division 1
Game 2 – Pacific Division 4, North Division 2
Game 3 – North Division 4, Central Division 2
Game 4 – Atlantic Division 5, Pacific Division 2
Game 5 – Central Division 5, Pacific Division 3
Game 6 – North Division 4, Atlantic Division 1
Championship – North Division 1, Atlantic Division 0 (SO)