West prevails in Skills Competition

Photo: China Wong

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … It was a historic night for a hometown skater, but in the end it was the Western Conference coming away with a 17-14 victory over the Eastern Conference in the 2019 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield on Sunday night.

Anthony Greco of the host Springfield Thunderbirds thrilled the capacity crowd with an all-time AHL record in the CCM Fastest Skater event with a lap of 13.251 seconds. Greco, who made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers earlier this season, also won his individual heat in the Inglasco Puck Control Relay event.

Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Greg Carey won the CCM Hardest Shot event with a shot clocked at 100.4 miles per hour, and Reid Boucher of the Utica Comets and Francis Perron of the San Jose Barracuda shared the Lexus Accuracy Shooting title by each breaking four targets in six attempts.

Kaapo Kahkonen of the Iowa Wild won the CCM Top Goaltender award with 16 saves on 18 attempts on the evening, including eight stops in the AHLTV Rapid Fire and a perfect showing in both the Western Mass Sports Commission Pass and Score and the MGM Springfield Breakaway Relay.

The 2019 AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield continues on Monday with the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m., featuring the enshrinement of John Anderson, Don Cherry, Murray Eaves and Brad Smyth as the AHL Hall of Fame Class of 2019 and also celebrating honorary All-Star Classic captains Shawn Thornton and Rob Murray. The ceremony will be streamed live on AHLTV.

The league’s mid-season showcase wraps up Monday night at 7 p.m. ET with the 2019 AHL All-Star Challenge, a round-robin tournament among the league’s four divisions played at 3-on-3. The All-Star Challenge will air live across the United States on NHL Network, across Canada on Sportsnet ONE and on the internet at AHLTV.