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AHL announces Ellery Award winners

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today the 2005-06 recipients of the James H. Ellery Memorial Awards, presented annually by the league in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the AHL in three categories.

This year’s winners are Albany River Rats beat writer Phil Janack (in the newspaper category); Manitoba Moose play-by-play broadcaster Kelly Moore (radio); and Gregg Mace of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pa. (television).

Covering the River Rats since the team’s inception in 1993, Phil Janack continues to provide fans in New York’s capital region with in-depth coverage of the team and the entire American Hockey League 12 months a year for the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y. His popular Sunday columns offer extensive news and notes and provide comprehensive looks at the entire league. Along with his work for the Gazette, Janack also covers the AHL’s Eastern Conference for The Hockey News, presenting his insights to that publication’s readers around the world. Janack is now a two-time winner of the Ellery Award, having also received the honor in 1998-99.

Kelly Moore provided major-league coverage for the Manitoba Moose and the AHL both as the play-by-play voice of the team and as a sports reporter on their flagship station, CJOB Radio. Moore’s professionalism and dedication during his 10 seasons in Winnipeg made him one of the most respected broadcasters in the league. In addition to his game duties, Moore hosted the Moose Hockey Show on CJOB, a weekly call-in program that aired every Monday, home or away, and featured players, coaches and other members of the organization talking about the Moose and the AHL. Moore also served as master of ceremonies at most Moose community events during the season, including their annual Manitoba Moose Yearling Foundation Dinner, which in 2006 raised more than $40,000 for local children’s charities.

Gregg Mace, sports director at WHTM (ABC-27) in Harrisburg, has long been instrumental not only in providing outstanding coverage for the Hershey Bears and the AHL during his nightly sports reports, but also in offering color commentary during Bears telecasts on the network. Mace played a key role in assisting the league’s efforts in providing local stations across North America with highlights from the 2006 Calder Cup Finals, and arranged the telecast of Game 6 from Milwaukee so that fans in central Pennsylvania, as well as those watching on the NHL Network in Canada and on Comcast SportsNet in the Washington, D.C., area, to witness the Bears capturing their ninth AHL championship.

The James H. Ellery Memorial Awards, which were first presented in 1964, honor the late Mr. Ellery, who served the American Hockey League for 17 years as league secretary and publicity director.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 80 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the fifth year in a row, more than 6.3 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2005-06.