Central Division wins All-Star Challenge

SYRACUSE, N.Y. … Chicago Wolves forward Pat Cannone scored three goals on the night and Rockford IceHogs netminder Michael Leighton posted a shutout in the championship game as the Central Division won the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Challenge at the historic War Memorial Arena on Monday evening.


Cannone, who also netted a shootout winner in the round-robin portion of the evening, was named the most valuable player of the All-Star Challenge. It was the culmination of an impressive winner for Cannone, who previously won the accuracy shooting event in the All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday.

The Central Division defeated the Atlantic Division, 4-0, in the championship game, a six-minute contest played at 3-on-3. Both teams went 2-1-0 in the round-robin played among All-Stars from the league’s four divisions; round-robin games were nine minutes in length split into halves of 4-on-4 and 3-on-3. The North Division and Pacific Division both finished 1-2-0.

Cannone and the Rockford IceHogs’ Jake Dowell each finished with three goals and an assist, Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Xavier Ouellet tallied two goals and two assists and T.J. Tynan of the Lake Erie Monsters finished the night with five assists to pace the Central Division’s offense. Leighton led all goaltenders with a .929 save percentage, turning aside 13 of 14 shots in his two appearances.

Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears and Rob Schremp of the Portland Pirates finished with two goals and two assists each to pace the Atlantic Division. Derek Grant of the Stockton Heat and Nick Ritchie of the San Diego Gulls notched two goals and an assist each for the Pacific Division, while Josh Leivo of the Toronto Marlies tallied two goals and an assist for the North Division.

The road to the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs continues when the American Hockey League’s 80th season resumes on Thursday.