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Nelson to lead Western stars

With his team’s 6-0 win in Houston on Sunday evening, Oklahoma City Barons head coach Todd Nelson has earned the right to coach the Western Conference team at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, to be held Jan. 29-30 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Oklahoma City has the best record in the Western Conference at today’s deadline to determine the All-Star head coaches. The Barons, top affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, sit atop the overall AHL standings with a record of 22-8-1-3 (48 points) and a .708 points percentage.

Nelson, 42, is in his second season with the Barons after leading the team to a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs during his first campaign in 2010-11. Nelson won a Calder Cup championship as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves in 2008, and during his 12-year playing career as a defenseman he won an AHL title with the Portland Pirates in 1994.

Keith McCambridge of the St. John’s IceCaps will coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Atlantic City.