Weekend watch list: Feb. 2-5

Patrick Williams, TheAHL.com Features Writer

The 2024 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Tech CU is set for this Sunday and Monday as the league brings the event to the West Coast for the second time. The San Jose Barracuda and their new Tech CU Arena will host some of hockey’s best and brightest young talent.

Both nights will be televised live to national audiences on NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada. The AHL All-Star Skills Competition is set for Sunday at 8 ET/5 PT, while the AHL All-Star Challenge will go Monday at 9 ET/6 PT. AHLTV will also provide a free video stream both nights (see below for more sign-up information).

The Skills Competition features the Atlantic and North Divisions facing off against the Central and Pacific Divisions in seven skills events. The All-Star Challenge features a team representing each of the four divisions in a 3-on-3, round-robin tournament with six games (10 minutes per game). Then the clubs with the top two records settle the championship in a six-minute, 3-on-3 game.

Off the ice, the 2024 AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony will be held Monday at 2 ET/11 PT. The ceremony will honor AHL Hall of Fame inductees Dennis Bonvie, Gordie Clark, Gerry Ehman and Roy Sommer as well as All-Star Classic honorary captains Dan Boyle and Wayne Thomas. AHLTV will stream the event live.

Two full nights of action are up first before the AHL heads to San Jose.

Can the Milwaukee Admirals add to their 11-game winning streak, the longest such run in the AHL this season, when they host Manitoba tonight? The Admirals, who have not lost in 2024, have opened up a 12-point lead for first place in the Central Division. They are also tied with Coachella Valley at 57 points for the Western Conference lead.

The Firebirds own a seven-game point streak (6-0-1-0) and are coming off a home sweep of Calgary on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Idle tonight, they will be back on the ice Saturday when they host Tucson. The Roadrunners are in hot pursuit of the Firebirds and only three points off their pace. They first visit San Diego tonight.

In the Atlantic Division, there are the league-leading Hershey Bears. Playing .818 hockey (35-7-0-2), the defending Calder Cup champion Bears are back in Lehigh Valley tonight for another meeting with the archrival Phantoms after a three-goal third-period rally gave Hershey a 4-2 win at PPL Center on Wednesday night. Hershey has points in nine straight games (7-0-0-2) and 18 of their last 19 (16-1-0-2).

And in the North, the Syracuse Crunch used an 8-2-0-0 month of January to catch Cleveland at 52 points atop the division. The Crunch host Belleville tonight and tomorrow, while the Monsters entertain Chicago for a pair of inter-conference battles.

The Bakersfield Condors visit the Central Division when they face the Texas Stars in the AHLTV Free Game of the Week tonight (8 ET/7 CT).

Bakersfield used a nine-game point streak (7-0-1-1) stretching more than a month to overcome a sluggish start to the season. Now, with the NHL All-Star break ongoing, the Condors have received forwards Adam Erne and Dylan Holloway from the parent Edmonton Oilers, as well as defenseman Philip Kemp recently. Tonight’s game opens a run of five of six games on the road for the Condors. They also have games in hand on every club in the Pacific Division, including eight games on Henderson, the team they trail by two points for seventh place.

The Stars have pulled themselves out of a January slump in which they lost six of seven games and fell behind Milwaukee for the Central Division lead. All-Star forwards Logan Stankoven (50 points) and Mavrik Bourque (47 points) are one-two in the AHL scoring race going into the weekend.

An AHLTV account is required to watch the AHLTV Free Games of the Week, but no subscription is needed. Visit AHLTV.com for details.