(ECHL PR) PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Wednesday announced the starting lineup and roster of the American Conference team for the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario.
The 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario will be hosted by the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena and played on Jan. 20, 2010 while the 2010 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held on Jan. 19, 2010.
There are 11 rookies on the American Conference and 19 of the 21 players are making their first appearance in an ECHL All-Star Game.
There have been 58 players from the All-Star Game who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 33 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
American Conference Starters
G – Todd Ford, South Carolina (24 gp, 16-6-1, 1 shutout, 2.88 GAA, .910 save pct.)
D – J.C. Sawyer, Toledo (28 gp, 12g, 16a, 28 pts)
D – Zach Tarkir, South Carolina (26 gp, 4g, 12a, 16 pts)
F – Justin Donati, Elmira (29 gp, 14g, 30a, 44 pts)
F – Ben Gordon, Reading (28 gp, 16g, 24a, 40 pts)
F – Jacob Micflikier, Florida (16 gp, 9g, 23a, 32 pts)
The starting lineups are determined in voting by American Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. Coaches also submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster with each of the 12 teams having a representative.
The third class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 20, 2010 during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilton Ontario Airport, the official host hotel of the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario. The featured speaker at the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon will be Hockey Hall of Fame member and Los Angeles Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille.
Tickets for the luncheon are $40 each or a table with seven tickets can be purchased for $250. The Ontario Reign is offering a special ticket package that includes a tickets to the ECHL Hall of Fame luncheon, the All-Star Skills Competition, the Fan Fest at Dave & Busters and the ECHL All-Star Game for only $75. To purchase tickets visit OntarioReign.com/team/allstar/ or telephone the Ontario Reign at (909) 941-7825.
Kelly Cup champion South Carolina has two starters with goaltender Todd Ford and defenseman Zach Tarkir as well as rookie goaltender Braden Holtby and rookie forward Nikita Kashirsky. It is the second All-Star selection for Ford, who played for the American Conference in 2005 at Reading, Pa. Ford, who is currently on loan to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, is 16-6-1 with a shutout and leads the league with 16 wins, 1,416 minutes and 690 saves. Tarkir, who is currently on loan to Lake Erie of the AHL, has 16 points (4g-12a) in 26 games. Holtby, who is under contract to the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and currently with Hershey of the AHL, is 7-2-3 with a goals-against average of 2.95 and a save percentage of .911. Kashirsky, who is currently on loan to Springfield of the AHL, leads ECHL rookies with 17 goals and is tied for the lead with five game-winning goals while his 30 points in 33 games tie him for second.
Florida is represented by starting forward Jacob Micflikier, rookie forward Brandon Buck and defenseman A.J. Thelen. MicFlikier, who is under contract to and currently called up by Albany of the AHL, has 32 points (9g-23a) in 16 games and is tied for third with 12 power-play assists and tied for fourth with 15 power-play points. Buck, who is under contract to Houston of the AHL, has 17 points (8g-9a) in 24 games. Thelen, who is currently on loan to Rochester of the AHL, is tied for third among league defensemen with four power-play goals and tied for fifth with seven goals while his 15 points in 26 games tie him for 20th.
Elmira has a pair of rookie forwards with starter Justin Donati and Maxime Gratchev. Donati leads the ECHL with 30 assists and 44 points while his 12 power-play assists and 18 power-play points are tops among rookies and his six power-play goals tie him for third. Gratchev is tied for second among league rookies with 30 points while his 17 assists tie him for third and his 13 goals tie him for fifth.
Toledo has starting defenseman J.C. Sawyer and rookie forward Maxime Tanguay. It is the second All-Star appearance for Sawyer, who played for the American Conference in 2008 at Stockton, Calif. He leads ECHL defensemen with 12 goals and 28 points and is tied for third with 16 assists while his five game-winning goals are first among defensemen and tied for the overall lead. Tanguay is second among league rookies with 19 assists and tied for second with 30 points and 13 power-play points while his nine power-play assists tie him for third.
Representing Reading is starting forward Ben Gordon, who is currently on loan to Toronto of the AHL. Gordon is third in the league with 40 points and tied for fourth with 24 assists in 28 games.
Gwinnett will be represented by rookie defensemen Drew Paris and Sam Roberts. Roberts leads all rookie defensemen and is fourth overall among league defensemen with 20 points (7g-13a) in 29 games while Paris is tied for ninth with 18 points (7g-11a) in 29 games.
Representing Cincinnati will be rookie goaltender Jeremy Smith and rookie forward Matt Pierce. Pierce is tied for second among league rookies with 14 goals and is tied for third among rookies with six power-play goals while his 23 points in 28 games tie him for 10th among rookies. Smith is 8-6-1 with a shutout and is sixth in the league with a goals-against average of 2.65.
Charlotte will be represented by rookie forward Matt Schepke, who has 17 points (7g-10a) in 28 games.
Johnstown will be represented by forward Connor Shields, who is tied for the league rookie lead with seven power-play goals and tied for fifth with 13 goals while his 26 points in 30 games tie him for seventh.
Representing Kalamazoo will be forward Rick Cleaver, who is currently on loan to Syracuse of the AHL. He ranks seventh in the league with 34 points (13g-21a) in 26 games.
Trenton will be represented by Jeff Prough, who leads the team with 10 goals and ranks third with 18 points in 23 games.
Representing Wheeling will be Mitch Ganzak, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2008-09. He is tied for third among league defensemen with 16 assists and tied for fifth with 19 points in 32 games.
The past seven ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The game has been available live on the NHL Network the last seven years as well as being broadcast on multiple regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.
The Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup will both be on display throughout the event, marking the 10th time in the last 11 years that the NHL championship trophy and the ECHL championship trophy have been displayed together at the All-Star Game.