I filled in for Tom Venesky from the Times-Leader tonight. You can read the game story in Tuesday’s paper.
Fighting internet issues in a cold arena stage sitting right behind the goal judge is the price that you sometimes have to pay. But who is complaining. The game story was filed without issue and I can finally decompress and write this blog post. More of my element.
Anyway, the Western Conference won 14-12 tonight over the Eastern Conference. There were four hat tricks. There were two penalty shots. There were co-MVP’s. Charles Hudon from Hamilton had a hat trick and an assist and Utica’s Jacob Markstrom stopped 14 of 16 shots in the first period to take home the awards.
Something that I noticed in this game was a lackadaisical start in the beginning, an offensive display in the second period and then a frenetic pace in the final period. There were twelve goals scored in the second period alone. Five scored by the Western Conference in record time, 4:35. They scored six and the East scored six.
Really you could have, if you wanted to, made a case for Oklahoma City goaltender Richard Bachman to get the co-MVP if you wanted to. The East trailed all game, and really stepped on the gas in the final period. Bachman stopped 18 of 22 shots to preserve the West’s win.
But this is an all-star event, one that doesn’t count and this is Utica after all, so give the starting goaltender for the Western Conference the honor and call it a night.
Pouliot and Kostopoulos both had assists on the night. Kostopoulous actually had two but the second was taken away.
Anyway, there was other things to attend to today. Like half of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins team being called up to Pittsburgh. Scott Harrington, Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson and Andrew Ebbett were recalled this afternoon. Wilkes-Barre doesn’t play again until Friday and there was talk about Pittsburgh getting healthy. so we will see who if anyone trickles down in time for puck drop at 7 p.m. Friday in Springfield.
I always like to come to these events to meet people and mingle with those I know. Another thing I like to do is get audio of the AHL’s State of the League Address with Dave Andrews, the AHL’s president. Bob Howard from the Power Play Post Show there this morning and posted audio.
Here is the link in raw format…
Nothing really to take out of it from a Wilkes-Barre perspective. Nothing has been finalized with the AHL’s movement out West yet. There could be some other teams shook up but not necessarily moving West. The deadline for all of this is in May, but they would like to have everything in place by April for scheduling and ticketing purposes.
He also mentioned scheduling. The AHL isn’t moving off 76 games any time soon. Some teams want 72 games but there are others that love 76. It’s about 50/50 and you need 75%.
There could be unbalanced conferences with teams like here in Utica and Rochester coming East to play. All of that is talk though with bigger challenges in the way.
It’s really interesting audio, so give it a listen if you have 54 minutes of time to kill.
I am back on the road Tuesday, heading home. We will pick up the real stuff again at the end of the week.