Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Western Conference Wins 55th All-Star Game

Lots of Action, Plenty of Fun Provided by NHL's Best
West All-Stars 12, East All-Stars 9

In a exhibition game such as this, the play was dominated by individual efforts that at times were spectacular. Daniel Briere won the MVP, but was unable to help his team overcome 12 goals by the West All-Stars. He led the game in scoring by recording five points on 1 goal and 4 assists.

Alex Ovechkin made his NHL debut a special one by recording his first All-Star goal on a rebound off of goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff. He also sported his new blue tinted visor for the first time in a game. It remains to be seem whether or not the league will allow him to wear the visor during a regular season game.

Martin Brodeur provided the highlight of the night for the goaltenders, recording an exciting windmill like save in the second period.

The game also marked the debut for the controversial new Reebok uniforms that will become the standard beginning next season. For all the hype, the uniforms didn't seem like a big deal to me. They have the same traditional look and they should help the players feel more comfortable. It will be interesting to see the verdict from the players and the media on their debut.

After what has felt like a long break, the NHL schedule will resume on Friday with 11 contests across the league. The Capitals travel to Carolina for the first of a home-and-home series. They will need to be well prepared as the Hurricanes will be looking for revenge following the Capitals win in Raleigh last week.

Hershey Bears 6, Philadelphia Phantoms 1

A five goal second period allowed Hershey to coast to an easy victory tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum. With the help of two power-play goals, Chad Wiseman led the way for the Bears completing a natural hat trick 8:26 into the second period that gave Hershey a 3-0 lead. His three goals gave him a total of 13 on the season. Tomas Fleichmann would add another, his 16th of the season, before the Phantoms would finally crack the scoreboard.

Frederik Cabana beat Hershey goaltender Davis Parley for his 2nd of the season, giving Philadelphia a glimmer of hope in making a game of it. However Parley, making his AHL debut, would shut down the Phantoms the rest of the way recording 21 saves for his first career victory for the Bears. He was backed up in the game by newcomer Nolan Schaefer who was acquired on loan from the Worcester Sharks this week.

Alexandre Giroux missed his second consecutive game with a an "upper body injury" that is believed to be a shoulder. Despite being absent from the lineup he still ranks third in the league with his 30 goals on the season.

The win improved Hershey's record to 29-8-3-5, 66 points moving them only one point behind division leading Norfolk.

Your Top Three Stars:
1. Chad Wiseman, Hershey 3 goals and 1 assist
2. Tomas Fleichmann, Hershey 1 goal and 1 assist
3. Davis Parley, Hershey 21 saves

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