Thursday, February 02, 2006

Team Canada tops Planet USA in AHL all star game

If the folks of Winnipeg are ready to move back to the NHL, they certainly didn't let the AHL down over the last two days. The MTS centre in Winnipeg had huge crowds for both the skills competition and last nights All Star Game. Showing anyone willing to watch that perhaps some of the best fans in hockey live on the prairies.

Manitoba Moose goaltender Wade Flaherty, the co-recipient of the nights most valuable player award, backstopped the Canadian team to a 9-4 victory over PlanetUSA, in front of a sold out crowd of 15,015 a new AHL all star game attendance record. Flaherty played the first period and saved 13 of 14 shots in his stint in the Canadian net, sharing the MVP award with fellow goaltender Yann Danis of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

While 13 goals may seem like a lot, it actually isn't even close to the AHL mark set back in 2002 when 24 goals were scored in the All Star game. Obviously defence ruled this year!

The game marked an exciting couple of days in Winnipeg, which put on a terrific show and rewarded the AHL for its entertainment with great crowds. Of course with success comes wishes for larger challenges, so look for many to be using the huge support of the last couple of days as a barometer for the NHL to reconsider Winnipeg when those NHL franchise shift rumours come up again!

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