2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic Game Notes

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ALL-STAR OFFICIALS – Tyler Puddifant and Stephen Thomson are the referees and Jake Davis and Jordan Knox are the linesmen.

Current NHL officials who have worked the ECHL All-Star Game are referees Ian Walsh (1997), Brian Pochmara (2001), Justin St. Pierre (2002) and Tom Chmielewski (2011) and linesman Brian Mach (1999) while former NHL referee Jeff Smith worked the 1998 game.

In his fifth season as an ECHL referee, Puddifant has earned assignments in the Kelly Cup Playoffs Conference Finals each of the previous two seasons. During the 2015-16 season, he was selected to work the ECHL Hockey Heritage Classic in Kalamazoo. Prior to joining the ECHL, he worked in the United States Hockey League and the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Thomson, who is in his third season in the ECHL, was selected as one of the referees for the 2017 Kelly Cup Finals. Prior to joining the ECHL, he worked games in the United States Hockey League, where he earned assignments in the Clark Cup Finals in 2013 and 2014, and in the Southern Professional Hockey League, where he worked the President’s Cup Finals in 2015. Thomson also has international officiating experience, serving as a referee for the Bronze Medal Game in the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo. He is also a referee in the American Hockey League.

This is Davis’ third season in the ECHL. He also has worked games in the North American Hockey League, United States Hockey League and Hockey East while also serving as a linesman in the American Hockey League. Davis also has international experience, working the World Under-18 Championship in 2016 and the World Junior Championships in 2017.

Knox is in his fourth season as an ECHL linesman. He began his officiating career 10 years ago with USA Hockey, and continues to officiate for the organization today. Knox is the vice president and director of officials for the Indianapolis Hockey Officials Association after previously serving as president and seminar coordinator for the association.

There are 31 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2017-18 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Pierre Lambert, T.J. Luxmore, Peter MacDougall, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Ryan Daisy, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Bevin Mills, Kory Nagy, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.

GAME FORMAT – For the first time in ECHL history, the All-Star Classic will feature four teams, representing each of the league’s divisions. In a format similar to those adapted by the NHL and AHL All-Star Games, the four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament in order to crown a winner. 

The two semifinal matches will be played within the Eastern and Western Conferences; with the North Division taking on the South Division and the Central Division facing the Mountain Division. The 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place after the second semifinal game, with the championship round following immediately at the conclusion of the Skills Competition.

TELEVISION/RADIO BROADCAST – For the second consecutive season, the ECHL All-Star Classic is airing live in the United States on NHL Network.

Brian McCormack of the Idaho Steelheads and Everett Fitzhugh of the Cincinnati Cyclones will serve as the television broadcasters along with NHL Network analyst Neil Smith, who will serve as the color commentator. Local channel listings are available at NHLNetwork.com.

Terry Ficorelli of the Indy Fuel will handle the radio play-by-play duties on 107.5 / 1070 The Fan in Central Indiana. The audio broadcast will be available around the world at www.1070TheFan.com.

The game can also be streamed through your computer or mobile device through ECHL.TV, powered by NeuLion.

ROOKIE REPRESENTATION – Fifteen players in today’s game are rookies. A rookie is defined as a player who has played fewer than 25 professional games prior to the start of the 2017-18 season.

North Division Rookies (5)

Woody Hudson, Worcester (F)

Michael Huntebrinker, Reading (F)

Sam Kurker, Manchester (F)

Etienne Marcoux, Indy (G)

Matt Petgrave, Brampton (D)

South Division Rookies (3)

Grant Besse, Norfolk (F)

Taylor Cammarata, South Carolina (F)

Christopher Dienes, Jacksonville (D)

Central Division Rookies (3)

Justin Danforth, Cincinnati (F)

Willie Raskob, Quad City (D)

Artur Tyunalin, Fort Wayne (F)

Mountain Division Rookies (4)

Justin Parizek, Idaho (F)

Dante Salituro, Rapid City (F)

Shane Starrett, Wichita (G)

Cliff Watson, Utah (D)

WHERE DO THEY COME FROM – Eighteen of the players participating in the All-Star Classic were born in the United States while nine were born in Canada. The remaining player was born in Russia. The breakdown by state is Michigan (5), Minnesota (4), Massachusetts (2), Missouri (2), New York (2), California (1), Pennsylvania (1) and Wisconsin (1). The breakdown by Canadian province is: Ontario (4), Quebec (2), Alberta (1), Manitoba (1) and Saskatchewan (1).

NHL CONTRACTS – There are three players in the All-Star Classic who are under contract to teams in the National Hockey League.

Mountain Division (3)

Conner Bleackley, Tulsa (St. Louis Blues)

Shane Starrett, Wichita (Edmonton Oilers)

Dante Salituro, Rapid City (Minnesota Wild)

AHL CONTRACTS – There are six players in the All-Star Classic who are under contract to teams in the American Hockey League.

North Division (1)

Cody Wydo, Wheeling (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)

South Division (2)

Christopher Dienes, Jacksonville (Manitoba Moose)

Martin Ouellette, Florida (Charlotte Checkers)

Central Division (3)

Justin Danforth, Cincinnati (Rochester Americans)

Pat Nagle, Toledo (Grand Rapids Griffins)

Artur Tyanulin, Fort Wayne (Tucson Roadrunners)

NHL ENTRY DRAFT SELECTIONS – The All-Star Classic has eight players who have been selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft.

2007 NHL Entry Draft

Michael Neal, Indy (5th Round – 149th overall – Dallas Stars)

2010 NHL Entry Draft

Phil Lane, Atlanta (2nd Round – 52nd overall – Phoenix Coyotes)

Martin Ouellette, Florida (7th Round – 184th overall – Columbus Blue Jackets)

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Sam Kurker, Manchester (2nd Round – 56th overall – St. Louis Blues)

Cliff Watson, Utah (6th Round – 168th overall – San Jose Sharks)

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Taylor Cammarata, South Carolina (3rd Round – 76th overall – New York Islanders)

Grant Besse, Norfolk (5th Round – 147th overall – Anaheim Ducks)

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Conner Bleackley, Tulsa (1st Round – 23rd overall – Colorado Avalanche)

2016 NHL Entry Draft

Conner Bleackley, Tulsa (5th Round – 144th overall – St. Louis Blues)

ALL-STAR COACHES AT HIGHER LEVELS – The All-Star Game has been a stepping stone to the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League for several coaches.

ECHL All-Star Coaches currently in National Hockey League

Bruce Boudreau (1999 All-Star Game) is head coach with Minnesota Wild

Jack Capuano (1998 All-Star Game) is an assistant coach with Florida Panthers

Glen Gulutzan (2006, 2007 and 2008 All-Star Games) is head coach with Calgary Flames

Don Granato (2000 All-Star Game) is an assistant coach with Chicago Blackhawks

Ian Herbers (2009 All-Star Game) is an assistant coach with Edmonton Oilers

Mark Morrison (2008 and 2009 All-Star Games) is an assistant coach with Anaheim Ducks

Davis Payne (2002, 2004 and 2006 All-Star Games) is an assistant coach with Buffalo Sabres

ECHL All-Star Coaches currently in American Hockey League

Gerry Fleming (2003 and 2007 All-Star Games) is head coach with Bakersfield Condors

Derek Laxdal (2010 All-Star Game) is head coach with Texas Stars

Cail MacLean (2009 and 2017 All-Star Games) is assistant coach with Stockton Heat

Ryan Mougenel (2011 All-Star Game) is assistant coach with San Jose Barracuda

Roy Sommer (1995 and 1996 All-Star Games) is head coach with San Jose Barracuda

Karl Taylor (2006 All-Star Game) is assistant coach with Texas Stars

FORMER ALL-STARS IN NHL – There have been 66 players from the All-Star Game who have gone to play in the National Hockey League, including 50 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.

2015 ECHL All-Star Game

Yann Sauve, Orlando (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Garret Sparks, Orlando (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Curtis Valk, Kalamazoo (Florida Panthers)

2013 ECHL All-Star Game

Philipp Grubauer, Reading (Washington Capitals)

2011 ECHL All-Star Game

Mark Arcobello, Stockton (Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs)

Erik Burgdoerfer, Bakersfield (Buffalo Sabres)

Bobby Robins, Bakersfield (Boston Bruins)

Ben Street, Wheeling (Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings)

2010 ECHL All-Star Game

Richard Bachman, Idaho (Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks)

Vic Bartley, Utah (Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens)

Braden Holtby, South Carolina (Washington Capitals)

Timo Pielmeier, Bakersfield (Anaheim Ducks)

2009 ECHL All-Star Game

Travis Morin, South Carolina (Dallas Stars)

Michal Neuvirth, South Carolina (Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers)

2008 ECHL All-Star Game

David Desharnais, Cincinnati (Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers)

Anton Khudobin, Texas (Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins)

Travis Morin, South Carolina (Dallas Stars)

Justin Peters, Florida (Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes)

Greg Rallo, Idaho (Florida Panthers)

2007 ECHL All-Star Game

Adam Berkhoel, Dayton (Atlanta Thrashers)

Paul Bissonnette, Wheeling (Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes)

Troy Bodie, Stockton (Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes)

Cedrick Desjardins, Cincinnati (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Devan Dubnyk, Stockton (Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild)

Joe Jensen, Wheeling (Carolina Hurricanes)

Mike McKenna, Las Vegas (Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes)

Greg Rallo, Idaho (Florida Panthers)

2006 ECHL All-Star Game

Chris Beckford-Tseu, Alaska (St. Louis Blues)

Guillaume Desbiens, Gwinnett (Vancouver Canucks)

Jeff Glass, Charlotte (Chicago Blackhawks)

Brandon Nolan, Columbia (Carolina Hurricanes)

2005 ECHL All-Star Game

Barry Brust, Reading (Los Angeles Kings)

Matt Hendricks, Florida (Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets)

Connor James, Bakersfield (Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins)

Chris Minard, Alaska (Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers)

Joey Tenute, South Carolina (Washington Capitals)

2004 ECHL All-Star Game

Alexandre Burrows, Columbia (Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators)

Dan Ellis, Idaho (Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning)

Michael Garnett, Gwinnett (Atlanta Thrashers)

Greg Jacina, Augusta (Florida Panthers)

Jason Jaffray, Wheeling (Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames)

Charles Linglet, Alaska (Edmonton Oilers)

2003 ECHL All-Star Game

Mike Bishai, Columbus (Edmonton)

Kevin Colley, Atlantic City (New York Islanders)

Mike Glumac, Pee Dee (St. Louis Blues)

Adam Hauser, Jackson (Los Angeles Kings)

Jason Jaffray, Roanoke (Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames)

Zenon Konopka, Wheeling (Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders)

Mike Smith, Lexington (Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames)

Matt Underhill, Pee Dee (Chicago Blackhawks)

2002 ECHL All-Star Game

Kevin Colley, Atlantic City (New York Islanders)

Vern Fiddler, Roanoke (Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils)

David Gove, Johnstown (Carolina Hurricanes)

Pat Leahy, Trenton (Boston Bruins)

Curtis Sanford, Peoria (St. Louis Blues)

2000 ECHL All-Star Game

Ryan Kraft, Richmond (San Jose Sharks)

Jan Lasak, Hampton Roads (Nashville Predators)

Derrick Walser, Johnstown (Columbus Blue Jackets)

1999 ECHL All-Star Game

Ryan Kraft, Richmond (San Jose Sharks)

Jaroslav Obsut, Augusta (St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche)

1998 ECHL All-Star Game

Eric Boguniecki, Dayton (Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders)

Sebastien Charpentier, Hampton Roads (Washington Capitals)

Sean Gauthier, Pensacola (San Jose Sharks)

Jean-Guy Trudel, Peoria (Phoenix Coyotes and Minnesota Wild)

Dave Van Drunen, Baton Rouge (Ottawa Senators)

1997 ECHL All-Star Game

Andrei Bashkirov, Huntington (Montreal Canadiens)

Eric Boulton, Charlotte (Buffalo Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers)

Glen Metropolit, Pensacola (Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, St.

Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens)

1995 ECHL All-Star Game

Brandon Smith, Dayton (Boston Bruins and New York Islanders)

1994 ECHL All-Star Game

Nick Vachon, Knoxville (New York Islanders)

1993 ECHL All-Star Game

Alex Hicks, Toledo (Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers)

Steve Poapst, Hampton Roads (Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues)

ECHL ALL-STAR GAMES – Here is a look at past ECHL All-Star Games:

2017 ECHL All-Star Game at Glens Falls, N.Y.

ECHL All-Stars 8, Adirondack Thunder 7                            Attendance – 3,767

MVP – Matt Garbowsky, ECHL All-Stars, Colorado Eagles

2015 ECHL All-Star Game at Orlando, Fla.

ECHL All-Stars 8, Orlando Solar Bears 4                              Attendance – 9,288

MVP – Myles Bell, ECHL All-Stars, Evansville IceMen

2013 ECHL All-Star Game at Loveland, Colo.

ECHL All-Stars 7, Colorado Eagles 3                                    Attendance – 5,289

MVP – Ryan Zapolski, ECHL All-Stars, South Carolina Stingrays

2011 ECHL All-Star Game at Bakersfield, Calif.

ECHL All-Stars 9, Bakersfield Condors 3                             Attendance – 7,397

MVP – Mark Arcobello, ECHL All-Stars, Stockton Thunder

2010 ECHL All-Star Game at Ontario, Calif.

American Conference 10, National Conference 9 (SO)         Attendance – 7,615

MVP – Evan Barlow, National Conference, Idaho Steelheads

2009 ECHL All-Star Game at Reading, Pa.

American Conference 11, National Conference 5                  Attendance – 5,693

MVP – Matthew Ford, American Conference, Charlotte Checkers

2008 ECHL All-Star Game at Stockton, Calif.

National Conference 10, American Conference 7                  Attendance – 7,455

MVP – Ash Goldie, National Conference, Victoria Salmon Kings

2007 ECHL All-Star Game at Boise, Idaho

American Conference 6, National Conference 3                    Attendance – 4,371

MVP – Adam Berkhoel, American Conference, Dayton Bombers

2006 ECHL All-Star Game at Fresno, Calif.

National Conference 7, American Conference 6                    Attendance – 7,667

MVP – Luke Curtin, National Conference, Fresno Falcons

2005 ECHL All-Star Game at Reading, Pa.

National Conference 6, American Conference 2                    Attendance – 6,746

MVP – Frank Doyle, National Conference, Idaho Steelheads

2004 ECHL All-Star Game at Peoria, Ill.

Eastern Conference 7, Western Conference 6                        Attendance – 7,242

MVP – Randy Rowe, Eastern Conference, Peoria Rivermen

2003 ECHL All-Star Game at Estero, Fla.

Northern Conference 8, Southern Conference 2                    Attendance – 6,442

MVP – Scott Stirling, Northern Conference, Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies

2002 ECHL All-Star Game at Trenton, N.J.

Southern Conference 7, Northern Conference 6                    Attendance – 7,165

MVP – Allan Sirois, Southern Conference, Pee Dee Pride

2001 ECHL All-Star Game at North Little Rock, Ark.

Southern Conference 9, Northern Conference 5                    Attendance – 7,029

MVP – Jonas Soling, Southern Conference, Augusta Lynx

2000 ECHL All-Star Game at Greenville, S.C.

Northern Conference 8, Southern Conference 6                    Attendance – 9,444

MVP – Jeff Mitchell, Northern Conference, Dayton Bombers

1999 ECHL All-Star Game at Biloxi, Miss.

Southern Conference 7, Northern Conference 4                    Attendance – 7,566

MVP – Jason Elders, Southern Conference, Mobile Mysticks

1998 ECHL All-Star Game at Lafayette, La.

Canada All-Stars 11, USA/World All-Stars 7                        Attendance – 11,493

MVP – Andy MacIntyre, Canada All-Stars, Jacksonville Lizard Kings

1997 ECHL All-Star Game at Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte Checkers 7, ECHL All-Stars 6                               Attendance – 7,087

MVPs – Andrei Bashkirov, ECHL All-Stars, Huntington Blizzard and David Brousseau, Charlotte Checkers

1996 ECHL All-Star Game at Tallahassee, Fla.

Northern Conference 10, Southern Conference 7                  Attendance – 5,576

MVP – Don Parsons, Northern Conference, Johnstown Chiefs

1995 ECHL All-Star Game at Greensboro, N.C.

West All-Stars 6, East All-Stars 5                                          Attendance – 5,662

MVP – Jay Neal, West All-Stars, Toledo Storm

1994 ECHL All-Star Game at Norfolk, Va.

West All-Stars 7, East All-Stars 6                                          Attendance – 6,361

MVPs – Joe Cook, West All-Stars, Columbus Chill and Cory Cadden, West All-Stars, Knoxville Cherokees

1993 ECHL All-Star Game at Wheeling, W.Va.

East All-Stars 7, West All-Stars 3                                          Attendance – 4,854

MVP – Darren Schwartz, East All-Stars, Wheeling Thunderbirds


South Division All-Stars

(Note: Brad Ralph of the Florida Everblades had the Eastern Conference’s top winning percentage through games of Dec. 23, 2017 and earned the right to coach in the All-Star Game. He is coaching Florida in its regular-season game today at Atlanta.)

Ryan Warsofsky, South Carolina Stingrays

Ryan Warsofsky was named the seventh head coach in Stingrays’ team history on July 6, 2016. Prior to his promotion to head coach, he served as the club’s assistant coach for the previous three seasons. Warsofsky is the first American-born coach in franchise history, and is the fifth-youngest coach in ECHL history. He is currently the youngest active coach in the league.

In his first season as head coach, he guided the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Finals for the second time in three years and South Carolina became just the second team in ECHL history to advance to the Conference Finals in three consecutive seasons. Since joining the Stingrays in 2013, Warsofsky has played a large role in several of the most successful seasons in team history while working with the team’s defense and special teams. Under his guidance in 2015-16, South Carolina won the South Division, and surrendered just 162 goals against, the lowest total for a single season in club history. Additionally, the club finished top-five in the ECHL on the penalty kill (87.5 percent, 1st) and the power play (19.6 percent, 4th). Warsofsky was part of the 2014-15 club that recorded an ECHL-record 23-game win-streak and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals. Under Warsofsky’s watch, the club’s penalty kill finished first in the league in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Warsofsky, a native of North Marshfield, Mass., patrolled the blue line for Sacred Heart and Curry College before playing one season of professional hockey in 2011-12. He moved behind the bench in 2012, serving as an Assistant Coach at Curry College for one season before joining the Stingrays.

Central Division All-Stars

Bernie John, Indy Fuel

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Bernie John is in his second full season as head coach of the Fuel. John served as an assistant coach for Indy from its inaugural season in 2014-15 until taking over as the club’s head coach for the final 13 games of the 2015-16 campaign.

Long familiar with Indianapolis hockey, John served as an assistant coach for the 2013-14 Indiana Ice, winners of the Clark Cup as USHL champions. Before joining the coaching ranks, John enjoyed a 13-year professional playing career, including five seasons with the CHL’s Indianapolis Ice from 1999 to 2004, during which John helped the Ice claim the 2000 Ray Miron President’s Cup as CHL champions.

Mountain Division All-Stars

Aaron Schneekloth, Colorado Eagles

Aaron Schneekloth is in his second season as Colorado’s head coach after being named to the position on July 18, 2016. In his first season, he led the Eagles to their first-ever Kelly Cup title, becoming the first rookie coach to lead a team to an ECHL championship since 1990. He assumed his first head-coaching position after serving as the Eagles’ assistant coach in the previous three seasons.

Prior to moving behind the bench, the Calgary, Alberta native enjoyed a stellar professional career that spanned 11 years and saw him spend seven seasons in an Eagles sweater, including a championship season in 2007. The 37-year-old was named the ECHL’s Defenseman of the Year in 2012, while being voted the Central Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in both 2009 and 2010. A four-time All-Star and a member of both the CHL’s All-Decade Team and the Colorado Eagles All-Decade Team, Schneekloth was also named to the All-ECHL First Team in 2012 and was voted to the All-CHL Team on three separate occasions.

Schneekloth retired in 2013 as the Eagles all-time leader in points, goals and assists by a defenseman. He also left having etched his name into the Eagles record book ranked 5th overall in points (356), 2nd in games played (382) and 6th in goals (111). He also owns a NCAA championship as a member of the University of North Dakota team which captured the NCAA title in 2000.