Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Nick Cousins and goaltender Anthony Stolarz have been named to the 2016 American Hockey League All-Star Game. It's the first appearance at the game for each of them.
Much like in the NHL, all AHL teams are represented by at least one player. Last year, defenseman Brandon Manning -- now with the Flyers -- was the lone Phantom to get the nod to the game.
One might call forward Petr Straka a snub. He leads the AHL in goal scoring with 17 goals through 36 games, but with just six spots for forwards on each of the four All-Star teams, there likely just wasn't enough room to get him in.
Cousins leads the Phantoms in overall scoring with 29 points in 28 games with the team this season, numbers that are good enough for 11th in the AHL. Stolarz is having a solid season for Lehigh Valley, compiling a 12-7-3 record and a .925 save percentage, good for 6th in the league among goalies with at least 15 starts.
The AHL All-Star Classic will be held January 31 and February 1 in Syracuse, N.Y. Here are more details, via the league:
Each of the AHL’s four divisions will be represented by 13 players: seven forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders. Rosters were determined by committees of AHL coaches, and all 30 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 31 (8 p.m. ET) will keep its traditional format, with All-Stars from the Eastern Conference squaring off against All-Stars from the Western Conference in seven skills events.
The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Challenge will take place on the evening of Feb. 1 (7 p.m. ET); instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the AHL’s All-Stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, North, Central, Pacific). The teams will then play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of nine minutes each; the first half of each game will be played at 4-on-4, and the second half at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game played at 3-on-3.