ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE
East claims another All-Star win
By Aaron Bell
Windsor, ON - Cody Hodgson of the Brampton Battalion scored three goals and added a pair of assists to help Team East to an 11-6 win over Team West in the Subway OHL All-Star Classic at the WFCU Centre on Wednesday.
Hodgson, who helped Canada win the gold medal at the World Junior Championships last month and has been one of the league’s top scorers all season, said that winning the player of the game award at the all-star game was a special achievement.
“We were just having a lot of fun and keep it competitive,” said Hodgson, who helped push the Eastern Conference’s winning streak to four straight events.
Alex Hutchings of the Barrie Colts and Ethan Werek of the Kingston Frontenacs each had two goals while P.K. Subban of the Belleville Bulls, Stefan Della Rovere of the Colts, Corey Cowick of the Ottawa 67’s and Zack Kassian of the Peterborough Petes also scored for the East.
Eric Tangradi of the Bulls and Alex Pietrangelo of the Niagara IceDogs each had three assists while Matt Duchene of the Battalion had two helpers in the win.
Justin DiBenedetto of the Sarnia Sting scored three times for the Western Conference while Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires had a goal and an assist. Greg Nemisz of the Spitfires and Nazem Kadri of the London Knights also scored while Mark Katic of the Sting had three assists.
The East jumped out to a two goal lead early in the third period but the West rebounded and tied the game at three after one period. Della Rovere, Hutchings and Hodgson counted within a three minute span midway through the second period but the West came back again with a goal to keep it close. The East took advantage of three straight goals in the final two minutes of the game to seal the win.
“It was a tremendous night and a lot of fun,” said Team East coach George Burnett of the Bulls. “We preached having a competitive game the last 48 hours leading up to the event here tonight and for the most part it was quite competitive.”
“There was some passion out there tonight,” said Team West coach Steve Spott of the Kitchener Rangers. “I know on our bench there were some guys that really cared and there was some energy. It was a good game. I think the fans were entertained with some great play.”
Hodgson and DiBenedetto tied Scott Barney of the Peterborough Petes for the most goals scored in an all-star game. Barney also had a hat trick for the Eastern Conference in 1999. Hodgson joined Barney as well as Dan Tessier of the Ottawa 67’s (1999), Eric Lindros of the Oshawa Generals (1991) and Ryan Jardine and Josef Vasicek of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2000) for the most points in one game with five.
Mike Murphy of the Bulls started for the East and turned aside 15 of 18 shots in the first half of the game before Thomas McCollum of the Battalion allowed three goals on 12 shots.
The Spitfires’ Andrew Engelage got the start in net for the West and allowed five goals on 34 shots while Edward Pasquale of the Saginaw Spirit allowed six goals on 18 shots.
The game wrapped up two days full of events in Windsor including a skills competition and three-on-three game as well as an alumni game and an all-star banquet on Wednesday that included keynote speaker Ken Holland, the GM of the Detroit Red Wings.
“It was a great experience,” DiBenedetto said. “To get to see guys speak like Ken Holland, (honourary captains) Steve Yzerman and Adam Graves - they are world class heroes and you try to take things from them and bring them back into the last stretch of the season.”