INDIANAPOLIS — Taking a page from the NHL and AHL the ECHL held a similar format to their 23rd All-Star Game with the best from each division squaring off in 3-on-3 competition. After the dust settled the Mountain Division took home the title Monday afternoon with a 6-5 shootout win over the South Division.
The day started out in a contest between the North All-Stars and their counterparts from the South. The South took the opening tally with a goal from Stingrays forward Taylor Cammarata scoring glove-side against the Fuel’s netminder Etienne Marcoux at the 4:37 mark of the 1st half. The North squared the game up just 63 seconds in the 2nd half with a goal Royals forward Michael Huntebrinker. The rest of the half went to the South All-Stars with a pair of goals just over four minutes apart from the Solar Bears Nolan Valleau and Cammarata for the 3-1 final. The South All-Stars owned the shots-on-goal with the 17-to-13 edge and neither team getting a powerplay opportunity.
The second tilt would pair the Central All-Stars against their Mountain counterparts. The first half was completely owned by the Mountain All-Stars with goals from Grizzlies Cliff Watson, Rush Dante Salituro, and Eagles Jesse Mychan while the Thunders netminder Shane Starrett held court shutting down all 8-shots to lead to the 3-0 edge. Each team would pocket a pair of goals in the 2nd half but the Central All-Stars couldn’t gain an offensive edge to stand a chance to establish any kind of rally.
The championship match-up between the Mountain and South All-Stars was an offensive clinic. The Mountain All-Stars took a quick 2-0 lead with goals from David Makowski and Salituro gave the Mountain All-Stars a 2-0 edge but Cammarata pocketed a pair of goals later in the 1st half to even the game up. The South took a small lead in the game with Cammarata’s 3rd of the game but Makowski, Conner Bleackley, and Salituro each scored in quick succession to put the Mountain All-Stars back on top with a late 5-3 advantage. The Central All-Stars rebounded with a pair of late goals from Christopher Dienes and Grant Besse to send the contest to a shootout. The game winner would go to Grizzlies defeseman Watson in the shootout and the 6-to-5 final.
South Carolina Stingrays forward Cammarata won the MVP award with an ECHL record for goals (5) and points (7) over the two games played today.
Regular scheduled ECHL games were also on tap today between Florida (6) and Atlanta (2), Tulsa (2) and Allen (1), and Rapid City (3) and Utah (1). More on the latter in our next article.