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SAWYER, TANGUAY NAMED ECHL ALL-STARS

Article By: Chris Etheridge

12/31/2009 3:53 PM - Tanguay one of 11 rookies to skate for American Conference

Rockford, Ill.- Toledo Walleye defenseman J.C. Sawyer and forward Maxime Tanguay have been selected to appear at the 2010 ECHL All-Star game on January 20 in Ontario, Calif., the ECHL announced on Thursday. Sawyer has been named a starter for the American Conference.

Sawyer, 23, leads all ECHL defensemen in scoring with 28 points (12g-16a) and is tied for the Toledo lead in goals. His five game-winning goals, three of which have been collected in overtime, are tied for the most in the ECHL. He has appeared in four games in 2009-10 for the Rockford IceHogs, recording one assist.  In 23 career games with Rockford, the blueliner has three goals and two assists.  He was selected #161 overall (round 5) by the Minnesota Wild in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

It will be the second All-Star appearance for Sawyer.  The Saint John, New Brunswick native represented the Pensacola Ice Pilots in the 2008 during his first professional season.

Tanguay, 21, leads Toledo and is second among ECHL rookies in scoring with 30 points (11g-19a).  The Lac Etchemin, Quebec native has six points (2g-4a) in his last two games with Toledo (12/18-12/19). He has one assist in four games with Rockford during the campaign.  The centerman was selected #69 overall (round 3) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.  He is one of 11 rookies on the American Conference team this season and one of 19 skaters making his first ECHL All-Star Game appearance.

The 2010 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Hockey and brought to you by Toyota and the City of Ontario, Calif. will be played on Jan. 20, 2010 while the 2010 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held on Jan. 19, 2010.

There have been 58 players from the All-Star Game who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 33 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.

The starting lineups are determined in voting by American Conference coaches, team captains, media directors, broadcasters and media members. Coaches also submitted the top prospects from within their conference to determine the final roster with each of the 12 teams having a representative.

Next Home Game: Saturday, Jan. 2 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Cure your holiday hangover with the IceHogs as they open up the 2010 portion of the regular season. The game is one in a series of the “Go Green” initiative by the IceHogs, who will be giving away “Go Green” T-shirts made out of environmentally friendly material sponsored by BOB FM and WTVO.