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WESTERN CONFERENCE TAKES 2012 AHL ALL-STAR GAME

Photo courtesy PhotoGraphics Photography/AHL
01/31/2012 10:10 AM - ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.- Down by four goals early, the Western Conference rallied for an 8-7 shootout victory over the Eastern Conference at the 2012 AHL All-Star Game at historic Boardwalk Hall on Monday.

Chris Terry of the Charlotte Checkers led the West offense with two goals and an assist and Ben Bishop of the Peoria Rivermen stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third period before denying all four East shootout attempts. Bishop, who is 18-12-0 with a league-leading six shutouts for Peoria this season, was named the 2012 AHL All-Star Game MVP.

IceHogs center Brandon Pirri notched an assist in the Western Conference’s win in his first career AHL All-Star Game. Defenseman Brian Connelly, who was traded to the Calgary Flames last Friday and was representing the Abbotsford Heat, also tallied an assist.

The Eastern Conference raced out to a 6-2 lead after one period and held a 7-5 advantage before Peoria’s T.J. Hensick and Chicago’s Kevin Connauton scored late in the third period to tie the game. Hensick and Texas rookie Matt Fraser scored in the shootout to lift the West to victory.

Rookie Cory Conacher of the Norfolk Admirals recorded two goals and an assist for the East, and Connecticut Whale teammates Mats Zuccarello and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault notched a goal and an assist apiece.

Corey Locke of the Binghamton Senators and Keith Aucoin of the Hershey Bears both tied an American Hockey League record, appearing in their sixth career All-Star Games.

The road to the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs continues when the American Hockey League’s 76th season resumes on Thursday.

Next Home Game: Wednesday, Feb. 8 vs. Lake Erie Monsters. Game time is 7:05 p.m. The IceHogs return to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the first time since the All-Star break to play their first home game in the month of February. It’s a Taco Bell Dollar Day. Fans can purchase beers, hot dogs, soft drinks and companion tickets for just one dollar a piece.