News | 2/12/2014 10:24:08 PM | Rob Crean
Prior to the 2014 AHL All-Star Game on Wednesday night in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Amerks forward Luke Adam had not played an organized game in his hometown since he was 17. He probably never thought his homecoming would feature a team of AHL All-Stars taking on Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League, but that was the format for this year’s All-Star Classic, and it provided a terrific hockey showcase on The Rock.
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Recent AHL All-Star Games have featured Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference or PlanetUSA vs. Canada match-ups, but this was the first time that one AHL All-Star team faced an opponent from another professional league.
On Wednesday, Adam, fellow Amerk Brayden McNabb and the rest of the AHL All-Stars stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and rolled to a 7-2 victory over Farjestad BK.
Just like the previous night in the Skills Competition, Adam was welcomed home by the St. John’s fans with a boisterous ovation during the pregame player introductions. He then was in the starting lineup to open the game, skating on a line with AHL and St. John’s IceCaps captain Jason Jaffray and Ben Street of the Abbotsford Heat.
“It was a blast to come home and play,” said Adam, who finished with one shot on goal. “It was great to meet all these guys and play alongside some great players, and obviously it’s always nice to win, so we had a lot of fun and it meant a lot.”
McNabb was playing in his second straight All-Star game on his third consecutive All-Star selection (he was unable to play in 2012 due to a recall to the NHL Buffalo Sabres.
“At first we came out pretty hard and got a few goals on them. As the game went on it got a little less intense, but it was a fun game and I’m glad we got the win,” McNabb said.
McNabb was paired on the blue line with rookie defenseman Alexey Marchenko of the Grand Rapids Griffins. That duo was on the ice for each of the first two goals of the night by the AHL, as Binghamton’s Mike Hoffman and Bridgeport’s Ryan Strome staked the home team to a 2-0 lead.
Street then scored off a pass from Jaffray to make it 3-0 before the AHL leader in goals, Travis Morin, scored to give the AHL a 4-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Rockford IceHogs forward Brandon Pirri, who would be named the game’s Most Valuable Player, scored his first of two goals on the night on a breakaway off a pass from Hoffman to make it 5-0 before the midpoint of the second period.
Farjestad got on the board just 25 seconds into the third period as Per Aslund scored his team’s first goal on a shot through traffic. Pirri and Farjestad BK captain Rickard Wallin then traded goals to make it a 6-2 game. Strome tacked on his second of the night and the AHL All-Stars held on for a 7-2 win over Farjestad.
“This was a lot more competitive than a regular All-Star game, almost like a real game. Like I said, it was a blast and a lot of fun,” said Adam.